Team Rwanda - Thousand Hills
SABOTAGE + TEAM RWANDA
THE STORY BEHIND THE BOTTLES
Impact has been a cornerstone of the Sabotage mission from the beginning. We've been growing the initiative over the past years and are thrilled to announce our sponsorship of Team Rwanda. Additionally, these bottles are available for purchase in our shop and with each purchase, you'll also provide a bottle to the Team Africa Rising Cycling Center and their riders in East Africa.
In May, 2014 Sabotage co-founder Clay Adair packed up his Ritchey Breakaway and headed to Rwanda to ride some of the thousand hills the country has to offer. While descending a climb 40 miles outside Kigali, he passed a rider flying up the hill, out-of-the-saddle. In his words: "He was kitted-out in Team Rwanda gear and a quick turnaround brought us alongside each other. Joseph and I rode together for the next hour getting to know each another in rudimentary English and Kinyarwanda. It was quite possibly the most electric 60 minutes I've spent on a bike. We talked racing, training, bikes, gear, terrain, motivation, family, and why it is that we ride. After exchanging contact info, I reflected on how amazing it was that such an instant connection was formed over such a limited vocabulary and a lot of one-hand gesturing." But this American Mzungu and local Rwandan had got it. "We understood each other exactly and why it was we found ourselves suffering up one of the country’s thousand hills. Six months later I was back in Rwanda for work. By this time I had seen the documentary and read the book. I was invited by team manager Kimberly Coats to visit Team Rwanda’s Africa Rising Cycling Center—an opportunity no cyclist turns down. I spent the next two weekends exploring more climbs and more countryside with Team Rwanda pro-rider Nathan Byukusenge, learning more about the program and the riders."
Back at home, we Saboteurs rallied around Clay's experiences. We sent Team Rwanda an email with a subject line that read: “Bottle Sponsorship?”. Kimberly was right on board with the idea. She explained that new bottles aren’t easy to come by in Rwanda, that they’re almost as valuable as the water they carry. The team has a “no-toss” policy. Providing bottles for the them would relieve one of the stresses that other teams don’t even have to think about, thereby helping them to focus on what they’re really all about—developing young East African cyclists. Partnering with Team Rwanda is what Sabotage Cycling is all about. We're in awe of the incredible talent of the riders and those who organized the program. We are humbled by the opportunity to help with our part. We all have our reasons we ride, many are shared and some are personal. It's our goal to spread the sport we love. Where the mundane in which we exist fades away, somewhere on the bike we find a bit of meaning. By sponsoring Team Rwanda we emphasize the universality of that experience. The Team Africa Rising Cycling Center is about giving everyone that opportunity. That all may ride. That all may discover.
Buy the bottles here, with each purchase, you'll also provide a bottle to the Team Africa Rising Cycling Center and their riders in East Africa.
Please head over to Team Africa Rising and learn more about the team, the riders, and the mission.
And if somehow you haven't seen Rising From Ashes, it's a must-see. So see it now, at least the trailer.