MASERU – Five local cycling clubs have received backing from top United States (US) cycling institution, Mike’s Bike Foundation. The US Foundation, assists cycling groupings around the world in the development and equitable bicycle infrastructure and support in developing countries where cycling can improve peoples’ general quality of life.
They provide financing and mentoring to start up such establishments in an effort to strengthen and broaden the bicycle industry in such nations. According to the Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) public relations officer, Malefane Morie, the foundation has donated over 30 bicycles to the local cycling fraternity.
The bicycles, comprising bicycle motorcross (BMX) and mountain bikes, were on Saturday handed over to five local clubs selected by the local cycling mother-body – and were for young riders from ranging from 10 years downwards. Morie said this is not the first time Mike’s Bike contributes to the development of cycling in the country.
“The bicycles were handed over on Saturday to the following five clubs, NRCC, MoAfrika Life Cycle, Mzindo Cycling, Sports Life Cycle and Club de Mazenod,” Morie told Public Eye. “This was the fourth time Mike’s Bike Foundation donated bicycles to the local cycling.”
Morie said the support from Nike’s Bike was initiated by local BMX cycling club, Maoto-a-Mabeli LTD, and handed over to local business, Max Bike Shop to hand them over to recipient clubs on the advice and supervision of the FCL. “Clubs that have benefited from this donation are those that have renewed membership with the FCL for the current cycling season, we have selected among those,” Morie said.
The FCL publicist admitted there a massive challenges that the Federation has leap over at the moment, as posed by the COVID-19 pandemic; he said these hard paralysed activity and the development of the sport in the country. “We currently have 10 clubs who have renewed membership out of 23 and this is as a result of the coronavirus,” he said. However, Morie said a total 15 clubs are up and running despite the current situation, five of which are yet to renew membership to the FCL.
Sporting activities remain suspended in the country due to prevalent COVID-19 infection and resultant national lockdown, but Morie said the federation continued to encourage clubs managers and coaches to ensure that their cyclists are train individually while observing COVID-19 measures. “We are not resting at all. We are encouraging club managers and coaches to make sure that the cyclists are continuing to train, especially because ours is not a contact sport,” he said.
Morie revealed that the federation was also considering holding virtual races at any time in order to keep the spirit of competition in cycling running. Mike’s Bikes believes that the bicycle is the most efficient mode of transport in the world, and that the bicycle if the most ecologically and fiscally sustainable vehicle ever created.
Based on this belief they have undertaken projects that are helping to put bicycles directly in hands of people in developing Africa, they have shipped over 26 000 bikes to communities across African since 2008. They operate in, at least, eight countries including Botswana where they donated 24 bicycles in 2015, with an additional 30 given in September 2018