Finally, I have found a home for my cherished MTB. Assembled by the bicycle master-craftsman himself, Rasmus Gjesing, Cykelmageren, 11 years ago, the bicycle with it´s Garibaldi red frame, a reference to my beloved Nottingham Forest, has been a constant companion until a tumble into the harbor some years ago. It´s mechanical parts were beginning to complain like the rheumatism in my knees.
Baisikeli, popped up on my radar, some days ago and after a visit one gorgeous January day with a sky so blue, I discovered the ideal home for my bike. Baisikeli, which means “bicycle” in Swahili, is the brain-child of Henrik Mortensen and Niels Bonefield and since 2003 they have contributed to developing Mozambique´s bicycle culture. Copenhagen, has a staggering bicycle count of over 600.000, with many of them simply discarded, left filling valuable parking spaces around the city. However, Henrik´s and Niels´ ingenious idea of collecting and shipping used bikes to Mozambique to be repaired by trained bike mechanics and then sold cheaply, providing it´s citizens with a valuable source of transport. This original initiative, helps to expand the cycling community in Mozambique and to solve a growing challenge in Copenhagen.
Baisikeli funds its initiatives with sales of new and second-hand bicycles, rentals to commercial enterprises in Copenhagen, a growing influx of tourists and exchange students, who have found their way to Ingerslevsgade 80. The vibrant workshop and showroom, is also a popular meeting place, with its adjoining café, where locals and tourists can meet and exchange news about the latest bike routes. Baisikeli´s location is quite central, close to the Meatpacking district, another good reason to rent your bike here. The thought of my MTB, clad in Garibaldi red, bobbing up and down on some dusty lane in East Africa, brings a smile to my face. Support this worthwhile social innovation if you are contemplating replacing your bicycle.