Social Riding & Running

A Message For All Solwezi Cyclists

With the Kansanshi MTB Race rapidly approaching, Ryan Ellis and the First Quantum Minerals Cycling Team have been working around the clock to build beautiful and fun permanent cycling routes. These routes will be marked year-round with metal and wooden arrows, and are built in areas that can be enjoyed year round.

As of this weekend, the 10km white, 23km white, and 25km (technical) red routes are all open.

Ryan Ellis has written this message to all cyclists: 

“The GPX files (below) will help you to ride this weekend, but will no longer apply next weekend, as we’re opening up a new trail at the beginning of both the white and red routes. I’ll send out a new set of files when this is done.

Some notes:10km White is the beginning and end of the full white route. Simply follow the white arrows until you see a sign that says 10k left, 25k right. Sorry about the trees you’ll have to climb over near the end – we’re still waiting for our chainsaws.

25km Red has some big drops off of old concrete foundations on the first singletrack. We will be making these rollable, but for now they’re not. Please be careful!”


A Fun-Filled Weekend At The Mulungushi MTB Race

For the 8th year in a row, a hundred racers lined up at the picturesque Mulungushi Dam startline to experience the challenge and beauty of riding through the Zambian bush.

Though Zambia’s mountain bike scene has grown to include several unforgettable races, the Mulungushi MTB still stands out as a uniquely fun and family-oriented weekend.

Children playing at the Mulungushi Boat Club
Children playing in the pool at the Mulungushi Boat Club

The race is held at the Mulungushi Boat Club, near Kabwe. Most people come for the entire weekend and bring their family and friends along. Though the main event is the race on Sunday, the Mulungushi experience actually resides in the countless other activities in and around the dam.

Boating is a very popular pastime, and throughout the weekend people can be seen speeding, sailing, and fishing.

Sunset on a speedboat at Mulungushi Dam
Sunset on a speedboat at Mulungushi Dam

For the adrenaline junkies, there is a cliff jumping spot within walking distance of the club.

People hanging out at the cliff jumping area for a post-race dip in the water

There are many places to explore, like the bat cave that cuts from ones side of a hill through to the other; the spillway that has rock pools and a waterfall; and many lesser-known rock pools and waterfalls that can be discovered through obtaining local knowledge and exploration.

Having a picnic at some rock pools after the race

The race its self is on singletrack and jeep track. The terrain varies from flowy flatland to rocky hills, and you can choose to do the 20 km, 40km, or 70 km route. The 20 km route is for beginner riders, so the terrain is non-technical. The 40- and 70 km are for more advanced riders seeking a challenge.

All racers are rewarded with beautiful scenery through forests, villages, and rivers.

A quiet sunset moment above the dam.

Proceeds from the Mulungushi MTB Challenge go to Sunflower Orphanage, aiding in building and maintaining its facilities.

Children receiving their prizes for the kid’s 4km race

This year’s winners were: Sarah Jackman in the 20km women (also 4th overall), Dylan Vaughn in the 20 km men, Nora Richards in the 40 km women, Lance Vaughn in the 40km men, and Bedias Tunkanya in the 70 km.

See below for Mulungushi MTB 2018 results, and follow Mulungushi MTB and on Facebook for current news.


Prozam MTB Supply Sets Up Two Outlets In Lusaka

For years, anyone who rode a mountain or road bike in Zambia had the same problem: the spares we all needed could only be bought in South Africa. Today, though, we have some very good news!

Prozam MTB Supply has set up two outlets in Lusaka, stocking a growing range of essential cycling supplies, including chains, brake pads, tires, lubes, sealants, and more. Scroll down for a complete list of their products. The outlets are positioned so that they’re easily accessible from Lusaka’s main MTB areas: Leopard’s Hill and Lilayi.

Prozam MTB are also offering bike repairs, servicing as well as tubeless conversions by appointment only. Call the numbers below to book your bike in:

Andrew 0977345034 or Tash 0966770483

Prozam MTB Leopard’s Hill Outlet: Mudpackers Ltd. (aka. La Sport Zambia)

Mudpackers is inside Leopard’s Hill Business Park, which is on the left, 500m after American International School, if you’re coming from Lusaka. To enter the business park, take the gravel road turning off Leopard’s Hill. After about 100m, enter the gate on your right. Mudpackers is near to Zambean, in the building closest to Leopard’s Hill road.

Contact Trevor 0975869007

Mudpackers Zambia Logo

Prozam MTB Lilayi Outlet: KTM Zambia (aka. Wilson Offroad)

Coming from Lusaka on Kafue road, turn left onto Mukwa drive, which is the second tarred road on the left after you pass the Baobab School main gate. Exactly 1km after you turn on to Mukwa drive, KTM Zambia will be on your left.

Contact Luc 0968450023

KTM Zambia Logo

Here’s what Prozam MTB Supply Has to Offer:

ProZam Squirt Chain Lube

Squirt Long Lasting Dry Lube 120ml & 15ml | Squirt Bio Bike Ready To Use Foam Trigger 500ml

Squirt Bio-Bike 500ml Concentrate | Squirt Barrier Balm 100g & 6g Sachets | Squirt SEAL 200ml & 1000ml

Squirt Chain X10 | Squirt Chain  X9 | Batseal 500ml

ProZam MTB Tyres

Maxxis Tyres 29”, 27.5”, 26″ | Tubes pre slimed and standard 29″,26″,24” | Co2 Adapters & Co2 Cartridges Tubeless Valves | Rim Tape | Tyre Liners | Tyre Levers  | Tubeless Repair Kits | Glueless Patches |             Puncture Repair Kits | Valve Adapters-Presta to Schrader

ProZam Zambia Products

Helmets | Gloves | Saddle Bags | Water Bottles | Pedals | Shock Pumps | Silicone Grips | Bottle Cages |

Multi Tools | MTB Pumps | Brake Pads | Bearings


Prozam MTB Supply are looking for resellers of their products outside of Lusaka. 

Contact Andrew on 0977345034 for more information.


There Is A Time And Place For Being Realistic, But Your Race Isn’t One Of Them

There Is A Time And Place For Being Realistic, But Your Race Isn’t One Of Them

I started reading “Learned Optimism,” by Martin E.P. Seligman a couple weeks ago, and wanted to share some of the insights I’ve had since. After taking one of the optimism tests in the book, I discovered that, statistically, I’m a total pessimist. I honestly never would have guessed– yes, I have pessimistic thoughts fairly often, but I make an effort to “self-talk” them out my head as they arise. I started out in mountain bike racing as a pretty optimistic teenager. I believed that I was great at it, and would continue to be great at it no matter what.

Over time, as I struggled with body image, weight gain, and failure in big competitions when I should have done well, my optimism degenerated into self-protection. When I decided to do something, I would tell myself to “be realistic” about my expectations– basically meaning that I would never expect to succeed in the beginning of anything. This way, I couldn’t be crushed if I failed. Until now, I actually thought that that “being realistic” was fueling optimism– if I failed, I could easily brush off my shoulders and carry on. What I didn’t realize was that it also meant that I was doing less than my best.

I would go into a competition telling myself that I would just be realistic about my performance expectations: I’d only done an average of 11 miles per hour over similar terrain, so that’s the speed that I could realistically expect to average during the race. I couldn’t realistically expect to beat a girl who has been pro for several more years than me. If my heart rate goes over 180 bpm, I couldn’t realistically expect not to bonk during the race.

“Being realistic” does have a place. If you optimistically decide that you can train without recovery days, your performance is probably going to suffer. If you think that you can nail a 20-foot gap jump after only doing 3-foot ones, you should maybe take a reality check. And taking the time to look realistically at your performance after a race will certainly help you in the long run.

But during a race or competition, there should only be one thing on your mind: doing your absolute best. That means pushing through pain that might have slowed you down before, pushing your limit just a little bit more than you could in training, and focusing on the girl ahead and making a concerted effort to catch her, no matter how good she is.

Optimism and pessimism manifest themselves in very subtle ways, and it takes more than a meme or inspirational speech to change your whole mindset. But through research and concentrated effort, you can find ways to make your mindset healthier, thus improving both your training, racing, and quality of life.


Should I Follow My Training Program to a “T”?

Nora Richards

Should I Follow My Training Program to a “T”?

Something that I’ve learned on my journey to becoming a pro athlete is that I, personally, do not train well without a coach. If I have coach that I trust, I follow my training program exactly as its given to me, no questions asked. However, this mentally can become a unhealthy compulsion that leads to overtraining.

After training with my coach obsessively for nine months, I fell sick and was forced to take two weeks off. Afterwards, I suddenly had a TON of energy, more strength than I remembered I could have, and I was happier. I realized that I had been severely, chronically fatigued for a long time, and had continued training simply because my training program told me to. My race results had suffered, my mental state had suffered, and my fitness had suffered, simply because I had followed my training to a ‘T.”

This balance between following your training program and following your instincts is something that many athletes struggle with, and one that both rider and coach need to address in their correspondences. Most coaches agree that only the rider herself really knows what’s going on with her body, and yet we hire coaches so that we don’t have to think about that. The compromise, usually, is that the rider should tell the coach exactly how they feel, in as much detail as possible, and the coach will analyze and rewrite their program from there.

There’s one issue with this though: pride and social expectation. Many are unable to distance themselves from the information that they give to their coaches. With me, for example, I feel like I’m whining and making excuses if I say “I feel tired,” too often. By saying “I feel tired,” you put pressure on the coach to make compromises for that. Good coaches should probably be able to say when you should just deal with it an push through, and when you should rest. Nonetheless, the social pressure to fulfill both people’s expectations and needs is there.

The conclusion, thus, is this: you need to do what feels right to you, and what works best for you. If following your program verbatim makes you feel less guilty and more optimistic about your progress, as it does to me, you should follow the program verbatim and just do your best to communicate with your coach. If you’re following an online training program or feel like your instincts are better than what a coach can give you, do what you feel is best for you.