As the country celebrated 56 years of self-rule on June 1, Suleiman Kangangi, Charles Kagimu, Caleb Omwoyo, Ndung’u wa Keya, Jeff Kiplagat and 22 other young cyclists gathered on the slopes of the Aberdare Ranges to explore the area on two wheels.
The group of young lads from Iten are determined to throw a new sport in the list of Kenya’s all-conquering disciplines. Cycling. And they have the ambitious dream of making it to the Tour de France someday. And even harbour dreams of taking part in the Olympic Games.
The 27 cyclists rode through 75 kilometres of the punishing, hilly course up and down the mountain before calling it a day.
Along the way they had to weave in and out of traffic, competing with motorcycles, cars, buses, lorries and carts, many of which left in their wake thick fogs of black smoke.
“The roads in Kenya are not cycle-friendly, so we really have to concentrate. The speed bumps and potholes are dangerous and on top of that, there are no cycling lanes.
In other countries cycling is very big. But in Kenya we don’t have a cycling culture. So the sport is not very developed. Other African countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia are more active and although there are several challenges standing in our way, I know we shall get there