Fisantekraal Bike Club update

“It has been one year since the Fisantekraal Bike Club was born out of an empty shipping container behind the rural community’s High School, 10 km from the Northern Cape Town suburb of Durbanville. Naturally there have been obstacles, challenges, joys and accomplishments along the way and it is in the reflecting – in looking back at where we started – that we can truly see how far we’ve come. It overwhelms me with gratitude to remember all those who have supported the project along the way. For this, I wish to express, on behalf of everyone here on the ground, our immense thanks to our supporters, donors and cheerleaders – to YOU! Thanks for being part of our journey in 2014 and we hope you will continue to follow the Fisantekraal Bike Club as it grows and evolves in 2015.

Since school recommenced in January this year, we’ve been busy like bees. Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to:

Cycle of Giving – In partnership with Bellville Track Cycling, we tuned up nearly 20 children’s bicycles donated by our local community at the Bellville Velodrome in January. Bicycles are currently being assigned to youth aged 3-12 who have been nominated by Bike Club members (brothers, sisters and neighbors) and will be distributed by our high school youth over the next 6 weeks.

Open Streets on Bree Street – A dozen of our club members took part in the Open Streets (car free) celebration on Bree Street this January, riding bicycles our friends at Rondies Bikes from Observatory to the CBD. Our youth participated in a bicycle scavenger hunt with The Riding Hood, tested out the Blenda-Venda pedal powered smoothie machine and took a ride on the electric bicycles with Pedego!

Bike Fix – This January, our youth members joined Bicycle Cape Town in the southern suburb of Woodstock to learn with the fabulous mechanics at Woodstock Cycleworks!

Cape Town Cycle Tour – 23 of our members competed in the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2015, 47km (shortened) road cycling race, in Cape Town! This is a massive event where nearly 35 000 cyclists race through the stunning scenery (and challenging terrain!) of the Cape Town Peninsula. 20 of our youth completed the course including 2 from our girls’ group, with 10 in total finishing in under two hours!

Cape Argus MTB Challenge – This year we received a couple of substitution entries for mountain bike version of the Cycle Tour and 2 of our enthusiastic members stepped up to the challenge! Mzwanele competed in the 22 km course on the Saturday and Atang in the full 55 km course on the Sunday. We were so proud when our members returned from the races and shared their results: Mzwanele completed in 1h05m and Atang in 4h20m!

Upcoming

As we go forward in 2015, we will be concentrating on excelling within these main objectives of Bike Club:

1) Coordinating community improvement and upliftment projects together (garbage clean up and recycling education, children’s bicycling and safety workshops at the primary school, an the earn-a-bike program at the high school etc.)

2) Supporting all of our members to improve and learn in various aspects of cycling, including mechanics and riding skills, as well as expose our team to local opportunities involving bicycles (business, painting, events, etc). Furthermore, we wish to support specific members to excel in areas where they show great commitment, enthusiasm and aptitude in a specific style of cycling (track, mountain, road, etc).

3) Coordinating a cycling team and facilitating group rides and participation in local cycling events.

4) Maintaining a workshop facility whereby Fisantekraal Bike Club members can use tools and guidance from leaders and other members to maintain and repair their bicycles.

Watch out for these exciting events!

1) April 18: Bike Wash at Philadelphia MTB competition – 5 of our members will be assisting Brunox Lubricants at this exciting mountain bike event and earning cash for the Fisantekraal Bike Club.

2) May 28: Corporate Social Responsibility project – 6 of our enthusiastic mechanics will assist nearly 200 staff from a Cape Town company to assemble 50 Avalanche bicycles at as part of a CSR event being hosted in Langa. The Fisantekraal Bike Club is honoured to have been invited to participate in the event and to be the recipients of the assembled bicycles!

To all of our ‘cheerleaders’, local and international: We have come so far and will continue to grow and thrive because of your support. On behalf of myself and our youth members, thank you SO much for being a part of Fisantekraal Bike Club’s very first year! Let’s make 2015 an even better year – ride on!

Brenna Coupland
Project Coordinator
Fisantekraal Bike Club”

Fisantekraal Bike Club update