Urban Velo

The African Cyclist

The African Cyclist is a project with the goal of opening the doors of professional cycling to black Africans with the innate ability to compete at the elite level. The town of Eldoret sits 7000-9000 feet above sea level in western Kenya and has a history of champion marathon runners contributing winnings from around the world to the local economy. A small group of cyclists exists in town which has been narrowed down to two exceptional riders, Zakayo Nderi and Samwel Mwangi, who are going to attempt a timetrial up Alpe d’Huez sometime in the first two weeks of August to see where they truly stand against the legendary climbers.


  1. sumadisJuly 21, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Awesome, and about frikin’ time. In Ghana, I regularly rode with kids on what we’d consider crap box-store bikes who could maintain speeds and cadences on par with any Cat 2 or even Cat 1 racer here in the states. Bring ‘em on, it will turn pro cycling on it’s ear.

  2. Urban JeffJuly 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    I’ve experienced a similar thing in less fortunate parts of the world, too. In Jamaica, the kids didn’t even have shoes, let alone pedals. They rode coaster brake bikes with their toes curled around pedal spindles, sometimes up to five kids hanging off one bike. I saw them do nose-wheelies a block long with their feet dangling over the front of the handlebars. They would borrow our mountain bikes and pull off impressive jumps, wheelies and other tricks.

    Even right in my own back yard…the kids in the poor part of town can pull off some pretty slick tricks on cobbled-together BMX bikes. I have no doubt that a lot of the high-school kids could crush me on a road bike.

  3. The Shortest Man… at Urban VeloDecember 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    [...] readers of this site have heard about Zakayo Nderi and his quest to become a professional cyclist. Now there’s a documentary in progress called [...]

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