Bikers participate in the mass ride in Jeffrey’s Bay. Picture: COLIN WINDELL
Bikers participate in the mass ride in Jeffrey’s Bay. Picture: COLIN WINDELL

The first public road in the southern hemisphere made from recycled plastic is in the Eastern Cape town of Jeffrey’s Bay and forms part of an evolution mayor Horatio Hendricks believes will be accelerated with events such as the BikeFest held there last weekend.

Bike Fest, which originated in Margate, KwaZulu-Natal, has expanded to five events for 2020 with Jeffrey’s Bay the first stop on a tour that includes Port Edward and Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal, Clarens in the Free State and Langebaan in the Western Cape.

More than 4,000 people came to the event in Jeffrey’s Bay to spend a family-orientated weekend talking motorcycles and listening to live bands performing.

According to Hendricks, the town is open as an events destination and is much more than a sleepy holiday village with only surfing to offer.

“When we advertised our intention to host Bike Fest, there was not one single objection,” says Hendricks, adding the townspeople are fully supportive of all efforts to grow tourism in the region.

The mayor of Coega Municipality, Horatio Hendricks rides pillion behind Dean Gilbert at the head of the Mayroal Mass Ride for CANSA on the final day of BikeFest. Picture: COLIN WINDELL
The mayor of Coega Municipality, Horatio Hendricks rides pillion behind Dean Gilbert at the head of the Mayroal Mass Ride for CANSA on the final day of BikeFest. Picture: COLIN WINDELL

“Jeffrey’s Bay is now more than a summer town. We have watched Bike Fest grow in Margate and are very happy to associate with such a strong brand that can help us grow our own brand. I would like to see Jeffrey’s Bay become the event capital of SA.”

The Eastern Cape has a large number of registered motorcycle clubs and, while memberships of some may be small, they more than make up for it in enthusiasm and there were bikers from Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, George, Mossel Bay, East London, as well as from Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Local resident Dean Gilberts, who rides with Dogs of War, says: “This is a great town in which to live and we are fortunate to have a forward-thinking mayor and council prepared to get involved with events such as BikeFest not only because of the income and jobs, albeit temporary, it generates, but for the long-term good of the community.”

“We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the South African Bike Fest series,” says event organiser Vicky Wentzel — owner of Wozani Africa Events and co-founder of Africa Bike Week and south coast Bike Fest.

“The atmosphere has been incredible with crowds of people streaming in from all over SA. The audience really responded to the programme line-up, which included the best biking products and stunts, endless retail and dining options, as well as some of the country’s most talented musicians.”