GABORONE, Botswana, October 2020/ — Travel is everything and it doesn’t have to be expensive. A determined duo of gym activists, Kealeboga Lekgatlhanye (28) and Bonolo Molebatsi (32) have halted their gym routine to start a new phenomenon. Though much demanding but equally fun, the duo is tweaking their fitness routine to cycle and explore the outskirts of Gaborone.
This has become a weekend’s plan for the two women and they have made it a habit to cover distances ranging between 25 and 30 kilometers around the capital city of Gaborone in an endeavor to keep fit whilst in between exploring some of the city’s tourism attraction sites.
The duo’s route include the famous A1 highway and they also use technology such as drones and other GPS gadgets to help throughout their inspired trips. Explaining the usage of drones, the duo said they added a bird’s eye to help see the landscapes more comprehensible.
Already excited to be touring, the duo has selected renowned coach, Oaitse Moremi alias Webber as their mentor.
Moremi started as a sport photographer and covered several cycling events, thereafter the love for it began and intensive research followed. He then bought the first MTB hardtail and started riding every day the primary reason being to lose weight and possibly maintain fitness.
“As I was riding daily, I invested a lot of time into research about just about anything I encountered being a researcher by profession, reading some article and subscribing to YouTube channels like Global Cycling Network (GCN) & Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN). Thereafter really trying out what I found out! From what kind of helmet to buy and why? The Do It Yourself (DIY) maintenance of the bike, safety measures, riding in traffic, shifting gears and even changing tyres. All this info you can’t get from a local bicycle shop.
I earned the “coach” title not because of experience but from the knowledge and the confidence I have in cycling. I believe experience is just a matter of time which no human has the power over, but I can acquire the same knowledge one has accumulated in 10 years in only 5 months. I have put in the work and the right attitude. Currently I have 5 cyclists that I train free of charge. Mostly they started by just following me as I trained in the afternoon,” said Moremi.
One difficult thing about cycling is always the selection of the bike especially for beginners. The duo said they have selected MTB hard tail due to the fact that they are new into cycling and they wanted entry model bikes, which are affordable thereafter, would upgrade later after knowing much about cycling as lifestyle sport! The good thing about MTBs is that they can be used both off-road and on the road for someone who is adventurous. It is a plus!
Check out Ride Along with Bonolo on Relive!
The two are excited about their new venture.
“Initially, I started cycling to keep fit but during my cycling out of town, I have come to appreciate the aesthetic landscapes I come across and the challenging terrain we come across. As a cycling beginner I have come to push my body and mind into doing more than what I did last. We use GPS Apps called Strava and Relive. They record our ride- speed and distance. Technology makes it look beautiful and easy which is what pushes us to even go further.”
Quite intrigued, Lekgatlhanye thinks cycling can be a mode for local travel around the city as it requires less space.
“I think cycling should be encouraged more. It would reduce the amount of traffic jams, especially in the city. I urge the government to include more space for cyclists in road structures. Early this year, I was blessed enough to join the GetSureTsela Riders, to the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town as a spectator. The excitement and energy that was at the event aroused my curiosity, people traveled from across the world to come and cycle in Cape Town. Sports tourism could be the next best thing in world. I have lived in Gaborone for almost a decade and I have only come to explore beautiful places in and around Gaborone through cycling this year.”
Lekgatlhanye’s partner in sport, Molebatsi is however worried about road users adding that there must be more education towards road users.
“There is so much to do more than when driving, most motorists lack knowledge on using the road with cyclist and it’s entirely about attitude. Others are just inconsiderate and just not apologetic to other users. The perception is that black cyclists are somehow trying to be “white” as they categorize cycling with a certain skin color. However, this is a sport for everyone.”