Every Wednesday night from 7:00pm, several cycling lovers gather at Maguru coffee to race online with different people all over the world virtually. When I went there a few minutes past 7pm, the riders on three bicycles had already started sweating from what looked like a stage with a banner marked “Home Ride Touring Rwanda.” The turn-up wasn’t extraordinary, but several other people were waiting for their turn, for the stage: BK Arena-Chez Lando-KCC roundabout-Chez Lando-Amahoro Stadium- Kimironko-Controle Technique- BK Arena, a distance equivalent to 20 Km. Cyclists just sit on their bicycles and feel the roads from their legs when they are pedalling; use the right energy they would when riding uphill and downhill, exactly the way a certain road is, but just from the coffee shop right next to the Kigali Convention Centre in Rugando. 28 year-old Jean Hubert Nkurayija Ishimwe who founded this project he named ‘Rwanda e-roads’, is a cycling fanatic himself. “I joined hands with my partners who are Maguru coffee shop, Bodymax GYM, BeFast, and Conquer films with whom we are organizing all the events together,” he told Times Sport. Ishimwe, a tech entrepreneur who also owns a company called Favouriapps LTD, started the project in July this year after his brief trip to the US. “The project started after my trip to the US in June 2022, after meeting with the Wahoo Company. I learned all the technologies they have and realized that among other things they were doing is this technology of riding on a real road virtually,” Ishimwe revealed. Wahoo is a tech-fitness company that has created an ecosystem of sensors and devices for runners, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts. That is how Rwanda e-roads was born, a project Ishimwe describes to be bringing Rwandan roads to the world. “Rwanda e-roads is a virtual cycling event that is bringing Rwandan roads to the world, which is to say that everywhere around the world everyone can go online and ride our roads virtually having the same feeling in their legs as someone on the ground,” he said. Most of the cyclists who are consistently taking part in these events are from Europe and America. “The project is prospering, where both international and local people are cheering for this new technology. So far (at the time of the interview), among the five series of events we have organized 30 people have joined,” Ishimwe said. While anyone with a cycling passion can join, Ishimwe started the project for two major reasons. One of them was to prepare cyclists for the UCI world championship which Rwanda will host in 2025. “We want to help internationals get familiar with Rwandan roads before 2025,” he said. The UCI Road World Championship attracts about 5,000 cyclists, and over 20,000 delegates. Another reason was to help locals who love the sport but fear road accidents while riding. Now, one doesn’t need to take on that much of a risk, especially during night. At only Rwf 2,000 per session, locals can join the weekly rides at Maguru coffee where they race with people located in different parts of the world, who also require a bicycle, a smart trainer, internet, and access to the Wahoo RGT app. While they have only started, Ishimwe aims to establish Rwanda e-roads, the leaders in cycling events management, starting with virtual cycling events. He also aims to partner with local companies to organize events on the development of cycling towards the 2025 UCI world championship. “To Kigalians, join us and test your legs. Cycling is among the first sports that make the whole body workout and it’s a very lovely exercise,” Ishimwe noted.