Cycle Tour carnage: Wind, fire, protests


Due to strong winds, the Cape Town Cycle Tour was cancelled and many cyclists say that even though the news of the cancellation was disappointing, this was the right thing to do.

Cyclists who took part in the annual event were forced to cut the race short due to the hectic winds in the CBD.

Many supporters and cyclists were left disappointed after the decision was made to cancel the event completely.

Shortly after the event began, videos of the cyclists being blown off their bikes started circulating on social media.

According to the Cape Town Cycle Tour Twitter page, the event organisers had planned to shorten the route  due to protest actions in Masiphumelele but the winds forced them to cancel it entirely.

“The race would have followed a shortened route due to the protest action; the decision to end the event was due to wind.”

A fire broke out in Mandela Park informal settlement late on Saturday evening.

The fire destroyed over 700 shacks, leaving 4 000 people homeless.

One Facebook user ,Geoff Hookins, believes that despite the strong winds being the reason for the cancellation, the CT cycle tour would still have been cancelled due to another reason.

“If it hadn’t have been the wind that shut the cape town cycle tour down today, it would have been this. 5km down the road from where I live is a huge informal settlement named Masiphumelele,” he wrote.

In his post, Hookins said that people are very vocal about things that matter on social media and says that it is easy for them to carry on with their day once they have vented about these matters.

But for the people of Masiphumelele, things have not been this easy.

“But then you get people who have been asking. Their questions become pleas and their pleas become anger and their anger becomes violence. And still no one thinks they need help the most.
So one year they decide that they will destroy a gem of the rich and hopefully then they will be heard. They plan to come out onto the road at 1am the night before the biggest sporting event on the cape town calendar and burn it and fill it with bricks and rocks. When all the tv cameras come to see what stopped the race maybe then they will be heard.So they go for it. They throw everything in. The race may actually stop and the country will have to look for answers. And the residents of Masiphumelele truly believe that they will finally be heard.”

But before anyone could discover this and report on it, the wind stops the event from taking place.

Hookins says that while these people are fighting for attention and desperately seeking help, people are fixated on taking videos of people being blown off their bikes.

“And once again, the residents of Masiphumelele are forced back into their horrible little tin houses.
Dismissed and Unheard. At least until this time next year. Masiphumelele is, after all, a Xhosa word meaning ‘We Will Succeed’,” he said.