Team Rwanda, Africa Rising

_DSC0650

_DSC0434

_DSC0355

_DSC0342

_DSC0497-1

_DSC0446

_D824751-3

_D824673

Stand on any corner of any village throughout the country, and farmers will scream down hillsides barefoot on 25 year old bikes loaded with 100 pounds of potatoes, taxi drivers peddle diligently with a mother and daughter in tow, and a child amuses himself for hours guiding a bent wheel down alleyways. It seems natural, maybe destined, that bike racing has a rich history in Rwanda. For decades the country has participated in the sport, hosting local races for bragging rights, riding barefoot, many times without brakes or gears. During 100 days in 1994, as six lives were systematically snuffed out per minute, thousands of Rwandans escaped certain death on their bikes. When the dust settled and the perpetrators were subdued, the country mourned the death of nearly one million of their countrymen. Amidst the heartache and trauma, a committed group of young cyclists began importing racing bikes into the country with the hopes of resurrecting the sport. In 2005, legendary bike builder Tom Ritchey, and future founders Dan Cooper and Peb Jackson, explored the country on their bikes, and upon meeting a group of cyclists who called themselves Team Rwanda, left with the vision there was potential for a National Team, and a question. “What if they could make it to the Olympics?

Excerpt from http://www.rfafoundation.org

Comments are closed.