Bicycle Portraits Part III

i’m sure you remember my post about the Bicycle Portraits project earlier this year. Nic & Stan are currently running a kickstarter fund to raise money in order to publish the third and final part of their project which showcases their two year journey of capturing people and their bicycles across south africa.

Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler are publishing the best 165 portraits and stories of the over 500 portraits of cyclists they’ve photographed during their 2 year journey around South Africa. Divided over 3 books, each will contain a different 55 stories, and also two essays each by local South African and major international cycling figures. The books are designed by Gabrielle Guy and they have also collaborated with celebrated South African artist Gabrielle Raaff to create an individual hand-painted watercolor map, based on Google Maps, to indicate the location of each of the portraits.

the video gave me instant goosebumps (how’s that rendition of stayin’ alive!) and the watercolour maps are such an amazing touch to an already beautiful visual story. please support them by pledging to their kickstarter!

bicycle portraits

i’m not sure why it has taken me this long to talk about the awesome bicycle portraits project by stan engelbrecht and nic grobler. i’ve read about it many times, having been blogged by some of my favourites – lucky pony, fixed gear cape town, skinny laminx. but it wasn’t until i came across andrew boraine’s blog post that i thought more about the message than the aesthetics (a bad habit, my eyes > my brain most of the time.)

also surprising considering my lengthy post about how awesome cycling is and how everyone should be doing it. that’s the exact point of bicycle portraits:

as you’ll see we are not photographing people who ride purely for exercise or recreation, but instead we are focusing on those who use bicycles as an integral tool in their day-to-day existence. we’ve noticed that in south africa, especially in the major centers, very few people use bicycles as mode of transport. this is very strange since we have no proper public transport infrastructure, and that which does exist is expensive and unsafe. given all the benefits of cycling – independence, health, fitness, cost-effectiveness, environmentally friendly – we would love to encourage the use of bicycles in south africa amongst all social classes.

i love every single one of the photos they have taken – i urge you to go over to their site and get lost in them. be sure to read the anecdotes below the photos, they range from the amusing to the poignant.

they’ve made beautiful videos too. this lady from pretoria is my absolute favourite, simply wonderful:

(watching these videos makes my heart beam & my eyes water – in a good way)

here are a few pics that were all taken in my hometown of stellenbosch:

cannot wait to buy the book as soon as it comes out later this year. man, i love this country & its people.

all photos by bicycle portraits