These young people from Langa are making their legs work for them and their community.
The youth belong to the Langa Bicycle Hub which fixes bicycles for the community and delivers food and medicine to the elderly.
This month they’ve introduced a new project, called Bike2Work, where they escort residents to work, all riding bikes.
One of the founders Mzikhona Mgedle, 26, says: “We saw a need to introduce an alternative mode of transport for the people of Langa.”
He says there is safety in numbers and how the project works, is a group of people cycle together on a set route at a set time every morning.
At a certain point, everyone goes their separate ways.
He says since there are no trains during lockdown, travelling to work has become expensive.
“Ever since trains stopped operating, people spend more time in traffic to and from work.
“And travelling by taxis means people have to spend more money than they usually do.
“Bicycles are cheap to maintain and they will keep people fit,” he says.
Mzikhona says they decided to start the project to show people they can use bicycles to commute to and from work.
He says like everything else, this project also has its fair share of challenges.
“Our immediate challenge is safety, having enough resources to get the Hub going, shifting the perception of the bicycle being seen as something poor people use, but rather a good alternative,” he says.
Siphele Zibi, 24, a student at CPUT, says since she was a little girl, she always loved cycling.
“Joining the Bike2Work project, women will get the feel of riding and feel safe at the same time because they will be part of a group,” she says.
A Langa resident who joined the group says it’s a wonderful idea and more people should join.
Thulani Nxumalo, who works on the premises of Red Cross Hospital, is used to cycling to work, but says riding in a group is comforting.
He is the project officer of an organisation called Child Safe.
“When cycling alone, you feel the distance. I also feel safe now that I’m in a group.
“The City should look into dedicated cycling lanes on major roads as well.”
Mzikhona says anyone who is interested in joining Bike2Work can call him on 071 970 2475.