15 February 2014
When did you first start cycling regularly, and why?
I started over 18 months ago, sometime in October 2012. I have always wanted to free myself from being dependant on motorized transport especially the cost of petrol and car ownership.
How do your family/friends feel about you cycling
My wife is very supportive. She even offered to start a commuting blog for me.
Do you feel cycling is dangerous? Why or why not?
No. It is only dangerous when a truck passes too close. Taking less risks reduces the danger. I added an extra 5km on my route to avoid busy sections.
How do you feel about cycling? Why?
Cycling is my life. I waited 24 years to get myself a bicycle. The one my father bought me wasn’t properly assembled and I only rode it for 6 months and stopped since I couldn’t afford a puncture kit and new tyres. Now I ride every day and everywhere. It feels like I`m flying to work… Especially when I`m passing cars stuck in traffic on Marlboro Drive.
How do you interact with other traffic on the road?
I smile at the kids sitting in the back and I refrain from pulling Zap signs at bad drivers. I did it once and the driver gave me thumbs up. That calmed me down quick.
What is the thing you like least about commuting by bicycle, and what is it you like best about it?
My route home has a category 4 climb on a very quiet narrow road. I fear one day I might be a target for an opportunistic criminal; that’s assuming they can run over 20km/h up a 4% gradient incline for 1km.
The best thing about commuting: I`m not paying anything for this trip to work and back. I also sold my wife’s car and gave her my car.
Do you feel that being a cyclist has changed your life? If so, how?
Definitely! After commuting for these 18 months, I decided to take my riding to the next level by commuting to Limpopo to join my family at my parent’s in-law’s house.
Started at Bronkhorstspruit and ended up in Lebowakgomo just 60km from my destination. It is possible to ride 220 odd km in 2 days and not have a single incident with cars. I am stronger because of cycling.
Does your employer encourage cycling? If so, how?
The company doesn’t encourage cycling or going green on a serious note but the staff members are very accommodating. I have had many people pledge to give me a lift if I ever need one. The company also has two solar powered showers in the men and women`s bathrooms.
Do you think your city can become a bicycle friendly city? How?
I think the people driving in the city can become more cyclist friendly. They are already very accommodating. Some of them smile when they see me. I only spend about 6km of my 15km route on busy roads. On all the occasions that I encounter taxis, it has been pleasant. Sometimes they even give me a sharp sharp. What we really need is a transport system that allows us to travel with our bicycles without having to disassemble them. This will allow people who live 30 – 60km from work to also commute a portion of the route by bike.