Junior cyclist inspires others to mount their bikes

Cyclist Mughammad Arnold, 8, from Westridge, will be competing nationally. At the back is his brother Mughammad Yaqeen, 5.

An 8-year-old Westridge boy, who rode a bike without training wheels at age 2 and started cycling professionally two years ago, encourages anyone he meets to join him on a ride.

Mughammad Arnold rides in the under-11 age category of Western Cape cycling events.

He enjoys cycling because he meets a lot of friends.

“I cycle half-a-day, every day,” he said.

Mughammad’s mother Nazley Arnold said he has got her, his sister, aunts and uncles to get onto bikes.

She said they ride in the area at least once a week, to train, create awareness and invite boys and girls to the sport of cycling.

“We ride in a group because we have heard of instances wherein cyclists are robbed and killed for their bikes,” she said.

Mughammad rides about 40km a week and trains with the Cape Town Giants Cycle Club twice a week. He was introduced to the sport by his father Maymoun and motivated by cyclist Tashreeq Abrahams, 16.

He has completed the Junior Cape Town Cycling Tour six times and was able to do tricks with his bike at age 4.

Mughammad joined the club in April 2017 and made it to the Western Province Youth Cycling team twice – in 2017 and 2018 – and also participated in the South African Champs in February last year.

He is competing in league races to be selected for the 2019 WP team.

He has achieved 30 medals to date.

Mughammad recently started track cycling, which is not for the faint-hearted.

Ms Arnold said the more children joined them, the more friends he could make and not have to ride with adults.

She said it would help children show an interest in sport and keep them off the streets.

Ms Arnold said the club will help anyone who showed an interest and committed to joining the club.

“He has been very lucky in that the club has given him a bike for as long as he is a member of the club,” she said.

“This will prevent the youth from trying drugs and joining gangs.

“They will be occupied with something positive and they can be exposed to the sport, which is dominant in other communities,” she said.