Archive for March 2013

New beginnings….RMB Change a Life Mtb Team….

EARLY DAYS – IDENTIFYING TALENT….

You have most likely heard the saying “Mountain Biking is the new corporate Golf” – that it most certainly is. Everyone is doing it, so why not the folk in the rural impoverished Valley of a Thousand Hills, where raw Talent for “anything” runs riot but is never identified due to zero opportunity & support structures. To become a decent mountain biker, requires more than just muscle braun – life skills come into play and need to be developed. Life skills such as Discipline, Hard Work, Ability to Focus & Goal Setting to name but a few.

 NO STREET LAMPS DOWN HERE….

My dream of giving youngsters an opportunity to achieve their potential/experience life as we know it, through Mountain Biking, has been made possible by RMB, and I thank them immensely for that. USN & Hi-Tec have too stepped up to the plate with their support of this rural grassroots Mountain Biking initiative very much in the embryo stage of development.

Where we currently at…. identyfying Talent
I am pleased to have located an awesome ‘Clubhouse’ (mud rondavel), which we use as a base – where potential athletes are fed & bed and a place to store the bicycles until our container arrives.

SKILLS TESTING….

It really is exciting times – recruiting and identifying Talent for this new ‘Change a Life’ initiative, which is currently underway. Generous bike donations & cycling kit have allowed the Zulus to test themselves against the “1000 Hills” playground in which they live. Just recently 8 new practice Avalanche Bikes arrived, but only 6 have been allocated due to attendance & performance criteria being matched. I don’t make training easy and am always pushing the potential athletes comfort zones – unlike my Change a Life paddlers, their affinity to water is almost zero.

GOOD TO GO OUT YOUR COMFORT ZONE….

 Last week saw the RMB CAL Mtb Team attending their first race – 62km Wartburg Mtb Classic. Seasoned CAL multi-sporter John Ntuli placed a credible 13th overall. All the other new Zulu recruits (8 guys) “survived”, except for Sabelo, who had a nasty fall when the front wheel of his donated bicycle overtook him on a steep downhill, as you can imagine, he bought himself a lovely piece of ‘real estate’. Sabelo said he had to take some time out, his right side ached like hell. After a friendly passing cyclists stopped and poured some water over his head, he got up and continued on his broken bike with his not so comfortable seat.

SABELO WITH HIS NOT SO COMFORTABLE SEAT….

It was a tough route and the perfect eye opener for what to expect down the road.
Mthobisi Mzolo, in his Hi-Tecs and flat pedals, really impressed me. His 5th time on a bicycle, so he took part in the shorter 42km race and placed a credible 46th overall. He shows great vasbyt, never misses a training session and is a humble alround good guy.

MTHOBISI MZOLO – COMPLETE NOVICE – RAW TALENT….

This week the RMB CAL Zulus are riding to Pmb, sleeping over in the local backpackers and then we riding the 4 x laps of the World Cup X-country course the following morning. After lunch – my Zulus will ride back down into the Valley. They so excited for this outing, they having sleepless nights already….