Bicycles. Connecting Cities. Honoring Madiba.
“The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.”
(Nelson Mandela, Robben Island, 1979)
Freedom Ride is a social (non competitive) cycling event that is open to everyone – from those learning to ride to pro cyclists, both young and old.
The aim of the ride is to connect our cities and honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela – empowering the transformation of our cities into livable, people friendly places in which all citizens have easy access to bicycles and are able to cycle freely and safely.
While the Freedom Ride is free, riders are asked to make a donation towards bicycle empowerment in the city. The funds which are raised are used to establish Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BECs). These BECs are setup in low income areas and consist of bicycle mechanics and trainers, second hand bicycles at affordable prices, and fully functional bicycle workshops. The centres are also used to empower the community through road safety and bicycle training, as well as cycling clubs. In developing these BECs, the Freedom Ride and the City of Johannesburg have partnered with Qhubeka to distribute bicycles in the areas in which the BECs are situated.
To date the Freedom Ride has taken place four times in Johannesburg and once in the City of Cape Town. The Freedom Ride committee has setup its first BEC in Orlando (Soweto) where the City along with Qhubeka have distributed over 600 bicycles to learners.