Stephanie Baker, Pretorius St., Arcadia, Pretoria, South Africa, 2010/04/14 17:10
I’m limited to about a kilometer in view of my age, and I use it, well, certainly every other day… about a kilometer uphill in Pretorius street. I keep on the pavements, they’re in a terrible state with chunks missing, but cycling is awfully good for public relations. I know the area’s cleaners at the flats on my way to church - I get a greeting from them. The security men at the forensics place always wave, and going along to you sort of get to know people, often you see someone really looking quite gloomy and you sort of give a smile and say don’t worry and get a smile back. I think it’s wonderful for public relations! I really do. I enjoy it, I’m happy on the bike. I don’t find this area hostile, I really don’t. Some people living here get a bit frightened and well, I don’t think you can go about looking over your shoulder and expecting trouble. I’ve only had one incident years ago where my bag was snatched, out of the basket, it was a gift actually when I look back and think, but that was the only time. That was retrieved fortunately. No, I’m not going to go around being frightened of things. Most people have good will. Some people here are very scared, even to walk down to the shops. They sometimes ask me if I’m alright. If I didn’t have the bicycle, well I’m not very good at walking, I’d be more or less in retirement. At least I can get around and see the beauty of the place too. This bike suits me, it’s quite old now and I’m 82 and three quarters. I’m not sure If I’d manage with the new bike having all the gears. You know I’m from England, I often think when people see you, and you hear ‘haauw’, that it is only mad dogs and English women that ride a bicycle, ha ha. People know the bike around here now.