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The Taxi Bike Riders of Thousand Hills | Africa’s Cycling Revolution

The Taxi Bike Riders of Thousand Hills | Africa’s Cycling Revolution

RWANDA) I have heard that there
is a girl in Rwamagana rides a bicycle
as fast as the wind. This girl goes so fast that
no boyfriend can follow her. She has fight in her, she rides for a purpose. She has the capacity to change so many lives
in Africa. I was praying to God… ..because she was born
with my father’s looks, I named her Jeanne D’Arc. (JEANNE D’ARC GIRUBUNTU,
RWANDA) My training starts at 9am. We stop at 12… ..and have lunch at 12.30. After lunch we take
some time to relax. I definitely remember when
she first came here. She is shorter than me and she has a 5cm higher
seat than I do. She’s all femur. Her test did very well, I was actually very impressed
with her test. I was not looking at
finding a woman cyclist with as strong qualities
as she has. When she was five years old… she started riding a bike,
falling off, she didn’t give up. At the age of 12,
she started carrying people, sometimes a bag of stones. (PATRICE MUKURUNYANA
– JEANNE D’ARC’S MOTHER) Later she started
carrying children. I tried to forbid that
but she wouldn’t obey me. The first time I won
a race my mum was happy. She told me that it
was in our genetics because we have a runner
in our family. She is an incredible
time triallist, she got second in
the Continental Championships this year alone,
only after two years of racing. She has the potential
to be on a world tour team, and with that she will be one of the first
black African riders that will excel
RWANDA) Hey, Jeanne D’Arc, on
Saturday you have a race, I wish you good luck, I dream of being
as great a rider as you. You can, there are no limits. Good luck! You are one of us, Jeanne
D’Arc, we are supporting you! (BUTARE, SOUTHERN PROVINCE,
RWANDA) I want to be a famous girl. (TERESA UWAYEZU,
AMATEUR CYCLIST) I want to be stronger,
to help other people. It was just a dream
to ride a bike. Do you know about Jeanne D’Arc? We met in a competition
in Nyamirambo (Kigali). She was faster than all of us, we finished 30
minutes after her. Culture of cycling for women is
simply women don’t ride bikes. She’s so much higher than the
level of women cyclists here in Rwanda that we try
to bring in people that she can compete with. It gives her an idea
of where she can be. Our goal, our vision
is to field the first all-black African
professional women’s team. This is just the start,
you don’t see women cyclists other than South Africa,
it’s pretty exciting. I think Rwanda is just
beginning in cycling, ten years ago when I came here
it was really almost nothing. For Team Rwanda, I
think of Team Rwanda as still in its infancy. We’ve learned a lot, especially
over the last couple of years, we’ve started to have success, but now it’s morphing into
Team Africa Rising, that we’re helping more
and more countries, realising that Rwanda
can be the catalyst. I don’t have the energy
and power that you have, but I would love to
reach your level. I started just like you,
if you are talented, nothing can stop you. I took advice from
different people, for example Adrien Niyonshuti. (LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES 2012) It would be great for Rwanda. It was great in 2012 when
Adrien Niyonshuti became the first Rwandan and
the first black African to ever finish the cross-country
mountain bike race. That was epic. Jeanne D’Arc being in
the 2020 Olympics, that would be epic for sure. For her career, it’s not the
end-all be-all. They will be the next
generation that helps foster the sport of cycling in
their country and coming from people who have done it,
Rwandans who have done it, its going to be so much more
I decided myself to open this house and academy. All the young generation can
find a good opportunity to develop skills and also to
learn more about training. If you are have a work or
you have something you love you must go for it. I’m going to continue
my training. I hope to compete in
the next race, well prepared. I am really proud of her. (JOSE MUKAMUSONI
TERESA’S MOTHER) I am cooking a good meal so she
is ready for the race tomorrow. Cycling is growing
very fast in Rwanda. (ABRAHAM RUHUMURIZA
CYCLING ROAD – TEAM RWANDA) We started out on these simple
bikes, even worse than these. The standard of cycling we
have today came from taxi bike riders. The local district
encouraged cycling clubs to organise small races and that is how
they identify the best. (AMIABLE BAYINGANA, PRESIDENT
to win a competition, you have to be crazy. You fight…no jokes. You can see the riders fight to the final line
until they fall down. There is no country in Africa
where you see as many taxi bikes and
transporters. You know, nine years ago,
professional cycling was really not even here
in Rwanda. It’s kind of odd that
they didn’t have a developed racing culture,
and it actually makes my job testing riders much
easier because 90% of our riders come
from taxi bikes. And I think it
even gave more value to these taxi bike riders because in the past they’ve been kind
of, the low level, they’re just taxi bike riders. But now you got
these taxi bike riders, that all of a sudden
RIO OLYMPICS 2016) And that’s pretty remarkable,
and it’s an amazing story to even imagine, I mean,
you couldn’t even make it up. Teresa was the fastest
woman in the race. She has won a bicycle. I would like to be like Jeanne
D’Arc. She is the one encouraging all cyclist women
of this country.

40 comments on “The Taxi Bike Riders of Thousand Hills | Africa’s Cycling Revolution

  1. Go Africa, Go! You have suffered so much, but now this is going to end. You can do it, you have so much to give to the world.

  2. get that girl a proper bike fit, her spine is taking punishment with those neck and low back curves… her shoulders are way too forward too

  3. A few possibilities and difficult circumstances ..
    But the only thing that elevates the values ​​of man and makes him in the higher platforms is patience and perseverance.
    Greetings to her and tell her you are the most beautiful😍💪👍

  4. I wish Rwanda the best in forging future cycling athletes and may they lead the way for Africa and their newfound talent! I'd love to see those cycling races in person!

  5. I love this videos because canbe born a thousand riders from near rwanda i think so and way not for the next timer theres Tour of Africa whos follows rider from african countries……to the world champion to make the real too

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