Always stay focussed.
Today, Miguel is joining his training session. He was the one who
introduced José to the sport five years ago. “I had to do something. I
was 35 at the time and had just become a parent, but I must have had
around 15 kilos too many around my waist. Plus, I used to easily smoke
an entire pack of cigarettes a day,” José tells us. “I spend a lot of
time sitting down while at work, and so the movement out here really
does me well. I can feel the difference.” The money which he
previously used to buy cigarettes now gets spent on bike equipment.
Now, José can even keep up with his friend, Miguel. That said, José
still refers to him as the “Maestro”. “It's great that we're riding
together with several others,” says Miguel. "We're often a group
of five blokes. At training, we all look out for one another.”
Generally speaking, there aren't any major injuries. “But when you
do fall, it tends to hurt quite badly.” José and Miguel are well
kitted out, wearing helmets, gloves and protectors. “If I fell off
each time I rode, I think my wife would already have taken my bike off
me,” José says. Both burst out laughing.
On a more serious note: “You do have to stay focussed. If we're
riding down a slope just a few centimetres away from one another at 30
km/h, there's no room for me being distracted in the slightest. At
times like that, I can't think of anything else. And there's a good
reason for that.”
The pair want to use all the time available to them until darkness
falls. They both get back on their bikes and wave to a couple of other
bikers. A strong westerly wind kicks up sand and dust in their faces.