Mapaseka Vryman, shares her #SuperCommuter story, about how one person’s actions, a bicycle and some red heels can connect and inspire the people around them to change their lives. The circle of influence is truly bigger than what we imagine.
I remember. 18 months ago. I bought a bicycle. The next week. I went to Critical Mass Johannesburg. Alone. My lungs burned up Jan Smuts. A stranger’s hand pushed me up. I struggled up Constitution hill. The same stranger. Re-appeared from the dark. With his wife. They pushed me up the hill. I knew. I love critical mass.
I remember seeing her at Critical Mass. Lerato. She was tall, feminine and beautiful on her bike. She was cycling alone. I said hello. She too had just bought her bicycle. Been friends since then. Lerato entered races. With one purpose. To raise money for charity.
I am a cyclist I said. I was told: “No you are not, not until you have cycled to work”. I cycled from Pretoria East to Pretoria CBD. 18 kms one way. Now I am a cyclist.
Thereafter I told Lerato: “I commute to work on my bike”. She smiled. Loved it. Lerato decided she would commute in 2014. But she would NOT do it in Lycra as I did. She would dress the way she always does. Lerato cycled 7 kms in Fourways, Johannesburg to work.
The motorists gave her a 1.5m gap. We decided it is the effect of the black silk dress, red heels and red lipstick.
I followed Lerato and cycled to work in white pants and red heels.
Lerato received a message on Facebook from Nomalady Sidzatane in Port Elizabeth. A single Mom with a very humble life. Nomalady sent a photo of herself to thank Lerato. When she saw Facebook photos of Lerato cycling, she was inspired to save up for a bike and full cycling gear.
Nomalady now commutes everywhere!
The circle of influence is bigger than what we imagine.