#GetTheBikeBack campaign works
On Thursday, 23 April 2015, South Africans awoke to a trend on Twitter "#GetTheBikeBack".
The hashtag related to a Japanese long distance cyclist, Daigo Narita, who's bicycle had been stolen overnight in Ceres.
Narita began his solo travel in 2012 when he cycled from Alaska, aiming to cycle all the way to the Cape of Good Hope.
The story came to everyone's attention after South African adventurer and fellow long distance cyclist, Riaan Manser, tweeted the following:
My Japanese friend was robbed of everything yday in Ceres. Who can help him? Share please. pic.twitter.com/npEYyXCAkZ— Riaan Manser (@riaanmanser) April 23, 2015
Within minutes, the hashtag #GetTheBikeBack started doing the rounds on Twitter, and within 6 hours, the bike had been found.
Riaan Manser, described as an eternal optimist and someone who truly believes in the South African spirit, never gave up hope, and teamed up with the Ceres police, as well as a local Ceres bicycle store to ensure that the bike was found. That, hand-in-hand with the support and encouragement of social media, meant that Manser's optimism was not in vain.
The story of the bicycle being found was broken on the Pippa Hudson Show on CapeTalk - and is proof that South Africans united for a great cause can bring results.
Whilst the bicycle was found disassembled, a member of the cycling community in Ceres offered to stay up all night and put it back together again, so that Narita may continue along his journey and make his way to Cape Town, before he heads back to Japan.
Speaking of the bike being found, Manser said that it was a great effort all around, from the police, to the media, to the community. He said his friend, Narita, was overjoyed, saying "Thank you. You've changed an entire journey for him"
Listen to the two audio clips below for more detail. Below that (audio clip number three) Riaan Manser tells us about his friend Diago Narita's visit to Cape Town next week.