On Sunday 3 June, Cape Town Bicycle Mayor, Lebogang Mokwena, and partners - Open Streets, Pedal Power Association, Bicycling Empowerment Network and Velokhaya - hosted a multi-activity day of awareness-raising and co-learning in celebration of the first World Bicycle Day. The event focused on how to make utility cycling an everyday activity in Khayelitsha and understanding challenges faced by cyclists. The participants had the opportunity to engage with two inspiring speakers who shared their insights about what it takes to make cycling an everyday thing in Khayelitsha.
Sipho Mona, General Manager at Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, reflected on his personal experience with cycling and how Velokhaya is contributing to grooming professional cyclists in Khayelitsha; and Lebogang Mokwena, Cape Town’s Bicycle Mayor, reflected on her Learn2Cycle initiative and shared her mission to teach high school learners at Thembelihle High School in Khayelitsha how to cycle.
Key issues raised at the gathering included lack of awareness and community education on cycling, especially to protect female cyclists who are mocked and ridiculed for having a passion for what is perceived to be a male sport. Lack of safety, opportunities for regular rides, and access to affordable bicycles and cycling gear were also raised as challenges.
The discussion provided a platform for all partners and community members to gain a better understanding of how to support community initiatives aimed at increasing bicycle use and enjoyment.
The World Bicycle Day ended off on a high-note with participants taking bicycle portraits and taking part in a group bike ride around Khayelitsha, showcasing the bicycle infrastructure with the aim to encourage more frequent bicycling as a form of transportation when commuting within Khayelitsha and beyond.
Building on this discussion and the positive outcome of the event, we are eager to support and strengthen partnerships with other cycling initiatives around Cape Town to help promote cycling not only as a sport, but more importantly, as a form of sustainable transport.
View our photo album here.
All photos by Leanne Brady