A good bicycle is essential. A good, PRETTY bicycle is even better. A good, PRETTY, custom, chic, hand-crafted, unique, supporting-charity-and-artists-and-community bicycle is the best. Allow me to present Ubuntu Bikes, a company and community of artists based in Cape Town, South Africa, who love bicycles and people and making these people happy with the prettiest bicycles ever!
Firstly, ‘ubuntu’- what does it mean? In South Africa it is used all the time and it’s beautiful. It’s a Xhosa (studied the language for a year in university, yay) word and literally it means ‘humanity’ but seeing as it’s a little more complicated than that, let’s let Nelson Mandela define it a little more-
“A traveler through a country would stop at a village and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?”
Thus, I think the name of this company is very well suited, don’t you? Seeing as 20% of what you pay goes to the Ubuntu Trust, and well bicycles being good for the environment and what not- that does your bit for the community and the world, and you’re also supporting a bunch of artists and bicycle people by buying one. You get a totally unique design that will showcase the artist’s work wherever your pedals take you, and so you see, it’s all about community spirit and supporting one another, and personally I think that is very cool. I want an Ubuntu bike.
You can take a look at their bikes on the site here and either order now, or make your own design by contacting the artist and working alongside them to make your unique, pretty bicycle dream come true, yay!
I am in LOVE with this one…
(The Bo-Kaap is a crazy, cool, colourful part of Cape Town, although it has a very sad history as it was a slave township. The colourful houses are the only freedom of expression and individuality that the people living there were permitted.)
Free as a Bird Bike
(A bike with birds painted on, um, yes please!!)
You can also buy accessories on their site, such as this perfect little basket…
Unfortunately, the Free as a Bird bicycle has been sold, but luckily for meeee (I wish!) the Bo Kaap Bike is still available. I’m quite sure they also deliver overseas, so if you fancy treating yourself to a beautiful bicycle, head on over here and check out their epic designs.
All of the above photos were found on their site.