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Zimbabwe Cyclist on 800 Kilometer COVID-19 Awarenes Ride Arrives in Bulawayo

Meli Ndlovu fixing his bicycle on Sunday evening in Gwanda, 126 kilometers from Bulawayo. (Photo: Albert Ncube)

A Zimbabwean cyclist, Meli Ndlovu, who left Johannesburg on Saturday, has arrived in the country's second largest city, Bulawayo.

Ndlovu, who had spent the night on Sunday in Gwanda, about 126 kilometers south of Bulawayo due to bicycle tyre problems, told reporters that it was a tough ride from Johannesburg.

"I saw a very huge snake between Centurion and Pretoria and had to let it get into the bush before I proceeded with my journey. There was also another snake which I think was run over by motorists. The rains also gave me a torrid time while I was in South Africa.

"Some truckers were also problematic as some of them were not giving me way. At one stage I had to swerve so much that I landed in a huge pothole. That's where my bicycle tyres were damaged. Apart from that, it was easy to cross the two border posts. I arrived in Gwanda on Sunday evening but could not proceed to Bulawayo due to tyre problems."

Ndlovu hit the road midmorning Monday and arrived in Bulawayo midday.

"I'm delighted that many people were calling me when my mobile phone was on asking about my trip. My family did not want me to cycle from South Africa to Zimbabwe but I managed to convince them that all will be well. Now, it seems people are getting all my COVID-19 messages. Get vaccinated, stay away from crowds, practice social distancing and all those things that health experts are encouraging everyone to do."

He was immediately taken to a massaging center soon after arriving in Bulawayo as he had some body aches.

"I'm grateful to all who are helping me in whatever way. I did this for the benefit of everyone. Please put your masks, be vaccinated and follow all health guidelines to prevent getting infected."

Ndlovu, who is married and has two children, is a member of a professional cycling club in Johannesburg.

"I hope to compete one day in the Tour de France. I hope my club will play a key role in ensuring that my dreams come true."

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