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Cycling Through the Buffer Zone: Working-Class Cyclists on Rudolf Greyling Street, Bloemfontein

Cycling Through the Buffer Zone: Working-Class Cyclists on Rudolf Greyling Street, Bloemfontein This paper presents an ethnographic exploration of working-class commuter cyclists on Rudolf Greyling (RG) Street in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa. The historical significance of this street/road is that it traversed a ‘buffer zone’. In apartheid town planning, buffer zones were areas that, in the absence of physical or man-made boundaries, separated mono-racial areas designated as such under the Group Areas Act (Davies 1981). Today, these old buffer zones continue to map the distances that working people, living in low-income residential locations, cover to reach economic opportunities. For 3 weeks in the month of September 2018, we spent our mornings and evenings, walking, observing, and speaking, to the cyclists who rode along RG Street. Engaging with the stories cyclists of RG Street shared with us, we discuss how physical and metaphorical buffer zones of the past shape the experiences and concerns of working-class cyclists in the present. As much as the use of a bicycle to commute helped save money, riding along the roads decidedly not designed for cyclists exposed conditions of adversity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Urban Forum Springer Journals

Cycling Through the Buffer Zone: Working-Class Cyclists on Rudolf Greyling Street, Bloemfontein

Urban Forum , Volume OnlineFirst – Nov 8, 2022

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2022. Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.
ISSN
1015-3802
eISSN
1874-6330
DOI
10.1007/s12132-022-09475-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper presents an ethnographic exploration of working-class commuter cyclists on Rudolf Greyling (RG) Street in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa. The historical significance of this street/road is that it traversed a ‘buffer zone’. In apartheid town planning, buffer zones were areas that, in the absence of physical or man-made boundaries, separated mono-racial areas designated as such under the Group Areas Act (Davies 1981). Today, these old buffer zones continue to map the distances that working people, living in low-income residential locations, cover to reach economic opportunities. For 3 weeks in the month of September 2018, we spent our mornings and evenings, walking, observing, and speaking, to the cyclists who rode along RG Street. Engaging with the stories cyclists of RG Street shared with us, we discuss how physical and metaphorical buffer zones of the past shape the experiences and concerns of working-class cyclists in the present. As much as the use of a bicycle to commute helped save money, riding along the roads decidedly not designed for cyclists exposed conditions of adversity.

Journal

Urban ForumSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 8, 2022

Keywords: Cyclists; Working-class; Buffer zones; Bloemfontein; South Africa

References