For The Love Of Cycling: Riding To Work In Style

30 Dec 2015 19:30pm
By Francois Lottering

WINDHOEK, 30 DEC (NAMPA) - Thousands of commuters make use of public transport, most notably taxis, to travel between their place of work and home. The lucky ones drive to work in their own cars, but many Windhoek residents have come to rely on the public transport network for this purpose.
Despite these common means of transport, a few people have turned to another, older, means of daily transport - the bicycle.
Invented around the 1800’s, this two-wheel form of transport is yet to prove popular for many, other than the few enthusiasts who regard a bicycle as being more than a simple mode of transport.
One such person is Jonasi Willem Lutombi, who is always customising his two wheels to make the ride more comfortable and safe.
Lutombi’s bicycle’s rear red lights that intend to inform other road users of his presence on the road stands out as the ardent cyclist pedals to work in Klein Windhoek.
This outgoing and friendly man from the Zambezi Region now lives and works in Windhoek.
One look at Lutombi's bicycle relays the man's love for it - the bicycle is uniquely fitted with hordes of gadgets and apparatus that make Lutombi's ride more comfortable.
For all the electrical equipment to work, Lutombi installed a battery pack on the rear of the bicycle.
Besides the lights in front and at the rear, there is also a radio complete with two speakers installed on the front handle - between the two rear view mirrors.
Lutombi said the radio is for companionship as the road from Okuryangava to town is long and he needs some company.
On the day of the interview with Nampa, Lutombi was listening to the 08h00 news bulletin on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
“News is important to me, I want to hear what is happening in our country,” he says.
The two rear-view mirrors ensure that he knows what is happening behind him “as many motorists have no respect for cyclists” he notes.
He says he has to constantly keep looking over his shoulders and watch the mirrors for his own safety.
“Sometimes motorists wave or honk at me, acknowledging my initiative and how I decorated my bicycle,” Lutombi boasts, as he waves to cars slowly driving by along Nelson Mandela Avenue.
His bicycle is still far from complete, as he still wants to fine-tune the electrical wiring and put it all in tubing so it can at least look more professional.
His dream is to open a bicycle repair shop in town, where he can teach others how to repair and customise their bicycles in the unique Lutombi way.
It surely wouldn't hurt for others to ride to work in not only comfort, but great style too.