Bikers engaging with Langa community members.
Bikers engaging with Langa community members.

Langa Bicycle Hub seeks to inspire people to take on two wheels

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Apr 27, 2021

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Cape Town - In an effort to inspire the use of bicycles as a mode of transport, Langa Bicycle Hub launched its awareness campaign at the weekend. Joined by taxi drivers, biking organisations and teams from different communities, the bike fanatics cycled and shared ideas to grow cycling in Langa.

Langa Bicycle Hub founder Mzikhona Mgedle said bicycles were easy to use and bring many benefits at the individual and community level, in terms of health and the environment.

“We want to see them integrated as a form of transport. At the weekend, we engaged with drivers and managers at the local taxi rank, to discuss how we can better share the road and ensure safety for everyone.

“In the long term, we hope to see bicycle lanes in Langa and ways to promote their use for economic activities, such as deliveries and informal trade. We currently offer cycling lessons, especially for women and children, bicycle repairs and deliveries – where we deliver food to bedridden individuals – and for safety patrols,” he said.

Mgedle said they hoped to build strong relations with many motorists, especially taxi drivers who they shared the road with. He said their end goal was to raise more awareness about commuter cycling, where people used bikes for long distances, to work.

“We also shared information on how we can advocate for cycling and create awareness and safety while driving, and have bicycles as mode of transport, and how the government can be involved in various ways, like creating cycling lanes.

“Bicycles are already occupying the space with or without the law, kids are putting themselves at risk, riding bicycles that are not roadworthy, navigating the roads without knowledge or information.

“It's a matter of acting, where the law needs to take part. This will enable the government to provide more cycling lanes and building roads that not only accommodate cars,” he said.

Siwe Ntombela, from South African Cities Network, said: “Too often, we hear negative stories about cities in our country and have gotten used to it. The reality is that many people are working hard to build the community where they live. This is why we are supporting the work of the Langa Bicycle Hub.

“At the weekend, we were inspired to see that they are working with others to promote not just bicycles, but ways in which people can share space, increase safety and build synergies for positive change in Langa”.

Public space advocate and Open Streets Cape Town co-founder Marcela Guerrero Casas said it was clear that bringing people together was essential in making initiatives like the Langa Bicycle Hub a success.

“I am inspired by the team who are making this ’home for bicycles’ in Langa, but also by all the individuals and organisations who are contributing in different ways,” she said.

Cape Argus

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