Cycling: Free-wheeling to the top of the trends list

As trends go, cycling is right up there at the top. This year, entries for the Argus Cycle Race - capped at 40 000 - filled up in a record-breaking five days. The Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg received its highest number of entries in 2013 at 31 000, up from 28 000 in 2012. Cycling is also receiving increasing corporate sponsorship and is leading the way towards civil activism. Tracker (the vehicle tracking company) will open its first ‘Ride Free’ cycle parks in Modderfontein and Avianto, Muldersdrift. It also plans to open parks in Durban and Cape Town
towards the end of the year. These parks will provide 80 km of off-road cycling in a safe environment. PwC has also joined the corporate sponsorship race by opening the first PwC Cycle Park, offering a range of mountain bike trails to cater for varying levels of cyclists. Journalist Hanna Barry says on the MoneyWeb website where she proposes that cycling is the new golf: “The world’s biggest mountain biking stage race, the Nedbank Sani2c has grown exponentially since the first event in 2005, when 600 riders took part. Entries for the 2008 race sold out in three hours and to date, there are a total of 4 200 riders (2100 teams) taking part in three different events. According to the race organisers, the event hosts approximately R150 million worth of mountain bikes.” In terms of civil activism, cycling has offered its fair share of events. Critical Mass was formed in Johannesburg to bring more people back into the city and to raise awareness about the viability of bicycles as a form of transport in and around Jo’burg. Thousands of cyclists hit the streets every last Friday of the month to show their support.
In Cape Town the Moonlight Mass Night Cycle takes place – yes, you’ve guessed it - during full moon. The regular full moon bike ride also aims to raise awareness for cycling as a viable transportation alternative. The next event is scheduled for Saturday, 12 July. Any trend opens up the doors for massive design input, and the same goes for cycling. Design opportunities abound – be in the design of bikes, the clothing and accessories needed for a chic ride, the layout and design of cycling parks ... the possibilities are endless. And if someone can come up with better remedies for that wobbly sea-leg feeling you get after a long cycle, millions are to be made!