No Day 2 Die
Let it be known that before Sunday on the 2nd of September I had never truly been on a bike. Biking has always been something shunned in my family, my parents always included the phrase “serious bodily harm” whenever the word “bike” was used, and my imagination would always get the better of me whenever I had an opportunity to ride. Let’s just say that my experience with ‘No Day 2 Die’ has completely changed my perspective.
With a beautiful Sunday morning and a morning breeze in the air we set off for the Grand Parade in the City Centre. When we arrived there were probably around three-hundred bikes present, but within the hour there must have been in excess of five-hundred bikes and bikers milling around.
The atmosphere was relaxed with a hint of anticipation as we waited for the inevitable mass ride. People spoke about the bikes, as others marvelled at the wonderful pieces of engineering present. Some simply hovered over bikes, gripped by nostalgia as they caught sight of a bike once owned. Other than the Harley bikers distancing themselves from the rest, the sense of community was as real as the tarmac beneath my feet.
By mid-morning the speeches began to flesh out why ‘No Day 2 Die’ is so important. Vicky Cooper, one of the event organisers had lost a dear friend to a motorcycle accident a few weeks ago. She and a group of others decided that enough was enough and organised this event with the hope in mind that not only would there be more awareness among drivers on the road, but that bikers be increasingly self-aware too.
At the end of the day we all have a responsibility on the road to drive safely and keep the well being of others in mind. It is as simple as that. Robin Carlisle the Provincial minister for Transport and Public Works reiterated his kind sentiments for bikers everywhere. He revealed that in South Africa a biker dies every 12 hours and that in this year alone, over 40 bikers have lost their lives to accidents across the Western Cape.
After the speeches had finished, everyone mounted their bikes and prepared themselves for the ride of the weekend. What was very impressive was how efficiently road safety was managed. Roads were closed off just long enough to allow all the bikes through, a feat that the Transport Minister said took only a week to organise.
With the traffic department as our guide, the throng of bikes finished the ride at the Bellville Civic Centre. The positive atmosphere continued, many impressed with how well and safely the event had been organised. Badges and t-shirts were sold to those who participated to help fund the event which seems to have a very bright future.
Speaking to one of the event organisers, she was impressed with birth of this event and hoped that it would continue annually. Looking back on its success, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. It’s very rare to see so many people from different walks of life, of all ages, show up in strength to support something so positive. Here’s to one more person who will THINK BIKE!
I am currently a third year student at UCT and matriculated at Camps bay High School in 2009. My majors at UCT are English and History and for fun I go for regular hikes across the Cape Peninsula and can’t think of many trails or mountains I haven’t navigated within the area. I’ve traveled throughout the Western Cape by car for simple sight seeing and bird watching, including all the way up the West Coast and on a occasion to Graaff Reinet and Port Elizabeth.