Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 8, 2011.

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After 2 years and 6000km in the saddle the South African 'Bicycle Portraits' project is near completion. Pre-order your copy today...

Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler have spent the last 2 years cycling over 6000 kilometers to collect over 500 portraits of everyday commuters throughout South Africa, and now the Bicycle Portraits project is finally near completion. 

Visit the Bicycle Portraits website to see the project online...

IF YOU PLEDGE $80 AND UP YOU ARE EFFECTIVELY PRE-ORDERING THE SET OF ALL 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS BOOKS!

We're publishing the best 165 portraits and stories over 3 books. Each of the 3 books will contain a different 55 stories, and also two essays each by local South African and major international cycling figures. The books are designed by Gabrielle Guy and we have also collaborated with celebrated South African artist Gabrielle Raaff to create an individual hand-painted watercolor map, based on Google Maps, to indicate the location of each of our portraits.

Shown below is our current book design. We are working with the printers in terms of quantities and materials, trying to reach a reasonable price point. The finishings on the book might differ slightly as we figure this out. But we are consistently aiming for the impossible though - the more pledges we receive the more possible it becomes. We will keep you updated, and of course we promise you a product of the highest possible quality...

The project aimed to be a study of South African commuter culture (something that is nearly non-existent here), but it's turned into a portrait of a nation through the bicycles that they own and ride every day - revealing all manner of social, class, historical and cultural nuances never imagined. 

For constant updates follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit our Vimeo page to watch our movies or embed our clips into your site or blog.

Visit our first two Bicycle Portraits fundraising efforts - Part I and Part II.

For Part III the $250 reward inlcudes a unique 8' x 10' signed BICYCLE PORTRAITS portrait-with-map print. Maps are by artist Gabrielle Raaff.

The $750 reward includes one of 5 unique limited-edition hand-woven Eddy Merckx portraits made by Tumi's Bicycle Club in Lesotho...

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More about the project...

My name is Stan Engelbrecht. Two years ago a friend and fellow bicycle enthusiast, Nic Grobler and I, started a project investigating South African bicycle culture, and the lack of cyclist commuters out there on our roads. We're raising funds to turn this project into a series of 3 self-published full-color hard-cover photographic books (similar to a previous book I've done, 'African Salad' - www.dayonepublications.com). So far we've shot the entire project from our own bicycles while traveling around the country - meeting everyday South Africans while they use their bicycles.

For our project we've been looking at who rides bicycles, why they ride them, and if they love using bicycles as a primary method of transport. Please have a look at our site - www.bicycleportraits.co.za - to get a clearer idea of what we've been working on. We've been updating this site constantly with our latest portraits as we've been shooting them. And we plan to keep shooting new portraits and including them on the site even after the books have been launched.

Why we are doing this...

As you'll see we haven't been photographing people who ride purely for exercise or recreation, but instead we've focussed on those who use bicycles as an integral tool in their day-to-day existence. We've noticed that in South Africa, especially in the major centers, very few people use bicycles as mode of transport. This is very strange since we have no proper public transport infrastructure, and that which does exist is expensive and unsafe. Given all the benefits of cycling - independence, fitness, cost-effectiveness, environmentally friendly - we would love to encourage the use of bicycles in South Africa amongst all social classes.

We've noticed that as our major centers develop there still seems to be a trend to make cities more friendly for cars, not people. While this might be happening in many places around the world the effect on individuals seems to be very dramatic in a country like South Africa, where there is a growing divide between those who can afford motorized transport and those who struggle to. Owning a bicycle in this social climate can be very empowering, if the correct infrastructure exists.

As you might know, South Africa is a world within one country, home to various cultures, with a tragic history of segregation and racism. Through this project we wish to give people a glimpse into each other lives through a well known object of movement, practicality and joy - the bicycle. Looking at individuals through their, sometimes unconscious, involvement in bicycle culture, we have inadvertently touched on many charged issues like the implementation of public space, lack of infrastructure development and also social problems like class division and unequal wealth distribution, but still we hope perhaps to bring those unfamiliar to each other together in their love for a simple thing...

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All of the incredible tracks we've used for our Bicycle Portraits videos are by the AFRICAN NOISE FOUNDATION - find them on My Space or on the KAGABLOG.

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  • Pledge $7 or more
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    9 backers

    A huge THANK YOU from us, and a special mention on our official website for the project. You will also receive updates of future BICYCLE PORTRAITS taken, even after the release of the book.

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    14 backers

    A unique 4' x 6' BICYCLE PORTRAITS print as a personal handwritten postcard, and you will have access to a private link to the entire book online.

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    59 backers

    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.

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    11 backers

    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.

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  • Pledge $80 or more
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    110 backers

    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.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    THE COMPLETE SET OF ALL 3 BICYCLE PORTRAITS BOOKS, plus your name will appear on a special 'Thank you' page in all 3 books. PLUS you will receive a unique 8' x 10' signed BICYCLE PORTRAITS portrait-with-map print.

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    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.

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    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.

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  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    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.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    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.

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- (30 days)