Every year at our main annual event, the Pedals For Peace team provide a community service to burners who need a bike. The basis of the bike project is that anyone is able to buy a bike from them, with each bike owner having the option to donate the bike back to Pedals For Peace, who have a community distribution programme that sees bikes donated to communities in need for whom mobility and long distances are a challenge in rural areas.
The bikes in question are named ‘Qubheka’, which is isiXhosa means ‘to go forward’, and have been developed to be very robust with a simple design that can handle the rugged terrain that many rural communities have to travel over. For many kids in the Tankwa Karoo and beyond, the bikes they’ve received have made a huge difference in terms of travelling to and from school – for some, this used to mean waking very early every day order to walk upwards up 10km to school.
In the 2019 round, David Bellairs and his team, with the assistance of the Bicycle Empowerment Network, Ceres Business Initiative, Western Cape Education Department, Daytrippers and a large beverage distribution company, were able to distribute 217 Qubheka bikes that were used in Tankwa Town by participants.
For every bike handed over to a deserving recipient, a range of necessary accessories are also provided – and these include a helmet, pump, lock, puncture repair kit, tyre levers, spare tube, spanner, allan key set, two water bottles and a T-shirt. The handover ceremony took place in Ceres this week, with a great turnout from communities in Ceres and surrounds.
This is the list of recipients of sturdy bikes that once roamed Tankwa Town:
In addition, bikes were also distributed to Ceres Tourism for its guides to use, to 10 farm workers identified as needing help with transport and mobility and also to a newspaper deliveryman whose bike had recently been stolen.
Our team thanks David Bellairs and the Pedals For Peace team for their work in assisting communities in need – well done!