Eco-active Cycling Club which was formed to promote cycling to boost health has faulted the country’s road infrastructure for not being friendly to the sport.
The club’s chairperson Jonathan Tengani said this is why their organisation, which has incorporated top cyclists Missi Kathumba, Leonard Tsoyo and Justin Kufakuwawa, will focus on off-road cycling contests, tours and lectures.
Tengani said the standard spacing between motor vehicles and cyclists or other athletes on the road is 1.5 metres, but most roads in the country have a space of less than 0.5 metres.
“This is dangerous not only to the lives of professional cyclists, but also to casual cyclists. Government needs to be serious on these important aspects of social development, especially when constructing new roads,” he said.
However, Tengani said their focus on off-road cycling is also aimed at giving individuals opportunity to get acquainted with nature because such adventurous riding gets people to places where their shoes or cars cannot take them.
“It is more satisfying when you feel every bump of the terrain and get connected with nature. In that way, we will be killing two birds with one stone—benefiting more health-wise and also promoting tourism,” he said.
The club, which is open to both casual and professional riders, already tested rugged terrains on December 26 2013 when 12 of its members cycled 88 kilometres from Blantyre to Mpatamanja Gorge in Neno.
Cycling enthusiasts aged 12 and above are free to join the club which also has bikes and helmets for hire.