‘Bfn has an amazing cycling culture’

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Lucas Makolloane Tsoku with other cyclists. PHOTO: Supplied

“The city also boasts many off-road routes for mountain biking and the ability to easily find people you can ride with and the little effort it takes to develop friendships is commendable,” said an avid sportsman who has made cycling his first love – the kind of love that has been part of him since his childhood.

Thabang Selemela starts his day with a 5am session at gym and closes off the day by cycling or with a late afternoon run. “l think bicycles have spirits which easily integrate with man’s ability to play, to have fun and build a stronger character. For as long as l can remember l have always been on a bicycle,” he expressed.

Thabang Selemela, an avid sportsman. PHOTO: Supplied

Selemela started competing in 2010 and has travelled through the Free State and the country to take part in major sporting events. “Bloemfontein has an amazing cycling culture which also helps in social cohesion. I have met many pleasant people around our city which l had not known before and have become great friends. I was introduced to running and riding competitively by my late slain brother Moeketsi Ariel Selemela who was senselessly murdered last July.”

He said that people are easily intimidated by the sport. “There is no need to buy an expensive bike as a beginner. Before you buy one, find people you may be comfortable with who have been in the sport longer and ask to get advice. Never shy away from joining riding teams or clubs and develop an acquaintance so as to learn more, but more than anything do it to have fun and play,” he advised.

Despite this, Selemela believes that on a local level, there is still much room for development. “The only let down though is the absence of cycling events and the necessary corporate support to see the sport thrive. It has been worse since Covid-19 as fewer and fewer events have taken place and l am afraid this could kill the sport if we don’t get it right soonest,” he said.

A 42-year-old recreational cyclist and runner Lucas Makolloane Tsoku agreed that although people are warming up to the sport, more cycling academies need to be opened to encourage kids to take cycling as an alternative sport in school or after school. “The cycling federation in the Free State needs to educate road users, especially motorists, about sharing the road with cyclists. Bloemfontein needs more cycling events to promote the sport.

Recreational cyclist and runner Lucas Makolloane Tsoku. PHOTO: Supplied

Tsoku joined the sport in 2008. He was inspired by his 76-year-old father-in-law who still enjoys cycling. “Since I am a socially difficult person, cycling has made me a lot of friends, some of them I call family. The socialising aspect of cycling is what makes it part of my everyday life. I enjoy travelling and I believe cycling is adding spice to my reason for travelling,” he said

Gypseenia Lion
gypseenia@mahareng.co.za