Many cyclists have vowed to protest following the short notice cancellation of the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour due to dangerously high winds and a large wildfire on the route.
When asked why they would take this action, cyclist union leader Cyril Leikra responded:
“We need to show the organisers just how hard we trained for this event. If we’re not allowed to ride today, we will embark on a year long protest of civil disobedience. For us, the next 12 months was to revolve around pub stories of our struggle in the breeze at Fishhoek and the annual tough climb up Suikerbossie.
Now, we will have none of that glory. We’re angry.”
We asked Leikra what form the protest was going to take:
“We will ride on the freeways, we’ll ride two or three abreast on narrow roads – especially on weekends around Kalk Bay – and we will ignore all traffic signals on our route. Red traffic lights be damned. It will be a straightforward move – this is what we have trained for over the last year – our members are ready.”
But Cape Town residents seemed amused by the decision to protest:
“Look, if they were hoping to pull the sympathy vote to get a beer or two after the Tour, they still can. All that training for nothing. It’s genuinely sad. But the protest idea is laughable. No-one will even notice, because that’s all they do all year round anyway.”
However, from a now sweaty chair at the local Vida, a helmeted Leikra was determined to have the final word:
“I remember riding in the infamous Glencairn Hurricane of 2012. People just don’t understand. And the council’s decision to annually increase the gradient of Suikerbossie just shows how hard done by we cyclists are. It’s time we stood up for our rights and reminded people how we are victimised – something that it seems everyone has overlooked since I told them about it all day yesterday.”