Year of construction: 2017
Where: Africa, Lesotho, Roma
Nestled in the majestic Maloti Mountains in the middle of South Africa, lies the high altitude, breathtaking and landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho, where the very first #pumpforpeace project was created at the Roma Trading Post Lodge in Roma. Although still mostly rural, Roma is Lesotho’s university town and home to over 15 primary and high schools while being just 40km from the capital city, Maseru.
In true African spirit, the opening was celebrated with a show of music in #pumpforpeace style. If there are music and wheels, there is definitely, heart.
Right away, the pump track has become the base for successful self-sustaining community development, boasting a locally run bike shop, events, the training of athletes and bike rentals to kids in the area.
Lesotho Sky and Skygate Adventures & Tours have become #pumpforpeace`s main partner in Lesotho, who in turn partnered with the Mikes Bikes Africa Foundation to deliver affordable bikes. Through our partnership with Specialized we were able to send Pump Track Bikes and protectors to the Roma Pump Track. Lesotho Sky trained and educated the bike shop employees on bike repairs. “It is important that an initiative like this is self-sustaining,” says Darol Howes & Christian Schmidt from Lesotho Sky. “Having the support from foreign countries to build infrastructure and to educate and train people is much needed and appreciated. Afterwards, the local economy has to support itself and should not rely on charity. Only this way will it be a sustainable project.”
The Roma Bike Hangar
The bike shop called “The Roma Bike Hangar” is only 100m away from the track. Operated by a young man named Mmeke who looks after the bikes on a day to day basis and the organisation of the youth riding, basic skills development and keeping the track clean and well maintained.
There is a „free-to-use“ fleet of mountain bikes and BMX bikes at the Roma pump track for anyone who cannot afford to own a bike. In order for the community to appreciate the possibility of cycling, in return they have to help out at the bike shop, i.e. cleaning and repairing bikes or doing waste and garden work around the pump track.
The Roma Bike Hangar offers mountain bike tours for the guests of the Roma Trading Post Lodge, together with the sales of the bikes this pays the wages of the employees, maintains the shop and finances the future shipment of more containers with bikes and equipment.
Events – Then, now and beyond
Every year since its completion, the Velosolutions Pump Track in Roma has been part of the worldwide event series, the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships, making Lesotho one of many countries across the globe to host a Red Bull Pump UCI Track World Championships qualifier.
…for supporting the first #pumpforpeace project and the concert in Lesotho: