The United States of America mountain bike rider shared his experiences in Lesotho 30 years ago with our publication.
Mr Joe Fritsch’s came to Lesotho with his father who was working in the country as an agricultural economist. He was a student at Machabeng high school.
As a result, he had to ride a bicycle to school every day. Then the passion of riding developed from there.
“While riding to school I had a day dream about race in Lesotho, and I am proud to say my long time day dream came true”, said Fritsch.
He said he had been to Lesotho since 1982 to 1986.
The rider said his father and other parents started a track behind Maseru Club.
Turn up was good for Lesotho kids who participate tremendously. Then they invited riders from Republic of South Africa and had races in Lesotho.
During that period there were no bicycle shops and parts.
“At that time only place to find for our bicycles and tools were our houses. I kept tires, tubes and other equipments in my bed room”, explained the rider.
From there we had a day guard who learned how to work on bikes. The kids would come over and fix their bikes, while they were also learning how to ride.
When asked why such sacrifice, he said it was not a sacrifice but an opportunity to contribute in the development of Basotho and Lesotho as whole.
“I don’t see it as sacrifice to have bikes equipment in my bed room, it was an opportunity. There are many Basotho riders who thanked me saying they acquired experiences and exposure on bicycle related issues”, noted Fritsch.
He said he also had an opportunity to access trails in abundance in Lesotho which would not be possible in US.
In Lesotho there are good riding up hills and the mountains. Therefore, he had an opportunity to ride up the Lesotho mountains, the opportunity he would not have from his country.
He is thankful to have lived in a country where it was possible for him to further his passion regarding bike racing.