CycloPlus Dealer Tour
#WeVisit Frankia Fietse, Vredenburg
Frankia Fietse started life in a double garage 22 years ago, back in August of 1996. Within two months, brisk business allowed Oom Frans van Wyk and Tannie Sooebrand to open a dedicated shop. By 2000, the shop had found its current location just off Vredenburg's hoofstraat.
If you were wondering about the name Frankia ... it was created by the van Wyks who joined their son and daughter’s names, Frans and Ankia.
The framed picture of Frans above is accompanied by a loving message of support written to him by his ouers, in which they say how proud they are of him for his cycling career at high school, as well as saying unreservedly that they, and Frankia Fietse, will support him in pursuing his cycling dreams.
Oom Frans elaborated on the message, saying that, in 1996 (the year young Frans matriculated) he and his wife decided to open Frankia Fietse as a means to earn the money required to send Frans overseas to race in Belgium with the dream of signing a professional contract.
There is unfortunately no fairytale ending to the story as various complications meant that Frans never made it Europe. Today, he is happily teaching at a school in nearby Saldanda Bay.
If we weren't discussing cycling in Belgium, we were talking about hotrods! Oom Frans' eyes light up when showing us pictures of his straatrot, a 1934 Chrysler that he has immaculately restored. Occasionally he fits a bike rack and travels to motor shows with his long travel mountain bike!
'Bolted' onto the bicycle shop is a cable business - Frankia Kabels - which shares a common workshop. In it, Oom Frans and his right-hand man, Solomon - a mother tongue Sotho who is now fluent in Afrikaans - tinker away every day completing a variety of tasks. The workshop jobs are seldom the same and can range from fixing a truck's clutch to sanding down a rusty disc rotor.
"He can fix anything"
~ Oom Frans applauding his mechanic Solomon
29ers have made it to Vredenburg ... and Frankia Fietse sells pre-slimed tubes like hot cakes.
Frankia Fietse, South Africa salutes you!
Photography by Desmond Louw