Freedom Ride to honour Madiba

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pretoria – Johannesburg Mayor, Parks Tau, on Thursday launched the second Freedom Ride, which will take place in the city on 20 July.

“This is a cycle ride to celebrate the life of our greatest international icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and Johannesburg,” said the Mayor on Thursday.

He said the Freedom Ride would start from the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge and ride through the streets of the Orlando, Soweto. It passed Newclare Cemetery where Walter Sisulu is buried, the historic Orlando Stadium, then along Vilakazi St then the Hector Pieterson memorial.

The ride is approximately 35km.
The first Freedom Ride on 9 February earlier this year attracted over 5 000 cyclists from all walks of life.

“We stage this event in order to promote a cycling friendly city, in partnership with various cycling organisations,” he said.

The launch of the cycle race comes as South Africa commemorates Mandela Month.

Every year on 18 July, Madiba’s birthday, the country honours the international icon by pledging 67 minutes of their time to give back to communities. This month will be the first Mandela Day since the passing away of Madiba in December last year.

Mayor Tau said the second edition of the Freedom Ride will be extended to as many citizens as possible to celebrate the freedom that the former President achieved in South Africa.

“The ride is taking place just after Mandela Day, and we call on riders who have not yet found a way to contribute 67 minutes for Mandela Day, to consider a donation of R67 or even R670 towards the next Bike Empowerment Centre,” he said.

A Bicycle Empowerment Centre (BEN) is to be built in Soweto to provide training and support to cyclists, especially learners.

Mayor Tau said cycling had many benefits, including reducing traffic, reducing CO2 emissions, and improving health and fitness.

“The Freedom Ride is part of our vision for a healthier, more connected, efficient city,” he said. –

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