And it is the relationship between ROTOR and the Qhubeka team, which currently bears the name of Team Qhubeka Assos, began in 2015 with the Pro Team MTN-Qhubeka team and since then, together we have achieved, 7 victories in stages of the Tour de France, 3 in the Vuelta a España and 2 in the Giro d’Italia, among others, a total of 22 victories in major cycling events. That is to say, of course it is motivating to win so many stages during the best races in the world, but doing it together with a name like Qhubeka and his enormous work in South Africa is double the satisfaction and motivation to keep going.
What is Qhubeka?
Qhubeka is a South African non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Anthony Fitzhenry, who has donated more than 100.000 bicycles in different charitable programs in South Africa. Since 2013, Qhubeka has been part of the huge organization, World Bicycle Relief, based in Chicago which is responsible for training, educating and working in different development programs in very disadvantaged areas and countries around the world, helping in economic aspects, health, education and of course, training mechanics and donating bicycles. In fact, World Bicycle Relief has already trained more than 2.300 mechanics in developing countries and donated more than 500.000 bicycles.
The name Qhubeka means ‘moving forward’ in Nguni, which is a set of languages spoken in some regions of southern Africa.
This is the work of Qhubeka
Qhubeka’s work in South Africa focuses on being able to provide bikes to the people who need them most, so that they can have an efficient means of transport, whether they are students and have to travel many kilometers every day to school, or workers who do not have access to another type of transport. Bicycles are so important that they can reduce daily commuting time by up to 75%. Qhubeka’s plans tend to focus on projects to donate 5.000 bikes in a given area over a period of 5 years. In this way, during those 5 years, they can develop in different areas, the introduction of the bike as a means of transport, the training of personnel and help to enter the labor market.
For this, Qhubeka tries to encourage getting one of the bikes through educational programs, work, sports, health or even tourist programs. By doing this, school-age children can access one of the bikes, following their school’s education programs, or through sports programs, where children and their coaches can save a lot of time commuting by bike. A 23% increase in class attendance is estimated for students who travel with one of Qhubeka’s bikes.
In addition, adults are also a key part of donating bikes, since they can get them in social programs that help in the most conflictive areas with cycling security patrols. Another option to be part of the Qhubeka program is through the production and sale of artisan products, made by hand and with local raw materials.
You can even enter the Qhubeka program by recycling or planting trees; Actions that improve the environment and help more people use the bike every day. In fact, the organization donates a bicycle for every 100 trees planted or for every 1.000 kilos of garbage collected.
Qhubeka RBC; the perfect bike model for Africa
Another key to Qhubeka’s work is that for greater program sustainability and greater integration of the South African population, participates in the projects, produce their own bicycle model; the RBC (Real Bicycle Co). All RBC bikes are manufactured in South Africa and both assembly and maintenance are done by people who participate in Qhubeka programs, thereby training them for it, something that helps create more job opportunities and specific training. RBCs meet these requirements: The frame is unisex and is valid from 9 to 90 years of age. They have to withstand at least 5 years or 50.000 kilometers. They are super robust and withstand all types of weather. They only have one gear, so maintenance and repairs are quicker and easier. They have racks fitted that allow transporting cargo and are designed to be repaired with basic tools.
The Qhubeka-ROTOR teams
Since ROTOR’s collaboration with the different Qhubeka teams began, 6 years have passed since our union with the UCI Pro Team MTN-Qhubeka. From 2016 to 2019 it was called Team Dimension Data, in 2020 with NTT Pro Cycling and currently in 2021 with Team Qhubeka Assos, recovering the name of Qhubeka in the name of the team. Since 2016, all teams have been in the UCI World Team category. Without a doubt, an exceptional opportunity for ROTOR to see our products in one of the best teams in the international peloton, which also brings a whole philosophy of community, development and aid to the most disadvantaged areas of South Africa.
If you would like to collaborate with Qhubeka, you can do it through private donations, actions to raise funds and start your own project, or even through company donations. It is worth visiting their website where you will find all the details of the excellent action of Qhubeka.