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An update from our very busy bicycle technician, Sivuyile Kepelele

19 Aug 2016

My name is Svig Kepelele and I am employed at the Songo.info program as a Bicycle technician.

The program started with a couple of bikes for kids to share, but has now grown ‘massive’ compared where it started. We now have 3 containers full of bikes and equipment. A big thanks to our sponsors.

We have 2 different departments, all the smaller kids on the bmx and the bigger and more advanced kids on the mountain bikes.

I also started off with just a couple of tools and it made it difficult to service the bikes. However, through our great partners we were able to purchase a new tool box with all the proper tools in it.

The bikes are ridden on a daily basis and needed a lot of attention, so I always have a lot to do on a day to day basis.

Yellow containerWe are currently sitting with approximately 50 plus bikes that need servicing. At first we only had the containers for the bikes, with no space to actually work on the bikes. So i compromised and always worked outside in the dust. It was not ideal, but then 2 months ago it all changed, we received a tarred area all around our clubhouse with the containers on the tar and a nice roof  for shade as well to work under. Man, how that has made life so much better and a much cleaner environment to work in!

Having kids from the township that ride the bikes, at least 99% of them have never ridden a bicycle before so they have no idea how to take care of bikes. Plus they  crash a lot and are still learning every day.

When the program received brand new bikes from Specialized, in my mind I thought “even more work???"

But then about a month ago we got a new guy onboard (Morne van Rensburg). He is helping me to put systems in place and make the servicing part of the program outstanding. He has lots of experience in the cycling industry, working on some of the biggest Cycling teams out there.

From now on the program is going forward and we can see so much growth, with ourselves as well with the kids, that see that their bikes are taken care of by professional technicians.

The kids are now getting to a stage where they know their own bikes and take care of their own equipment by washing it themselves and doing those smaller things, that they can learn how to be self sufficient.  

All of our systems are now being put in to place.  We service bikes on a daily basis and are getting the work done. What a good feeling!

I'm so exited for the Songo.info program and we are changing lifes on a daily basis, through the small part that we play in the program, what a priviledge!

 

Thanks,

Svig!

Bike container area 

Huge thanks to our fantastic sponsors who made this growth possible:

@Torqzone: for sponsoring the further training of Svig

@Transaction Junction: for covering the costs of Svigs trip to JHB

@Specialized Bicycles: for our awesome bikes

@Asrin property: for upgrading the outside area with tar and painting the containers

@Morne: for mentoring and supporting Svig.