The latest ‘Friends with Purpose’ doccie series installment by Klipdrift, South Africa’s favourite brandy, tells the story of a powerful friendship between three friends that has grown from a shared love of cycling into a movement. The story of Biking Bandits is about a trio of friends with a love of pimped-out fixie bikes, who started the ‘Homies Night Rides’ around Soweto last year. Drawn together by a love of cycling – and born from the loneliness of Covid – friends Titi Mashele, Tsatsi Rantsatsi and Tebogo Galagala started a cycling group to reconnect with their community
To commemorate International Friendships Day on 30 July 2022, Klipdrift and the Biking Bandits hosted a special ‘Homies Friendship Ride’ in Soweto, where friends from Joburg and Soweto were encouraged to gather, grab a bike and join the Bandits to share in friendship gold. Just under 100 guests registered and were part of this momentous celebration. The ride started off at Native Bar & Restaurant in Jabavu, passing through some of Soweto’s iconic landmarks including a quick stop at the popular Thesis Lifestyle store, and finally ended off with a meal and sundowners at Native Rebel Bar.
“After discovering the Biking Bandits’ very real friendship and passion for cycling we wanted to give more people a chance to experience it. The ‘Homies Friendship Ride’ was a great way to build this community and get as many people on bikes as possible,” says Klipdrift marketing manager Fred Leclezio.
And gather they did, with new and frequent cyclists from Jozi and Soweto coming together for a cruise around the hood, the streets of Soweto were alive with the Biking Bandit spirit as men and women – not just those dressed in spandex – expressed themselves and their style and enjoyed the freedom of cycling with a community.
“You can’t bottle and sell the joy that you get from cycling, you have to actually do it. You have to experience it and the ‘Homies Friendship Ride’ in partnership with Klipdrift, not only helped us to achieve what we already do out of love but, it was one of the biggest event’s we have ever hosted and we are so proud of everyone who joined, as well as the members of our community who cheered on the cyclists as we passed through the streets in numbers,” says Biking Bandit founder Titi Mashele.
The Biking Bandits have managed to grow their passion for peddling into a business, with bike customising and repair shops in Maboneng and Bryanston, as well as city tours and bike rentals around Jozi. Part of the build-up to the Homies Night Ride was a digital campaign where Klipdrift would make a donation to the Biking Bandits for every 10 likes on social. The brand was thrilled to be able to donate R100 000 to the Biking Bandits to help grow their businesses and cycling community.
“It is very thrilling to see new members of our community joining us with a bicycle we have built,” says the man behind the Bandits’ technical skills and customisations, former car mechanic, Tebogo Galagala. As the Biking Bandits continue to grow their business and spread the sheer joy of cycling, Klipdrift encourages friends to support the Bandits by joining their community rides in Soweto and Joburg and supporting their bike rental and repair businesses. You can see their full story on Klipdrift’s YouTube channel and follow @KlipdriftBrandy and @bikingbandits for more.
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