Skip to main content

Gallery: MTN-Qhubeka Team delivers bikes in South Africa

Image 1 of 26

Tsgabu Grmay, Louis Mentjes and Jani Tewelde

Tsgabu Grmay, Louis Mentjes and Jani Tewelde
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 2 of 26

The women did a thank-you dance for the team

The women did a thank-you dance for the team
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 3 of 26

Trek's Scott Daubert was on hand to help

Trek's Scott Daubert was on hand to help
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 4 of 26

The German contingent poses on the backs of Qhubeka bikes

The German contingent poses on the backs of Qhubeka bikes
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 5 of 26

Sergio Pardilla and Louis Mentjes help to organize

Sergio Pardilla and Louis Mentjes help to organize
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 6 of 26

Martin Reimer helps to unload

Martin Reimer helps to unload
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 7 of 26

This is only a fraction of the 170 Qhubeka bikes that were delivered that day

This is only a fraction of the 170 Qhubeka bikes that were delivered that day
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 8 of 26

Meron Russom and Jani Tewelde take in the scene

Meron Russom and Jani Tewelde take in the scene
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 9 of 26

The riders get comfortable on the trip to Vosloorus

The riders get comfortable on the trip to Vosloorus
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 10 of 26

Qhubeka founder Anthony Fitzhenry prepares the riders for their delivery

Qhubeka founder Anthony Fitzhenry prepares the riders for their delivery
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 11 of 26

Songezo Jim

Songezo Jim
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 12 of 26

Italian Kristian Sbaragli

Italian Kristian Sbaragli
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 13 of 26

Johann Van Zyl

Johann Van Zyl
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 14 of 26

BMXer Sifiso Nhlapo

BMXer Sifiso Nhlapo
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 15 of 26

Bicycles bring joy at any age

Bicycles bring joy at any age
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 16 of 26

Youcef Ruiguigui and Ferekalsi Debesay

Youcef Ruiguigui and Ferekalsi Debesay
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 17 of 26

A proud owner of a Qhubeka bike

A proud owner of a Qhubeka bike
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 18 of 26

One of the items Qhubeka helps to provide are portable desks for children

One of the items Qhubeka helps to provide are portable desks for children
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 19 of 26

The South Africans on the team

The South Africans on the team
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 20 of 26

Team principal Doug Ryder chats with Scott Daubert of Trek and Martin Reimer

Team principal Doug Ryder chats with Scott Daubert of Trek and Martin Reimer
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 21 of 26

One of the "tree-preneurs" who earned bikes

One of the "tree-preneurs" who earned bikes
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 22 of 26

Martin Reimer

Martin Reimer
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 23 of 26

The team is informed what the Qhubeka bikes mean to the people

The team is informed what the Qhubeka bikes mean to the people
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 24 of 26

Songezo Jim and Andreas Stauff

Songezo Jim and Andreas Stauff
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 25 of 26

Sifiso Nhlapo helped to move the bikes out

Sifiso Nhlapo helped to move the bikes out
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)
Image 26 of 26

Dennis Van Niekerk brought his lunch

Dennis Van Niekerk brought his lunch
(Image credit: Laura Weislo)

Christmas came early to the Somalia Park informal settlement in Vosloorus, South Africa, when the newly minted Professional Continental Team MTN-Qhubeka arrived with 170 Qhubeka bicycles, earned by residents as part of a program which trades the sturdy World Bicycle Relief-designed machines for work.

All 21 of the riders on the squad, including Giro d'Italia stage winner Ignatas Konovalovas, Germans Martin Reimer, Gerald Ciolek and Andreas Stauff, Spaniard Sergio Pardilla and Italian Kristian Sbaragli were on hand for the delivery. The team was joined by Olympic BMX racer Sifiso Nhlapo.

Qhubeka founder Anthony Fitzhenry partnered with World Bicycle Relief to bring the program to South Africa, and since 2004 it has delivered almost 40,000 bikes, with an aim at an overall total of 1 million.

The 20kg steel bikes include racks that can hold up to 100kg, so they're not only a means of transportation to get to school, shops or work, they can help empower people to start small businesses. One 11-year-old girl, Katleho, has earned six Qhubeka bikes by planting tree seedlings, which she rents out for 20 Rand for two hours, earning extra cash for her household. The trees are then delivered to the Wildlands Conservation Trust, which helps to reforest areas with native species.

Others earn bicycles by collecting recyclables in the communities which have no basic city services such as garbage collection.

The bikes save children many hours per week getting to school and back, a trip which by foot can take an hour or more but with two wheels takes only 15 minutes. This leaves more time for study and play. Other bikes are used to deliver goods such as bread or produce to sell, or bring in materials for housing.

Team MTN-Qhubeka will be supporting the program throughout its 2013 season, donating proceeds from sales of its team kit and a portion of its prize money, as will sponsors MTN and Samsung.