More book returns... Part 1.
Dear Bicycle Portraits fans and followers. I recently had an opportunity to visit some of the areas where Nic and I photographed some of our portraits that made it into the Bicycle Portraits books. Sadly I wasn't on my bicycle this time. I was working on a project that required me to visit Durban and surrounding areas, the Port Elizabeth area, and I had to motorcycle up to the Northern Cape to visit a remote mining area. I used the bit of free time I had to track down the folks that appear in the books in these areas to give them each a copy of the book that they appear in. And of course I took our personal copies along to each of them to sign their pages and write a message for us. Below is a little photographic essay of the Northern Cape part of the trip, and some portraits of some of the characters with their books…
Nic and I are currently on another trip, this time by bicycle, again dropping books, and we are in Prince Albert at the moment. You can follow our trip diaries on Instagram if you'd like - just search for stanengelbrecht and nicgrobler to see what we're up to…
I'm also glad to say that the Bicycle Portraits books are now available internationally, for sending from New York (for North and South America and Canada), Amsterdam (for all of Europe), Sydney (for Australia and New Zealand), and Cape Town (for all of Africa and anywhere else in the world. Just visit bicycleportraits.co.za to order in time for Xmas gifts…
En route to Northern Cape...
First off I had to fly up to George from Cape Town to fetch my motorcycle that had been standing a local agent there for months. I had taken it up there to get serviced and ended up leaving it there while they waited for a part ordered from Germany. And since I only ever use my bicycle to get around I never bothered to go and fetch it. But now I needed it. I got to George and visited our green Bicycle portraits book back-cover star John Jacobs as soon as possible. He'd settled into his new home with his wife and son he described to me when I first met him, and I found him there, relaxing in his lounge. He couldn't believe he was in the book, never mind on the cover.
I jumped on the motorcycled and headed for the Swartberg pass, and over to Prince Albert.
In Prince Albert I first visited the Mokoaqo twins, Louisa and Johanna, where they work in a local eatery / internet café. The Bicycle Portraits books are for sale in the café and since they appear in the books that are like local stars!
Next I saw Jafta Pietersen, who I first met while he was collecting firewood on his bicycle for his wife for their stove at home. In the interim Jafta's old frame had broken and he is now using his wife's bicycle. She is very strict and makes him clean it often, and he's not allowed to load it too heavily!
I did a few more deliveries, including Martin 'Silky' Afrika (who still rides his tall-bike), and to Alfred Lodewyk, who I photographed with his car-bicycle - complete with a roof, doors, radio, fan and anything else you can imagine. Alfred was recovering from an operation in which his leg was amputated. Seeing himself in the book cheered him up somewhat.
I travelled up north to the mine site I had to visit.
It was a long road and along the way I stopped in Griekwastad to visit Aaron April who I photographed for a previous book project I'd done - African Salad. Aaron was very surprised to see me - they had taken out the copy I gave them almost 6 years ago just a few nights before to look through it again...
My first stop after the Sishen mine site was just outside Kakamas, close to Upington. Marius Markus Basson was just returning from work when I gave his his book. Here you can see his holding my book, with the message he wrote to me...
My next stop was Pieter and Lal Snel of Kenhardt. They were bursting with pride when they saw themselves.
Next up was Pofadder. My first stop was Jackson Mithani.
Finding Berend Brandt wasn't so easy. Like many people Berend didn't have a working cellphone number, but he also didn't have an address. He lived "behind the hill, in the kloof, with his goats". I ended up on a dirt track in the veldt about 15 kilometres out of town looking for their home. When I stopped to open a farm gate I noticed a horse-cart up on the hill, stopped, and suspiciously eyeing me.
I waved but they just rode off. Not sure what to do, I looked around for any other sign of life. I noticed a bicycle track in the sand...
It had to be Berend's. I hoped. When I found these bicycle parts lying in the veldt I had a feeling I was on the right track. But the first little house I found was locked and there was no-one there. But in the distance there was another little house, and I saw a few goats around.
As I got closer I noticed this bicycle outside. I could tell it wasn't Berend's, but maybe it was his current bicycle...
Berend and his wife, who was just visiting (she lives in town) was there! They loved the book. I spent an hour or so with them, chatting about the weather, their sheep and goats, and what's it's like living so remotely. It's a hard but beautiful life.
Since carrying all the books on my motorcycle was not possible because of the weight, I mailed books to myself 'poste restante' to towns I knew I would pass through. I had a feeling the books I sent to Port Nolloth on the West Coast might not be there. With my suspicions confirmed I found out that the books were in Upington at the postal distribution depot, and the package would only arrive in Port Nolloth in four or five days. With the help of some local courier connections and about 100 phone calls I managed to arrange for a courier to collect the books on my behalf on the postal depot and bring it to me the next morning where I was trapped in Pofadder...
Part 2 to follow soon.
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Receive 1 of the 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS books! The books are only available for this special price as a pre-order and will be shipped to you before the official launch next year. You will also receive a unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard.Estimated delivery:
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Receive 2 of the 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS books! The books are only available for this special price as a pre-order and will be shipped to you before the official launch next year. You will also receive a unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard.Estimated delivery:
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THE COMPLETE SET OF ALL 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS BOOKS! The books are only available for this special price as a pre-order and will be shipped to you before the official launch next year. You will also receive a unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard.Estimated delivery:
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THE COMPLETE SET OF ALL 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS BOOKS, and you will receive a limited edition hand-woven Eddy Merckx bicycle rim portraits, made by Tumi's Bicycle Club in Lesotho. See an example downwards on the left. Your name will also appear on a special 'Thank you' page in all 3 books. You will also receive a unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard.Estimated delivery:
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Join us on a 4 day BICYCLE PORTRAITS cycle trip from Cape Town to shoot a few portraits and to personally meet some individuals featured in the books as we deliver their copies of the books to them. Get yourself to Cape Town and we will take care of the rest. You will also receive THE COMPLETE SET OF ALL 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS BOOKS.Estimated delivery:
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A complete set of the 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS books as a limited edition signed by the authors and inscribed to you personally. A large professionally printed archival photographic print of your choice of one of the images from the book. Your name will also appear on a special 'Acknowledgements' page in all 3 books. You will also receive a unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard.Estimated delivery:
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A very special LIMITED EDITION SET of the 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS books, signed by all the individuals who appear in the books (each on their own page), the production team and of course the authors (who will inscribe it with a personal message to you). Your name will be set apart on the special 'Dedication' page in the front of the book. And you will receive a large professionally printed archival photographic print of your choice of one of the images from the book. You will also receive a unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard.Estimated delivery:
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