If you haven't navigated over to our Meet the Team section of the site (still under construction) or been to Mike's Africa Project Blog or even know what Mike's Africa Project is, you probably don't know that back in October when the team was being put together, we made the decision to sponsor two of the riders from Mike's sister shop MK Cycles, PK and Nkulumo, and help them participate in racing in Zimbabwe. To read more about this, head over the Africa Blog and check out the following post.

Mike's Bikes Africa Sister Shops from Mike's Bikes on Vimeo.

Well the beginning of the month marked the start of the race season for PK and Nkulumo: "The Bulawayo cycling season kicked off on February 6th, with a 60 km (37 mile) road race, involving over 30 cyclists. Not surprisingly, our guy Nkulumo came in first; sports pages across Zimbabwe were gushing about his “raw talent” for the following week. The rest of the team didn’t do so bad either. PK came in 6th, Q came in 10th and it is rumored that Godfrey came in 17th. The second race of the Bulawayo racing season was an 50 km (30 mile) off-road race held on February 13th. Not surprisingly, the guys from MK Cycles once again rocked it. First place went to PK, Q came in third. Nkulumo was looking really good, until he snapped his rear derailleur, resulting in him placing seventh." For a full race report with photos, check out this post on the Mike's Africa Blog.

Back in January I received an e-mail from Greg Tsutaoka from Berkley Bicycle Club asking if Team Mike's Bikes would be interested in co-sponsoring their BBC Team Time Trial. I informed Greg that we were already planning to support the Mike's Bikes Cat's Hill Classic along with a few other track events this year but were looking for some additional support for our Africa riders. Greg spoke to the BBC Board and quickly got back to me that they would love support our Africa project with part of the races proceeds.

These proceeds along with a portion of the teams budget and other fundraisers will be used to purchase race clothing, bikes, and equipment for PK and Nkulumo. Below you will find some info on the BBC TTT and bios for PK and Nkulumo. See you guys at the TTT!

-Hank

Berkeley Bicycle Club Team Time Trial The BBC TTT is a unique race and always a favorite for spectators. Team Time Trials involve a small group of riders all on the same team working together to race against the clock. They must each work flawlessly in coordination with their efforts, taking turns at the front pulling the group along, and rotating to the back resting in the draft. As riders cross the finish line, the team is awarded the time of a specific rider who crosses the finish last. For example, in a five person team, typically the time is awarded to the third rider to finish. This ensures that a certain number of riders must finish with the group and that the team is only as strong as its weakest link, or third weakest link in this case.

Few time trials ever feature two person teams. This is a unique opportunity to grab a teammate, friend, or even girlfriend and come out for the race!

Race History The race began in the 1980s as the Pinole Two Man Team Time Trial. This was an out-and-back race from Pinole Valley High School to Bear Creek Road and back. It was a grueling, slow up and out, with a fast return back. The road rules got more and more restrictive and the race was moved to the famed "Bears Loop", featured in the Berkeley Hills Road Race. In fact, the time trial course today is about 3/4 of a single loop of the Berkeley Hills Course.

The Course Teams start at the corner of Camino Pablo and Bear Creak Road. The start is a fast ride, mostly downhill along the San Pablo Reservoir. Teams turn right and begin several miles of rolling hills until ending up at the base of Papa Bear. This challenging hill tests a team's fitness and ability to stay together. Next it's just a couple of miles more, but with the finish at the top of Momma Bear, there's still a lot of climbing to go.

Categories Along with the standard racing categories including Elite, Masters, Womens, and Juniors, this race has several unique additions. There is a co-ed category, a category for tandem bikes, and the extremely popular men's and women's "Merckx" categories, where riders are restricted to standard road bikes, no aero dynamic gear allowed. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a new bike to compete in this race!

Who Can Race? Anyone can race. The race is sanctioned by USA Cyling, the governing body of bicycle racing. Every racer must hold a USA Cycling license. Don't have one? You can buy a 1-day license at the event. Because this is a unique event that draws cyclists of all stripes, we believe that this race sells more 1-day licenses that any other race in Northern California! So bring a friend and come out for a fun day on the bike!

2011 BBC TTT Race Flyer

2011 BBC TTT Course Map

2011 BBC TTT Course Profile

Phathisani PK

I was born and raised in Bulawayo and part of the Ndebele tribe, the 2nd largest tribe in Zim but the main tribe in Bulawayo. I have ridden bicycles my whole life and when I was 12, I started riding at a local BMX track. I have a background in auto mechanics and that has helped me as a self taught bicycle mechanic. In addition to cycling, I also have a passion for running and swimming although I only race bicycles. I am a big fan of Hip Hop and Jay Z is my favorite artist.

I started entering races in high school and have been successful on the local level. My long term goals are to race in the Tour de France and to train younger cyclists like Nkulumo. I spend a lot of my time now training on my bike, working out, and training Nkulumo. Next season, I hope to win at least 5 races at the elite level and possibly quality for the Zim National Team. I‟d like to travel to Harare for the bigger races in Zim and maybe even to South Africa.

I raced in six races last year with a 2nd place in the Tour de Falcon (70 K) and a 1st in the Matobo Game Park Fun Ride (70 K).

Nkulumo

I was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and have lived here my whole life. I am part of the Ndebele tribe, the 2nd largest tribe in Zim but the main tribe in Bulawayo. I grew up riding my bike and using it to get to school, that‟s where my passion began for cycling. While growing up riding my bike, I was also an active swimmer and soccer player. I‟m a big supporter of the local Bulawayo club, The Highlanders. Everyone here in Zim also supports an English Premier League team and Chelsea is my club. In addition to cycling, I am also an artist. I enjoy painting landscapes the most.

I started racing last year when I entered a three day race from Bulawayo to Beitbridge, about 350K. I won my category and have been hooked on racing since. My long term goal is to be a professional cyclist and my goal this next season is to upgrade from intermediate to elite and be successful.