ZIMBABWEAN cyclist — Pressmore Musundi — is making waves in South Africa but as his first name implies, he didn’t have it easy before making a name for himself in the cycling world.
Musundi faced huge obstacles, including a disability.
Born in the rural area of Chiredzi to a poor family that would later lose its primary breadwinner, the cyclist and bicycle mechanic is a fighter that refused to give up.
His story is one of determination, gusto and working hard to achieve his dreams.
Musundi began cycling when he was still in primary school, where he cycled to and from school.
He lost his father, a soldier who was killed on duty in 2004.
His unemployed mother scrambled to take care of her five children alone and Musundi was forced to drop out of secondary school.
“I had to leave Zimbabwe by the age of 15 and come to South Africa to search for a better life.
“The people I was working for bought me a 24-inch bike. I used this as transportation to and from work. I was staying in Mamelodi at that time and the distance I cycled was about 40km a day in total from 2009 up until 2016,” Musundi told a South African publication.
It was on one of his morning rides to work that he was approached by members of the Pretoria South Lions Club, which supports various cycling activities, and quizzed about competitive cycling. He was intrigued to learn more about this world.
His racing journey began.
After getting time off from his then employers, Musundi took part in his first official training session with a team of other novices at the Cradle of Humankind.
He won a time trial and a brand-new 29-inch mountain bike from the club.
He started competing in road and mountain bike races, including the famed 94.7 road race in 2016, which he completed in just more than three hours.
While Musundi was honing his riding skills, the team suggested he start training to be a bicycle mechanic.
He joined Trailwolf Cycles in 2017 to learn the art of fixing bicycles and also started racing under its banner, which he continued to do until his departure in 2020.