While visiting the Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC), I examined the process of developing raw talent and grooming professional prospects. The tour of the facility felt like a presentation on an exemplary model of running a cycling program.
The youngsters at the center put in work under the tutelage of their world-class trainers. Strides made by Team Rwanda on the global stage are a result of what is going on behind the scene. The real grinding happens before the cameras start rolling. Before we start cheering for peak performers spinning their spokes from Kigali to Huye, Huye to Rusizi, Rusizi to Rubavu, Rubavu to Musanze and Musanze to Muhanga. Before the spotlight introduces the champions to the world.
The emergence of Team Rwanda as a powerhouse dates back to 2006 at the Wooden Bike Classic. Yes, the origin of this project is what transpired at the wooden bike event. Where engineless, chainless and paddleless bicycles were involved. When Adrien Niyonshuti met Jonathan Buyer, a bright idea was conceived and the rest is history.
I am hoping the coronavirus pandemic will allow us to stage the next edition of Tour du Rwanda this year. As far as professional events are concerned, I am a spectator but when it comes to adventure riding, I am an active participant.
At ARCC, I saw light racing bicycles. Their handlebars are lowered below the saddle. The design of these bicycles make their users ride in a leaning posture. I visited their garage and learned one or two things about their mechanical engineering.
Apart from racing bicycles, ARCC has mountain bicycles for tourists. While planning your next Musanze trip, consider touring the area on a bicycle. Cycling is healthy and environmentally friendly. Here is the best part: Musanze has arguably the most thrilling cycling trails in the country.
Mountain bicycles differ from racing ones. Manufacturers of the former invest heavily in shock absorption and traction control while their racing counterparts are more keen on the speed aerodynamics. Advanced level Physics is applied in the making of top racing machines.
Leisure cycling is a great way of exploring the gems of Musanze. When I rode along the nature walk trails, I was awe-struck by the beauty of the northern landscape and burned some calories in the process.