BMX freestyle stunt bikers of the big city are slowly being unearthed from their underground territories.
In Gaborone, BMX freestyle stunt biking has slowly been making its way into the recreational scene. A BMX bicycle is generally designed to be smaller. Its custom made frame is meant to be lighter as compared to other bigger sports bicycles.
Just like any other challenging sport, freestyle BMX stunt riders go through seemingly impossible obstacles.
Local stunt bikers, who mostly hail from Block 3 and Phase 2, use the skate park at Molapo Crossing to go through half pipes. BMX bicycles are meant for Bicycle Motor Crossing, which is quite an extreme sport. BMX Free style stunt riding literally involves performing tricks, doing manoeuvres and going through obstacles using a custom bicycle.
Some of us may still recall scraping our knees and chins, falling off bicycles. Or, peeling our heels and breaking our limbs whilst trying to brake for u-turns.
Block 3 and Phase 2 residential areas of Gaborone have become home to some of the most young and gifted bikers.
When it comes to BMX stunt bicycles, some youths spend hours of each day, perfecting their artful sport of riding.
Bokang Motlogelwa, a stunt rider from Phase 2, says many small boys look up to him. He says he can do 360 degree turns, which still amaze a lot of people. “We usually hook up with other BMX enthusiasts from Block 3 and compete to see which location has the best stuntmen,” he said.
Thapelo Motlhware is one of the best BMX freestylers who reside in Phase 2. He says he used to spend most of his time practicing skills that he would later show off to his friends.
In Gaborone, most of the stunt bikers are more like street performers and flat ground masters as compared to other disciplines. During weekends, if you look whilst driving along the western by pass, you’ll notice the freestyle stunt riders.
They ride along standing on the saddles on one foot whilst controlling the bicycle horns with the other. Some risk limb-breaking injury in the name of victory, performing stunts like wheelies.
“A wheelie is basically when the stunt man rides the bike, only on the back wheel whilst paddling,” says Motlhware, who is one of the most daring stunt bikers.
Motlogelwa says he rides his bicycle all the way to Molapo Crossing from Phase 2 to meet the other crew from Block 3. “We use bike riding as an activity to stay away from unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking,” he said. Other surfaces like ramps, dirt jumps and vertical cases are found around Molapo Crossing shopping mall. BMX freestyle stunt biking has undoubtedly been popularized mostly amongst teenagers by PS 3 and X-Box stunt video games.
Gaborone Garage and Cycles is a bicycle shop at the bus rank. Tuelo, a sales representative there, says, “We sell BMX stunt bikes to mostly young people, they cost around P2800 minimum,” she said. “We stock other parts and customizing accessories like horns, forks, shiny pedals and cranks which stylishly stick out at the ends of the pedal wheels.”
The stunts men say that they are still in the process of registering an association for their sporting code. They say in the future they would like to approach the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture (MYSC) and Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) to seek affiliation. “We hope to finish our administrational processes by say early next year, so that they can consider us in next year’s budget which comes in April,” Motlogelwa concluded.