Cycle for human rights with the Jozi Freedom Ride

Jozi Cycle Ride 01According to organisers, the Freedom Ride  – held in both Joburg and Cape Town – aims to “connect our cities and honour 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”. (Image: Freedom Ride)

Staff writer

On Sunday 22 March on the morning after Human Rights Day, the people of Joburg are invited to join the Jozi Freedom Ride, a 28-kilometre cycle through city suburbs once separated by apartheid, from Sandton via Rosebank, Houghton and Parktown, ending in Alexandra.

The final event of Cycle Jozi Week, which started on 16 March, the Freedom Ride celebrates the power of the bicycle to connect communities. The ride is fun, social, non-competitive and open to everyone – beginners and pros, young and old.

The 28-kilometre route starts at the Sandton Gautrain station, heading south down Rivonia Road past the Wanderers and through Rosebank before circling around Zoo Lake and the Joburg Zoo. It then goes back north via the Old Edwardians Club, along Pretoria Street and Corlett Drive to Alexandra township, ending at the beautiful Mushroom Farm Park just outside Alex.

Jozi Freedom Ride mapThe route of the Jozi Freedom Ride. Click image for a larger view.

Cycle Jozi Week’s packed schedule started on Monday 16 March with community cycling safety training in Fourways, where helmets and reflective jackets were handed out to cyclists from the impoverished Diepsloot community. The event ended with a cycle from Fourways to Diepsloot.

On Tuesday the focus shifted to Orlando High School in Soweto with a ride encouraging pupils to use the suburb’s new cycle lanes.

Today and tomorrow the University of Johannesburg hosts a training workshop for engineers and planners working in cycling infrastructure design and construction. International and local experts will discuss the technical planning, design and engineering required for a bike-friendly city.

Today university staff and students are being urged to join a lunch-time ride along recently constructed bicycle lanes in Braamfontein. The route runs from the UJ Bunting Road campus on the corner of Annet Road to the Wits University main entrance at on Yale Road.

On 20 March a national cycling cities workshop will explore ways to scale up cycling in cities, examine international best practice and investigate the potential of a National Cycle Cities Framework. #Decongest will also launch Cycle Fridays at Mandela Square in Sandton in preparation for the Freedom Ride. Sandton residents and workers are encouraged to cycle to work and join the Cycle Friday ride from 12.30pm.

The Jozi Cycle Week aims to promote cycling to ease reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions from cars, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Cyclists can register on the Freedom Ride website or on the FreedomRideJozi Facebook page.

Jozi Cycle Ride 02Cyclists gather on the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Joburg for the start of the Freedom Ride in July 2014. (Image: Freedom Ride)

The Jozi Freedom Ride

When: Sunday, 22 March 2015

Start: 07:00, Sandton Gautrain Station on Rivonia Road

Parking: Probably best to park at Sandton City. There is no free parking.

Water points:
• 8th Street Alexandra opposite the Post Office
• Waverley Park
• Standard Bank, corner of Oxford Road

Bus pick-up points:
• Waverly Park
• Zoo Lake
• Sasol in Rosebank

If you don’t have a bike and want to hire one, click here.

If you would like to donate, click here.

For more information, contact:
• Nkosinathi Nkabinde: nkosinathin@joburg.org.za 083 408 7787
• Hugh Fraser: HughF@paragon.co.za 083 309 4275
• Muhammed Suleman: muhammed@8linkd.com 073 198 6927