Read time: 3 minutes.
I have a lot of conversations with the people I work with within the Rwanda cycling community. They range from the personal to the technical to friendly banter. Most importantly, I interface with so many individuals that have things to say, things that they tell me about their worries, struggles and sometimes shocking injustices that they are either afraid to speak up about, or don’t have anyone to tell them to. I’ve always searched in the back of my mind for a way to help them be heard, to tell the true story of this cycling community that has in essence become, my community.
Originally I endeavored to produce a documentary, I hired a cameraman to film behind the scenes throughout the 2020 Tour du Rwanda, incidentally the last race held in Rwanda to date since the pandemic struck. The footage from the race, which was brutally hard and filled with extra complications, has been sitting with the editor for over a year now as I’ve struggle to finance its production. All we really needed to finish it was to sit individuals from the team down and have them tell their story about the race, the lead up to it, training camp, what happened and why etcetera.
So I build a makeshift sound recording studio in my house and started work on it, I got the most basic mics, cameras and lights I thought would do the trick and started working on the script. However getting people to work on the film for pennies on the dollar since I am unemployed at this point proved near impossible, so I switched gears.
Everyone and there mother’s uncle has a podcast now, I never planned on throwing my hat in the ring, but here I am with all the equipment and a studio, desiring to tell a story that needs to be heard and well, voila, fine, let’s do a podcast.
I call it Mayonnaise on Every Bite because I’m not trying to say that I’ve figured out a new way to slice bread in the cycling world and that’s why you should tune in. The project needed a name and I’d rather have a funny one that maybe people can remember! Yes there is a meaning behind it. Growing up I always used to observe my Father whenever eating a sandwich, apply mayonnaise from the little packets they usually come in at delis across the USA, a little at a time before taking each bite, a habit he learned from his Mother, my late grandmother Peggy. I personally prefer to open up the sandwich and apply a generous helping across the span of it, one and done. But on a plethora of other meals, I dab it on every bite. It’s a family legacy in a way, silly as it may seem.
I’m two episodes deep now into this new endeavor and it takes way more effort and planning that I ever imagined it would. I can’t tell yet if it is worth it, no one really seems to be watching, but such as it is with all meaningful projects, I suppose it takes a while to appear on peoples radar. Our video footage isn’t great, I could only afford basic Panasonic camcorders to start with and our conversations are very sporadic. I don’t have a formula other than to introduce my friends to the world and give them a space to speak. I’m refining the structure of the podcast each time I do an episode, each one is a little better than the last and soon we will have a library of accounts on what it is to live as a bike racer, mechanic, staff member, fan or observer of Rwandan cycling and hopefully beyond one day soon.
Eventually we will get better cameras and provide the show in true HD, I hope to assemble a mobile setup that can come with me wherever I go so that we can capture the experiences and stories of cycling community members across Africa. I hope you enjoy the show, if you have the desire to learn and understand what really goes on around here, stay tuned, we’re gonna tell you all about it.