Motorcycle racing is gaining popularity in Nigeria, a predominantly soccer loving country.
Most of Nigeria’s population are football fans, while some follow other sports like Basketball, Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis, athletics to mention a few.
Sports like Cricket, Rugby and Motor sport have less followings but they are also making headways to gain prominence.
In Lagos Nigeria, some residents are taking to extreme sports despite many seeing it as a dangerous sport.
But these set of sportsmen and women see extreme sports as fun or a means to commute and are creating awareness for the sport they love.
One of such awareness programmes for biking is the Pillions Hangout with Bikerz which took place at Freedom Park in Lagos.
The event which featured bike racing, stunts display, served as a platform to promote safe riding in Nigeria.
The programme was a medium for fun seekers, Pillions and Riders to network and share their passion with non-bikers alike.
Motorbike racing is the use of motorcycles for sport. These races can be in various forms, like motorcycle road racing and off-road racing, on circuits, open courses, track racing and drag racing and more.
For these bikers, riding is more than a sport for fun.
Oluwafemi Tinde, President, Ride Your Ride Cycling Club said “It is a therapy on its own; and you do not need to visit a doctor.”
Tinde goes by the label Femdon in the Biking world. He stated that “If I am in a bad mood, or if I am down. All I need to do to clear my head is go for a 30-minute ride. Riding gives me joy; I forget all my worries once I am on the two wheels.”
A female Rider from Abuja Aisha Musa Bello stated that “Riding a bike gives you courage to do so many things that naturally you could not have done. Once you become a biker, you can achieve so many things.”
The Producer of the Pillions Hangout with Bikerz, Awomolo Opeyemi who is passionate about promoting motosports in Nigeria said the event afforded Bikers in the country the opportunity to create business networks, expand Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), promote businesses and also have fun.
Opeyemi says the use of power bikes will help residents to navigate their way in a city notorious for its hectic traffic jam.
He said “When you look at the traffic in Lagos, using a motorbike for personal, private commuting to work is the easiest way. On the third mainland bridge when going to work in the morning, you can imagine the gridlock.”
Opeyemi stated that “When we ride, we just go by the side on the third mainland and in less than an hour you arrive at your destination.”
He added that for most riders, biking allows them to experience nature’s abundance and take beautiful pictures on the move.
Tosin Adebola was the first African to embark on a cross continent motorcycle adventure. For him, the motivation to put Africa’s name on the world map was his driving force.
“I went online and could not find any documentary by an African on motorcycle adventure. That was in 2013, and I was determined to be the first African to do a motorcycle adventure across continents.”
The 53-year-old added; “I did it, I raised money. It cost over $100,000 but I raised the money to do it.
It was in 2015 that I rode from Lagos to Icehotel kiruna, Sweden.”
Mykwheeler began riding at age seven. Over the years, he has turned a professional at his craft.
According to the Stunter, practice helped him to overcome the fear of performing stunts with a superbike.
“You just have to be determined that you want to do it. It costs a whole lot more than riding but that is where my own passion is.”
The 27- year- old Exhibitionist Pilot like many other riders had also tried his hands in other sports. “I was born and bred in this; I did not have an option. I tried basketball in my secondary school days but nothing marches the thrill of riding.”
Africanews correspondent David Taylor, reports that the event at Freedom Park in Lagos featured races and stunts.