They call it "feel-good cycle chic". It's a social enterprise called Ubuntu (a Xhosa word meaning humanity), based in Cape Town, enabling local artists from different communities to customise bikes by hand.
What makes it different is that it offers the bike as a canvas for art. Founder Jamie Litt wanted to take African art to an international audience in a new way, "to the cycle chic of the world and people who treat bicycles as their fashion identity. It's not about performance or sport, but looking and feeling good," he says. Eight Cape Town-based artists, illustrators and graphic designers work together to create these handcrafted, handpainted touring bikes, town bikes and "beach cruisers". The colourful Bo Kaap bicycle, for example, was inspired by one of the oldest slave townships in the city whose colours were the only expression of individuality permitted to its occupants. See ubuntubikes.com.