[blockquote_s=Nelson Mandela, Robben Island, 1979]The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.


The Freedom Ride is a social cycle ride to celebrate the spirit and legacy of Nelson Mandela, taking place on 9th February 2014. Designed to link the communities of Johannesburg and Soweto, it will start and end at the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the inner city and passes sites of historical significance, including Newclare Cemetery - where Walter and Albertina Sisulu are buried, the Bill Jardine Stadium, the Orlando Stadium, and the Mandela home on Vilakazi Street in Orlando West.

At the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Soweto the ride will pause to give riders the opportunity to leave commemorative ribbons with a personal message honouring Nelson Mandela.

The ride also aims to raise awareness about cycle safety and bicycles as a form of transport and recreation.

All cyclists, from beginners to serious racegoers, families, social groups and cycling clubs are encouraged to participate. Also participating in the ride will be the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Mpho Parks Tau and a number of mayors from around the world who would have attended the C40 Climate Change Conference in the week preceding the ride.

It is a social ride, not a race, and at points on the route the front riders will stop and wait for everyone to catch up.

The ride will follow some of the designated cycle routes that the City of Johannesburg is developing to enable the safe use of bicycles as public transport. Road closures will be in effect throughout the route.

Participants will gather at 07:30 on February 9th and after a short opening ceremony, the ride will start at 8:00. Participants are urged to park in Braamfontein and make their way over the Queen Elizabeth Bridge to join the start of the race on the Nelson Mandela Bridge.

The City is asking participants on the Freedom Ride to assist in raising funds to set up a Bicycle Empowerment Centre in Soweto. The Bicycling Empowerment Network distributes bicycles to low income areas, trains recipients of the bikes in safety and maintenance, helps set up SMEs that maintain and service bicycles known as Bicycle Empowerment Centre's and encourages cities to implement bicycle planning and infrastructure.

The funds raised through the Freedom Ride will enable the City to set up a Bicycle Empowerment Centre in Orlando, Soweto.