Cape Town – More than 300 riders turned out on Sunday for the second annual Cape Town Ubuntu Motorcycle Breakfast Run, a celebration of diversity and a tangible call for unity among bikers, no matter what their background or what they ride.
For it is a simple truth that when they’re wearing helmet and riding gear, there is no way to tell the gender, ethnicity or social standing of a rider – he or she is just a biker. And that is about a democratic as it gets.
As with most genuine grassroots movements, there was no one person or biker group claiming responsibility for the Ubuntu Run, but it attracted widespread support among mainstream bikers, including the Motorcycle Association of the Western Cape, The Christian Motorcyclists Association – whose padre George Lehman was there to give the blessing and take part in the run – the professional riders of the City of Cape Town’s Emergency Medical Services on their Suzuki V-Stroms, and an impressive number of patch clubs.
Kawasaki dealer Mad Mac’s stepped in to sponsor a metal badge for every rider on the run, but it was the sheer diversity of the riders and their machines that emphasised their support for the philosophy behind the run.
Just a group of riders
There were riders from all over Southern Africa, and as far afield as Uganda. Motorcycles of every size and shape – from big cruisers to sharp sports-bikes, from mid-1970s muscle-bikes to brand-new commuters, from big scooters to an enduro racing machine – filled the parking area of the False Bay One-Stop, with greetings in pure Bishopscourt English, Cape Flats Afrikaans and Khayelitsha isiXhosa slang flying around (often from, and between, the same riders!).
But the real strength of the Ubuntu Run, one of several held throughout Southern Africa on Sunday, only became apparent when the ride set off down the N2, Baden-Powell Drive, the M5 and the N1 to the end venue at the Goodwood Cricket Club.
There was no showboating, no jostling for position and no loud revving – just a group of riders out for a Sunday morning cruise, to show South Africa, and the world, that a common passion can bring together people of all backgrounds and social groupings and that really, under the helmets and leathers, we are all the same.