162 PortraitsStan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler have published the best 162 portraits and stories of the over 500 portraits of cyclists they’ve photographed during their two-year journey around South Africa. Divided over three books, each contains 54 stories, and also two essays each by local South African and major international cycling figures, including pieces by Noble prize-winning author JM Coetzee, and the godfather of mountain biking, Gary Fisher.
Hand-Painted MapsThe books are designed by Gabrielle Guy and include hand-painted watercolor maps, based on Google Maps, to indicate the location of each of the portraits, from celebrated South African artist Gabrielle Raaff.
Commuter CultureWhen they started the project, Bicycle Portraits aimed to be a study of South African commuter culture, and Engelbrecht and Grobler wanted to find out who rides bicycles, why they ride bicycles, if and why they love their bicycles, and, of course, why so few South Africans choose bicycles as a transport option.
Portrait of a NationBut Bicycle Portraits has turned into a portrait of a nation through the bicycles that they own and ride every day—revealing all manner of social, class, historical and cultural nuances never imagined.
Wilma Plaatjies & Rico SysterWilma: "My name in Wilma, I'm 12 years old, I live on Jonkersriver and we really enjoy riding the bicycle. We don't have strong tires and we don't have things to pedal on." Rico: "My name is Rico, I'm six years old, me and Wilma are cousins. My mother works in the vineyards. The mountains are beautiful here."
Peter Abrahams"People don't cycle because there is no cycling culture outside the sport of cycling. I don't cycle for fitness, I cycle because I feel this makes more sense. But it is also because I stay in an area which is the city center and it is easy for me to get to places. It is also the thing with cycling, you must not forget about apartheid, like how apartheid has caused people to like live in places outside the city center."
Nkosilathi MpofuHelen St., Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
Molefe & Ntsakani FanoseNamune St., Scrapyard, Centurion, Pretoria, South Africa.
Marco Milford"I cycle to get to town faster. Because we don't have money for things like cars, so bicycles are more affordable and so on. We just cycle from the location to the town to do some shopping and things. Like now I'm heading to the petrol pumps to buy some petrol and with the bicycle it is more comfortable for me to get back home —as opposed to carrying a heavy load. The petrol is for the ocean."
Betinho CuambeAvenida Kwame Nkrumah, Maputo, Mozambique.
Momade Yassin AmbasseAvenida Kwame Nkrumah, Maputo, Mozambique.
Mario WetmanCommissioner St., Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
Kleinbooi KabindeKirschner Road, Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
Ian WillowStanley Road, Millpark, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
Alfas MatonselaJan Van Riebeeck St., Ermelo, South Africa.
Santismo Lastella MapuleJan Van Riebeeck St., Ermelo, South Africa.
Junior StanderLanyon St., Amsterdam, Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Paulo AlmeidaAvenida 25 de Setembro, Maputo, Mozambique.
Isac 'Biopace' CossaAvenida Kwame Nkrumah, Maputo, Mozambique.
Peter John HenekeN2 outside Heidelberg, South Africa.
Catherine BlignautHibernia St., George, South Africa.
Buti MashilwaneUnknown road to Leandra, outside Delmas, South Africa.
Esau NgwenyaEeufees St., Bethal, South Africa.
Advocate Ngwenya & Jim HerpsEeufees St., Bethal, South Africa.
Sean O'TooleMilnerton Market parking lot, Marine Dr., Metro Industrial Township, Cape Town, South Africa.
Eben JonesBicycle lane through Metro Industrial Township, Cape Town, South Africa.
Sarel StrydomBicycle lane through Paarden Island, Cape Town, South Africa.
Ray WilliamsSlipway, end of Harbour Road, Kleinmond, South Africa.
Charl Oettle"It’s far and above the most rational way of riding around Worcester—Worcester is flat. It is a good system on the roads. If there is a busy road you can just go one block up and you miss all of the busyness. The distances are very short, the furthest distance that anybody lives here is about five kilometers, which is eminently suitable for bicycle riding."
Teboho NyamaMotsi St., Chris Hani Park, Phuthaditjhaba, Free State, South Africa.
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