MOTORCYCLE enthusiasts, riders, families and friends across South Africa and beyond made their way to the Esplanade this past weekend to be part of the massive 10th Aannual Africa Bike Week in Quigney. , East London.
Africa Bike Week organiser Carl Frayne said this year’s event was bigger and better than the last previous one held in East London.
“This is our second time that we are hosting the event in Buffalo City as and we rotate it from area to area. Harley Davidson is a powerful brand and we have worked with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality [BCMM] to bring people into the city,” said Frayne. We have had people coming down to enjoy the hospitality and people coming down to enjoy an event like this,” said Frayne.
The grand finale took place on On Sunday, the spectacle came to a grand finale as bikers paraded through the city Metro on their highlyfine-tuned bikes, enjoying a mass ride from the Esplanade to Gonubie and back to the beachfront Beach Front for the closing ceremony with families and friends chanting and singing while looking watching at their heroes.
Frayne said the event had about 10000 online registrations this year.
“We had approximately about 20000 people coming from across South Africa, as well as from as far away as Polland and the US. America Tand two couples even came from Japan to be part of the bike week. This has been the best presentation of Africa Bike Week in the 10 years it has been running in terms of quality and lifestyle,” he said.
Markets, food stalls and vendors packed the event with their goods and services.
Local street vendor Monwabisi Mfazwe, who sells his crafts in front of the Beachfront, moved his stall to the front on the Osner Hotel to attract customers who came to attend the event.
“We spoke to the Councillor for permission to sell here today. We are grateful for these events as they are a great opportunity for us to sell as well,” said Mfazwe
Frayne, who is also a motorcyclist fanatic, said a motorcycle can give you a sense of freedom.
“I have been a motorcyclist all my life. A motorcycle can give you some sense of freedom – some me-time, if I can put it like that, where you get away from everything – and the event was really all about freedom and bringing different cultures and people together,” he said.
BCMM spokesmanperson, Samkelo Ngwenya, said the Africa Bike Week was a major boost for the city.
He said the metro will be hosting the event again next year.
“This marked the second time that bikers from all over the continent descended on the city’s shores to entertain spectators by showcasing bikers’ talents. There is a standing three-year agreement between the city and the Harley Davidson Bikers Africa Bike Week which started last year. 2017 until 2019
“This therefore confirms that BCMM will be hosting the event again next year,” in 2019,” he said.
Ngwenya said the event was a big boost for the economy of the city.
“More than 20000 people flocked into the city to witness this great motorcycle event and hotels and B&Bs were full from as early as Wednesday. Fans came with their families and friends. The metro’s economic spin-offs received a major boost thanks to the magnitude of this great event,” he said.
The massive event was filled with great live entertainment, exhibitions, a Ride-In-Bike Show, a mass ride and much more.
Stacey Moore, of East London was the happiest as she walked away with a brand new 2018 Harley-Davidson Street 750 bike on Saturday when her name was selected at the lucky draw.
“My husband and I are involved in the biking community and we registered online for the Africa Bike Week and we were put through to the draw. I am excited and it is still surreal, “ she said.
Frayne said Moore’s motorcycle will arrive on Friday.