Q: How did you get into cycling?
I guess I was born into it. From a young age, there were always cars or bicycles of some kind in my life, things haven’t really changed after all these years. I started riding back in the ’80s, peddled my way through the ’90s and here we are today, 2021 and I’m still involved with bikes. My love for cycling is still as strong as ever after all these years.
Q: What inspired you to start Soweto Rocks?
I wanted to see more girls and women on bikes. I also wanted to share the gift of life beyond four walls with others. Cycling helped me heal emotionally over the years and I wanted to offer that same healing to others. To this day whenever things get tough or challenging I jump on my bike and spin off into a zone where no one else can hear my thoughts or see what I get to see, it's my therapy.
Q: What is your favourite thing about the cycling community?
It has to be the SOLIDARITY, cyclists are so supportive whatever the cause. When the community comes together, you can trust that the goal is going to be achieved. The pleasantries, laughs, tears, rage, blood and sweat are all things that happen during a race, social rides, at a race village, coffee shops, parking lots…you name it. These are all wrapped up, tied together with a pretty bow and called the cycling community.
Q: What or who inspires you to keep Soweto Rocks going?
Definitely the people! Guys like Wappo, Steven Meltzer and Dayle Raaf have been incredible. Brands like Berg&Bush, Hollard, Juma, First Ascent and Cycle Lab, to name a few, have also been instrumental in keeping me and Soweto Rocks going. They make me believe that one day cycling will be accessible for all South Africans, allowing them to enjoy the wind in their face and the freedom of riding a bike.
I’m inspired by the “CAN DO” spirit of our cycling community in Soweto. I’m inspired by the desire to get as many people as possible to experience cycling. I’m inspired by the many clubs and academies that are forming around me all working towards the same goal. I’m inspired by a dream to wake up one day and say that Soweto has a safe riding trail and I was a part of it.
Q: Favourite place to ride?
When I started entering races in the early 2000’s I used to enjoy the Rietvlei Cycle Hub in the south of Joburg. Since then I’ve done some gruelling races and I’d have to say The Big Red Barn in Irene is my ultimate fave. The list of trails that I still need to test is long and includes the soon to open Soweto Trails. Generally speaking, I love riding everywhere in our beloved country. When it comes to races Joberg2C offers riders a unique riding experience that everyone should get to experience.
Q: Any advice for anyone interested in starting cycling?
Give it a shot, once you’ve started you’ll never want to stop. The right gear does help make the transition into the sport more comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for advice on what to buy or what to wear. The same applies to a bicycle, shop around, ask for advice, do your research. A bike is an investment that will last you a long time, you want to make sure that you get it right. Finally, reach out to your local cycling community, find out what rides are happening and where. Then all that’s left to do is to get out there and explore!