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Cycling for a cleaner city

On 9 March 2011, in News, Transport, by Andrew Bennett
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In the lead up to the annual Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race & Expedition’s arrival in Cape Town on 14th May, The City of Cape Town, The Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN), Tour d’Afrique and NCASA (National Cycling Academy of South Africa), will be embarking on a campaign to encourage locals to use non-motorized transportation for a day.

Cyclists on the Tour d’Afrique will end their four-month journey from Cairo to Cape Town at the Green Point Stadium’s ecoPark. The City of Cape Town will welcome the transcontinental cyclists and invite locals to use various forms of non-motorized transport such as bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades on the day. Various fun activities promoting environmentally friendly alternatives to the car will be arranged all over the magnificent green lawns of the ecoPark, situated next to the Green Point stadium, which hosted many of the 2010 FIFA World Cup games. Live entertainment, dignitaries from around the world, and celebrities will form part of the festivities The organisers hope to grow this concept into a larger ‘Active Mobility Event’ which will see non-motorized activities and events planned for entire weekends.

Locals will also be encouraged to join the cyclists of the Tour d’Afrique for their final cycle from Blouberg to the city to celebrate the brand new 16km cycling path that links the two areas.

The Tour d’Afrique, BEN, and NCASA support World Carfree Day’s philosophy that it is good to get people out of their cars for a day but that it will great if they can stay out of their cars. The above organisations, together with the City of Cape Town, are dedicated to find more environmentally friendly and practical solutions to their traffic problems. With more than 400 000 cars streaming into the City of Cape Town, each day, the situation is becoming untenable.  The City of Cape Town has recently created cycling paths and an IRT (Integrated Rapid Transport) system which will hopefully go a long way to alleviating the problem provided that Capetonians can be persuaded to switch their cars for bicycles and public transport.

BEN has over many years lobbied for the creation of safe cycling paths and has been working actively with the Non-Motorized Transport department of the city in its implementation.

Tour d’Afrique, a socially responsible bicycle expedition company, has for many years been spreading the message about the need for a rational approach to sustainable transportation.  Company Founder, Henry Gold, points out that if ordinary people can cycle across an entire continent, all the way from Cairo to Cape Town, surely people can make the effort to use their bikes, instead of their cars, when moving in and around their towns and cities.

 

About Tour d’Afrique

Tour d’Afrique Ltd, (http://www.tourdafrique.com/) is named for its 2003 flagship cycling tour that annually traverses the African continent from Cairo to Cape Town (12,000 km in four months). Directly and indirectly Tour d’Afrique benefits third world countries by organizing and staging transcontinental bicycle tours and races lasting 10 days to four months, today traversing all or part of five continents and over 30 countries.

In addition to the Tour d’Afrique from Cairo to Cape Town, the company will offer eight other epic cycling tours in 2011: The North American Epic from San Francisco to St. John’s, Newfoundland, The Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul, Spotlight on Turkey from Ankara to Istanbul, Vuelta Sudamericana from Buenos Aires to Lima, Samba Tango Adventure from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, the Indian Adventure from Agra to Kanyakumari, and two tours that spotlight Namibia – The Rugged North and The Scenic South.

Tour d’Afrique’s mission is to create cycling events that appeal to amateurs and professionals alike. Participants range from ages 18 to 80 and the common thread is a spirit of high adventure and a desire for truly transformational travel experiences.

The company’s new DreamTour (http://www.tourdafrique.com/dreamtours) web 2.0 concept encourages individuals to submit their own trip of a lifetime that will then be open and crowd-sourced to other riders who may want to join in.

The Tour d’Afrique Foundation (http://www.tourdafrique.com/foundation) promotes giving back to the communities touched by the tours and raises consciousness about the many benefits of bicycles as a means of sustainable transportation.

For tour dates, prices and more information visit: http://www.tourdafrique.com/, call +1-416-364-8255 or email the team at info@tourdafrique.com.

 

About the Bicycling Empowerment Network

The Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN) is based in Cape Town and promotes the use of bicycles in order to address low-cost mobility, health and access to opportunity, employment, skills and education. In collaboration with both national and international development/ donor agencies, the project facilitates the transportation of bicycles from Europe, the UK, China, Australia and the United States to South Africa, the establishment of bicycle workshop projects (Bicycle Empowerment Centre’s – BEC’s) and the introduction of bicycle user paths and networks. To ensure the success of the project, BEN has established partnerships with the Netherlands based Interface for Cycling Expertise (I-CE) and the Shova Kalula (Pedal Easy) project of the South African National Department of Transport (NDoT), and the cities of Cape Town, Tshwane and Johannesburg. BEN is a national program based in Cape Town which works closely with partners from around Africa and through the African Bicycle Network, to learn from partners and share best practice.

The main mission of BEN is one of poverty alleviation through the promotion of environmentally sustainable transport via the bicycle so as to enhance low-cost, non-motorised, transport and improve health through linking exercise and mobility and reducing dependence on private motor vehicles. Specifically, the project will promote integrated transport solutions with other motorised and non-motorised options.

BEN also import bikes and establishes Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BEC’s), Lobby for safe bike path networks and trains in schools.

 

About the National Cycling Academy of SA

NCASA’s mission is to advance, promote and develop safe and fair cycling, whilst out riding or training, as well as in events, and to promote general cycling participation, through educating the young.

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