Friday, September 25, 2009


He lives in the city but chooses to cycle the obscure semi-desert roads of the Karoo. Vincent catches the train to Laingsburg, unloads his bicycle and sets off for Ladismith through Seweweekspoort. This was where I met him last Sunday. On a previous trip he had befriended my hosts, Geoff and Jette. So he phoned them and arranged to come for lunch. He duly arrived, having covered the 60 kilometres from town since sunrise. I met a retired airways manager, who lives in Observatory, Cape Town. He went to France in the '70's as a conscientious objector to military service, where he lived until Nelson Mandela became President. He has cycled all over Europe, and now chooses to explore South Africa from a bicycle saddle. He has no car, speaks with warmth of his French-speaking Congolese neighbourhood in Cape Town, and volunteers as a receptionist at FAMSA (a community counselling service). Vincent makes friends as he rides, and has a wealth of stories to tell...'with eyes that watch the world and can't forget.'


digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

Wow! What a cool person!



Steve Hayes said...

Sounds like an interesting person to meet.

We used to have bicycles, but you couldn't ride them more than half a block before they got punctures, so we didn't use them much. Then they were stolen, and we never replaced them, because now you can only get mountain bikes, and plains bikes are not available.