Riding the cycle of hope to victory
Nicholas Dlamini’s first bike represented more than just recreation. It got him around the township where he grew up. It took him to school when he couldn’t afford taxi fare. And it set him on a journey of transformation from a young kid to professional sportsman.
“I didn’t know much about the bike but I knew it would get me places,” Dlamini says. The initial appeal of cycling was the mobility it offered. Having a bike let him pursue the things that he had been held back from, like getting to school on time. “When I received my first bike I would hide it in the toilet at home,” Dlamini says. “I was so in love with my bicycle that I would check up on it every five minutes.” Growing up in Capricorn, the oldest informal settlement in the Western Cape, Dlamini’s concern was a necessity. Today, having grown out of those circumstances, Dlamini still rides his dreams on a bike. He’s a professional cyclist for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, and an ambassador for Laureus Sport for Good.
Cycling is more than just a sport for Dlamini. Since he started, it has been a way for him to empower himself, his family and his community. “I feel proud when I look back at how far I’ve come,” Dlamini says. But he still plans on going further. “Knowing that I’ve got the potential to compete in the Tour de France really motivates me,” he says. Dlamini would be the first black South African to participate in the renowned race. He also dreams of representing our country in the Olympics one day. With his passion for cycling and determination to make the most of the opportunities given to him, there’s no doubt that with his bike, he’ll get there soon enough.