Not many people know the origins behind the Argus Cycle tour. Back in 1977 , the Big Ride In was started as a protest  to campaign for cycling paths in and around Cape Town. Every year in Cape Town 35,000 cyclists take to the roads. This year, organisers received 40000 entries. Yesterday was the 33rd Argus cycle tour and yet we still waiting for adequate cycle paths and lanes to make it safer for cyclists to use the roads. World Active Mobility Day is taking place on the 14th May 2011 to re-establish the roots of the 1977  Big Ride in campaign.

In 1977 Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann, who are credited with being the visionaries and moving spirits behind the Cycle Tour, organised the Big Ride-In to draw attention to the need for cycle paths in Cape Town. Stemming out of this the idea of holding a long-distance ride, to be known as the Peninsula Marathon, was born. When the initiators of the original Argus Tour were planning the event in 1977, to campaign for the rights of cyclists, they stages what they called the Big Ride In, from various points to the city, and handed over a memorandum to the city fathers.  The Ride-In, which was held under the auspices of the newly founded Western Province Pedal Power Association (now Pedal Power Association) was a great success and attracted hundreds of cyclists, including the Mayor of Cape Town. The cyclists met on the Grand Parade and rode down Adderley Street to the Foreshore. A year later the first Argus Tour was held.  On the 14th May 2011 the Big Ride will re-establish the roots of the 1977 campaign, long since forgotten by the later and present Argus Tour organizers.

To coincide with this the annual Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race & Expedition’s arrival in Cape Town on 14th May, The City of Cape Town, The Bicycling Empowerment Network (BEN), Tour d’Afrique and NCASA (National Cycling Academy of South Africa), will be embarking on a campaign to encourage locals to use non-motorized transportation for a day. Locals will also be encouraged to join the cyclists of the Tour d’Afrique for their final cycle from Blouberg to the city to celebrate the brand new 16km cycling path that links the two areas.
AWOL Tours is supporting the BIG ride in and is providing bicycles to participants including families with kids to participate in this effort to promote safer cycling in Cape Town.

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