Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

The Secrets of DR Congos Cycling Revolution | Africa’s Cycling Revolution


(AFRICA CYCLING REVOLUTION) (GOMA –
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO) There are five of us in
my family. I am the father of four
children – one daughter and three sons. We live here. Their mother died 11
months ago. When I first told my parents
about cycling… ..they thought it was a joke. They didn’t take it seriously,
but I started cycling anyway. Daniel started cycling
without telling me. Whatever God decides for him, I will be happy. Daniel, go well and be strong. OK, bye! I would love to represent Congo in the Olympic Games. Today’s training is in two
parts – first relaxation. and then everybody flat-out,
as usual. Everyone in top gear. Watch out for the tshukudus.
Watch out for the cars. Watch out for the motorbikes. I could say that I’m the father
of cycling in this province. Cycling started in the Congo
through the Belgian colonisers. For them it was a noble sport, but cycling was only
for white people. Seeing young people training,
I started training with them and at the end of the process,
we created a club. It’s not cycling for cycling. If we can have champions,
that’s very good. If we can’t have them,
then the others, be able to do
other things for their personal and their community
development. The tshukudu is a heritage
from the Nyiragongo territory, where the volcano is. In Goma, we can remember
the time of the 2002 eruption. The residents of Goma know how
to live alongside the volcano. That’s how it is. In the past, what was even more interesting
were the tshukudu races. It’s a troubled province. All the wars in this country
are present here in Goma North Kivu. We are permanently at war. People suffer here terribly. We live with uncertainty. We are at danger
because of insecurity, not only because of weapons, but also when our riders
are on the roads in Goma. In North Kivu,
cycling is a new discipline which has been growing
for the last three years. The culture of cycling is not
yet in people’s lives here, because we don’t have sponsors. We don’t have supporters,
we don’t have champions. We don’t have everything
we need to train our cyclists. So they will ride sometimes
to cross the border to Rwanda, where they can have everything. Attention, attention! In Rwanda, they have
a lot of hills and slopes, so that’s good for me, because I want to be
an uphill cyclist. It helps me a lot. I liked Daniel the moment I met him. I think this centre
is a really good school. When it comes to training,
he does that really well. If he keeps doing so well, he could become a professional. The first Congolese product
of this centre is Daniel. I brought him to the centre. I want to make him
a great rider. We wondered how a young man
coming from nowhere, from the back of beyond, could join and train
with other East Africans. And we started to take
an interest in him. Congo is now supporting cycling
and people love it. Sometimes they even
organise competitions. When it comes to organising
a race here, it’s challenging. You have people crossing the
road everywhere, cars everywhere, police trying
to do what they can do. You are not sure that,
at the end of the race, you’ll have everyone alive. Our mission is to win
this race, but against the Rwandans,
I have my doubts. I’m here in Goma
to supervise today’s race, which is the Grand Prix
against climate change. My dream is that one day I will be invited
to one of the great tours, like the Tour de France,
the Vuelta de España or the Giro d’Italia. and to become a champion like
Nairo Quintana or Chris Froome. It’s the second edition of the Tour for Peace and
the Environment. It’s to show the world
that we exist and that cycling is
practised here. Cycling has become
a universal sport and soon it will be bigger
than football. I was ninth. We made it to the finish line. It was hard, but we made it. I will continue training
and getting stronger in Rwanda. There are two winners.

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