Time to get on your bicycle

Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular way of seeing local Joburg sites and sights.  Lebo of  Sowetobicycle tours has for many years offered cycling tours.  There are various options on offer starting from a 2 hour tour which includes a visit to a worker’s hostel, the Hector Pieterson Museum as well as the route of the student march, the Mandela Museum and a local shebeen.  The 4 hour tour includes additional sites and for the more energetic there is a full day tour.  You can either meet at 10823A Pooe Street Orlando West (thank heavens for GPS/Garmins/Tom Toms) or  they will collect you from where you are staying (if it’s a relatively central location). Contact  lebo@sowetobackpackers.com or 011 936 3444 or cell phone number 084 851 8681

More recently the worldwide citizen initiative of  ‘taking to the streets’ in the form of Critical Mass has taken off.  As they say on their Facebook page: “Critical Mass is not about taking back the city. That’s Nike’s line. The city already belongs to everyone.”   The first ride was in September 2007 and consisted of about 20 people who met in Newtown went through the CBD and ended in Braamfontein. Now there are over 2,500 riders who meet on the last Friday of the month. Haven’t managed to do a ride but 2013 I will!  The more enthusiastic and fitter meet in Dunkeld and ride into Braamfontein.  For the less fit, you can meet in Braamfontein at 19h15 cnr De Beer and Juta Sts.  You’re advised to take food and drinks as the shops en-route can’t cope with the demand. A great atmosphere and fun evening by all accounts.  For more see http://www.jhblive.com/kultcha/features/critical_white/124609

And then there is Alex. Traditionally this tiny township on the edge of Sandton has had a reputation of being overcrowded, squalid and dangerous. However 2 young energetic local entrepreneurs have started overturning these perceptions by taking bicycle tours through this under-resourced part of Joburg.  In 2010 when Jeffrey Muluadzi  was playing hockey, his coach asked Jeffrey to show him around Alex. There were 2 bikes  in Jeffrey’s home and so off they went. Small things led to bigger things and  having enjoyed it so much, when the coach had visitors during the 2010 World Cup, he asked Jeffrey to take them all on a tour of Alex.  From 2 bikes Jeffrey has gradually built up to 22. Now he works with Antony Mmatli (23) – Jeffrey is only 20 -  and they are passionate about bringing people to experience a little bit of  life in Alex.  A 2 hour tour costs R300 and a 4 hour tour costs R400. To arrange a tour :   www.alexandratours.co.za Email mulaudzi.tours@gmail.com or phone Antony Mmatli 071 546 8927

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