Building on the great initiatives that already promote cycling in Cape Town, we would like to use this opportunity to collectively reimagine conversations on cycling. We want to move beyond talking about infrastructure and “traditional” cycling communities to a broader conversation around how we grow cycling. More specifically, we ask— who is left out of cycling and why? Can we build a more resilient and inclusive cycling community in Cape Town by focusing on traditionally excluded populations? What is necessary to make cycling a part of everyday life? And; How does a better understanding of vulnerable user groups make us think differently about how streets are made and designed?
Our guest speakers are Njogu Morgan and Lebogang Mokwena (bios below). The presenters will share a macro-scale analysis of bicycle use in different contexts and experiences in Cape Town of teaching people to use bicycles. Together, we will explore the socio-political histories of apartheid that continue to shape people’s access to all modes of transport, including the bicycle. Collectively, we will envision how cycling might help us to emerge from those legacies and create new, inclusive ways for us to engage with the city and its streets.
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The inaugural Cape Town Bicycle Mayor-in-waiting (watch this space!), Lebogang Mokwena is an enthusiastic commuter cyclist and has been teaching Capetonians, mainly women, how to ride bicycles since 2017. Between 2015 and 2017, she was a volunteer for Bike New York on their adult bicycling learning programme, which was inspired by her experience of learning how to ride a bicycle through this same initiative in 2014. Her cycling work and advocacy centres around making commuter cycling accessible and inclusive, with a special focus on getting more Black, Coloured, and Indian women on bicycles for both recreational and utility cycling. When she is not riding, talking and dreaming about, or meditating on inclusive cycling futures, Lebogang dedicates her remaining brain cells to a PhD completion mission in Sociology.
Dr Njogu Morgan
Njogu Morgan is currently a post-doctoral researcher based at the South Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning through the support of the Life in the City project at the Wits School of Governance. His current research investigates how cycling experiences and spaces interact to influence the adoption of utility cycling in Johannesburg. Recently completed and in progress publications address formation and decay of cycling cultures in cities in South Africa and the US. His PhD thesis examined how contexts shape the embedding of everyday cycling from a historical comparative perspective. Njogu is also a volunteer with the Johannesburg Urban Cyclists Association.
Photo by Pedal Power Association