NEXT FREEDOM RIDE: Postponed until 2017
Updates will follow
Press Release: Post Ride 17 April 2016
Perfect cycling weather allied with lessons learnt from previous Rides allowed for a very successful fifth edition of this increasingly popular City activity, with partners City of Johannesburg and Hollard.
About 5000 riders set out at 07:30 from Nelson Mandela Bridge, after an address by MMC for Transport in the City of Johannesburg, Christine Walters who reminded everyone that “the ride is in memory of our beloved Madiba, and his vision of social cohesion.” Lisa Seftel, Executive Director: said that “The ride does not only connect communities in the City but it also brings together the old and the young, the professional, recreational, commuter and first time cyclists onto bicycles and riding on the streets of our city”.
“These Freedom Rides combined with the increasing number of dedicated cycle lanes and the Bike Distribution Programme of the City sets Joburg well on its way to be a cycle friendly City,” said Hugh Fraser, co-ordinator of the Freedom Ride.
The ride is free of charge but donations raised through the Freedom Ride are used to set up Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BEC) in low income areas across Johannesburg. The funds from this Freedom Ride will go to BECs in Soweto and Alexandra. These BECs consist of bicycle mechanics and trainers, second-hand bicycles at affordable prices, and fully functional bicycle workshops. The centres are used to empower the community through road safety and bicycle training, as well as cycling clubs.
Said Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing Officer of Hollard. “To see thousands of beautiful smiles as the most diverse group of cyclists experienced their city in a special way, was incredibly rewarding for all of us who are involved in this event.”
The route returned to the original Soweto circuit via Brixton, Newclare and back through Mayfair and the City. Making use of the new bike lanes, the Ride showcased the potential of the new infrastructure and its possibilities for commuter and recreational cycling.
A widely diverse crowd got a unique opportunity to explore parts of the city they haven’t been to before. The Ride offers an opportunity for regular Joburgers to ride the city without the pressure of a race. The response was overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful for the support received from JMPD and other volunteers to make this the most organised and smooth Ride yet.
The Freedom Ride is excited to explore other parts of the city to include in routes later this year and into the future. There are some fantastic images and footage on the Facebook page,www.facebook.com/freedomridejozi.
Report back from 11 October 2015
Johannesburg, Sunday 11 October 2015.
The Freedom Ride’s 4th Edition has been successfully completed. We believe it has been the most successful Freedom Ride yet. About 4000 cyclists rode 27 km around the city, in celebration of the memory of Nelson Mandela and the experience of enjoying a ride free around our city.
In spite of the current hot weather, the conditions were perfect as the riders set out just before 07:30. The Ride was started by Mayor Parks Tau and the ride included MEC for Transport Ismael Vadi. As organisers we are delighted at the wide range of cyclists who participated, especially the youngsters from Soweto, some of whom had blinged their bikes. The Ride is intended to promote cycling across the spectrum and it would appear to have appealed to a wide range of people.
Johannesburg is more hilly than one would think and when you ride a bike you will feel the hills you don’t notice in a car. Nevertheless, the hills around the Zoo, Hollard and Grayston were all taken in their stride as every conceivable type of bike and character interacted with support from the pavement.
The leafy suburbs of the north gave way to a rousing welcome in Hillbrow. Bet there were a few people who didn’t think they would be riding through Hillbrow on a Sunday morning.
After Yeoville the pack headed back north speedily down Louis Botha and the support from JMPD and marshals was great. Three Water points added relief to the rising temperature.
A fast descent over the M1 and a quick uphill to Sandton completed the circle. Five minor injury incidents were reported, but courageously were patched up and continued. No other incidents have been reported.
We would like the spirit and experience of the Ride to be continued into the the bike trains and routes that are being developed around the city. Meet new people and love your city.
We would like to thank the City of Johannesburg, Hollard and all the volunteers for their help in making this such a great experience.SEE THE FEEDBACK YOU GAVE for October 2015 HERE