Pretoria, South Africa
Stephanie Baker is one of the most peaceful, open and captivating ladies I've ever met. She somehow manages to grace the streets of what many see as a 'dangerous' neighborhood with a touch of vogue.
"I think it’s wonderful for public relations! I really do. I enjoy it, I'm happy on the bike. I don't find this area hostile, I really don't. Some people living here get a bit frightened and well, I don't think you can go about looking over your shoulder and expecting trouble. I've only had one incident years ago where my bag was snatched, out of the basket, but that was the only time. That was retrieved fortunately. No, I'm not going to go around being frightened of things. Most people have good will. Some people here are very scared, even to walk down to the shops. They sometimes ask me if I'm alright. If I didn't have the bicycle, well I'm not very good at walking, I'd be more or less in retirement. At least I can get around and see the beauty of the place too. This bike suits me, it’s quite old now and I'm 82 and three quarters. I'm not sure If I'd manage with the new bike having all the gears. You know I'm from England, I often think when people see you, and you hear 'haauw', that it is only mad dogs and English women that ride a bicycle, ha ha. People know the bike around here now."
It was a privilege meeting Stephanie, spending some time with her and taking her portrait. I'm all the more convinced that seeing our neighborhoods, meeting our neighbors and passing by strangers from the seat of our bicycles somehow has a powerful positive social effect on us, and whoever we meet along the way.
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