Why Jan and Maria got their crocheted bicycles

Two vintage bicycles covered in bright orange wool by Cape Town-based texture designer and yarn bomber Isabeau Joubert are doing the rounds.

From the Series

Isabeau Joubert is a Cape Town-based texture designer and yarn bomber. She has been yarn bombing around the Mother City since 2010, covering various landmarks, lampposts and the like in knitted cosies. Recently she left a gift of two vintage bicycles for Jan and Maria van Riebeeck in the heart of Cape Town.

Here is what she had to say about her latest yarn bomb: 

I decided to crochet two old vintage bicycles with bright orange wool and leave them as a gift to Jan and Maria van Riebeeck. Why, you ask? First, the story: The last couple of months I’ve been doing a combo of cycling / MyCiTi commuting with my fold-up bicycle from Gardens – Darling Street – Woodstock Main – Roodebloem Rd and it has changed my life. This sounds over-dramatic but it’s true. I’ve met people, shared smiles/waves and had conversations along the way that truly inspired me. I felt like I belonged in the city, I was a part of it.

The Reason: These two bicycles represent the positive experience I’ve had and will continue to have in Cape Town on my bicycle. It is my way of saying "thank you" and also to encourage everyone to try at least one trip on a bicycle. There might be times you wonder how you got to your destination in one piece, but it’s nothing that an awesome cup of coffee won’t fix. Hell, you feel alive. It makes me happy to think that Jan and Maria will take their "new" bikes for a trip every evening, around the Castle and up via the Camissa River to the Company's Garden. They wouldn’t be scared; they’re Dutch, after all.

I would also love to encourage more public art – these bicycles are there to be enjoyed by the public. Go out and make the city more interesting for others. Seeing people do a double take, then take pics with their cellphones and even posing with the bikes made my day. The fact that the bikes aren’t padlocked or bolted down yet still survived an entire night and day in a space people perceive to be dodgy, shows me that we could loosen the grip on those preconceived opinions. We need more interaction - it’s good for all of us.