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Revamping the bike maintenance program

19 Aug 2016 is a program that has grown close to my heart. It is a program that is trying to give the kids in the community educational support as well as giving them the opportunity to develop their skills on the bicycle.

I have been involved in the cycling for almost 12 years now. I have had the opportunity to work on the professional racing circuit as a technician on the equipment. Over the years I have seen the program grow. I remember saying to Christoph Sauser that I would really like to get involved in the program someday. However, I wasn’t able to get involved in the program up until this year. Earlier this year when asked me if I would like to get involved and work with Svig (Sivuyile Kepelele) I couldn't resist the opportunity.

I started working with Svig in June of this year. I was asked if I could pass on some of what I have learnt over the years regarding bike mechanics etc to Svig. When I first met Svig, he was quite shy and didn’t really say very much to me.  I remember thinking that I hope he will warm up to me otherwise it may be a bit difficult to communicate.

Container organised During the 1st two weeks we rearrange the whole setup with the bikes. We drilled holes and put up hooks, we sorted through the equipment and parts and putting them in separate departments/boxes. It was a lot of hard physical labour. We absolutely loved it! At the end of every day our hands were so dirty you couldn’t even seen our nails, and our teeth had a nice layer of dust on it. We felt like men who had worked hard. What a fantastic feeling! Container organised -2

The bikes are stored in 3 containers. At one point they were standing on the sandy area around the clubhouse.  Earlier this year, just before I started working with the program, Nizaam from Asrin sponsored the program by tarring the whole area around the clubhouse. What a difference it made.

After 3 weeks everything was finally in its own space and we could now start working on and evaluating some of the equipment. There were a lot of bikes with missing parts, or things that were bent and broken. We had our work cut out for ourselves. 

Now that we have a good workspace area and system I felt that I could start sharing some of what I have learnt over the years with Svig, to further develop the skills he already has. 

We have been working with each other for over week 5 now. I feel like I can truly say that we are ahead of schedule. The bikes are in great condition with their original parts and we are working on putting a structure/process in place that will work for Svig and the program.

During my time working with Svig, I feel that he has changed so much. We are a good team. But now he is so talkative and has opened up a lot towards people. It’s amazing to see the change he has undergone during this time!!

The program is growing so fast now so this is just an update on our first 5 weeks.  Stay tuned for the next couple of weeks.

Containers and new work area