Motocross in Namibia (and yet still no broken bones)

This weekend was…. Painful, to say the least.

As per schedule on Saturday I went to practice to get a few hours of riding in. All went relatively well, besides the track being in probably the worse condition I’ve ever seen. I was about to call it a day since up to that point I already had a few close calls.

Looking back now, deciding to do one more lap and then head off was probably the worse decision I could have made. As I was aprouching the very last turn of the very last lap, I had to jump over a small yet badly worn out jump. As soon as I hit the take off all went sideways, literally, the bike was thrown sideways and as soon as it happened I knew, BRACE FOR IMPACT!

It felt like an eternity soaring through the air and when I hit the ground it all sped up and was over in what felt like a split second. There I lay, flat on my back, having knocked the wind out of myself with the tip of the handelbars. Searching for air, but every breath came to short and to painful. The next thing I noticed was the throbbing pain in my right arm and not being able to move it, I thought to myself “well I guess that arm’s broken”.

In the distance I could faintly hear footsteps and voices approaching, all the while I am still trying to breath. The fellow riders finally reached me, some of them hovered over me asking if I was alright as others picked up the bike.

After quite a while I managed to stand up and was relieved to discover that luckely my arm was not broken, just very badly bruised and bleeding like crazy. I limped back to the car where we luckily always keep a First Aid and started cleaning and bandaging the worst wounds.

Luckily most if the damage was external, so scrapes and bruises but fortunately still no broken bones. The bike also took quite a punch, twisting the front shocks, breaking the handelbars almost clean off, losing the front brake leaver as well as the front disk brake and scratching the plastics to pieces.

The day was obviously not one of the best days ever, but look on the bright side, it could have been way worse.


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Motocross in Namibia (How I got into racing)

When I first started riding bikes I did not even think of riding Motocross.

When I got my very first bike it was actually an Enduro bike and not a Motocross one. As a result of this me and my friends spend most of the time riding on gravel roads in the bush, never considering riding Motocross on a track as a sport. We would spend hours upon hours riding up mountains, through rivers and on roads most people don’t know existed.

Then one day I heard an advert on the radio announcing an upcoming Motocross event at the Gallina track, I thought to myself that it could be fun to watch so we went to the event and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Watching the other people race stirred something inside me that made me want to join them. So the next week we went to the track during practice and so began my obsession with Motocross.

To this day I still spend allot of time riding in the bush, however there is just something about riding Motocross that gets my blood pumping.

Motocross in Namibia (The big Race)

The big race against South Africa’s Zone 7 racing club was as much, if not more fun than we all anticipated.

12 riders from South Africa, 9 Bikes and 3 Quads, signed up for the race on Saturday. Most of the bikes rode in the A and B class, however there was 2 riders in the C class who I raced against. One of whom was a 14 year old rider with an 85cc bike, despite the age difference and bike size difference the young rider gave the rest of us quite a run for our money.

The main event of the day however was the A class race. More specifically the battle between our best rider and the South African best rider. Jaws dropped and knees shook when the two of them battled it out, overtaking one another time and time again. At the end of the day our rider won the overall position, but merely by a second or two.

The two Quadbike riders that came to race also gave our champion a run for his money but at the end he to was able to take the win. I have to take my hat off for the South Africans however, not practicing on our track before and then doing as well as they did is truly very impressive. If they had the chance to practice once or twice the outcome of the races would most probably have been different.

All together the event was loads of adrenaline filled fun with great music and even better company. The South African riders along with our riders all want to make this an annual event. I personally hope and pray that they do make this a yearly event, the fun we all had was beyond comprehension.

Motocross in Namibia (Freestyle show)

This Saturday at the annual Windhoek Biltong festival, freestyle riders from South Africa came to put on a show.

The three riders that came all had already won numerous titles in competitions all over the world, so it would be an understatement to say that they were simply amazing.

I went to the show Saturday evening and my jaw literally dropped when I saw the stunts they were performing on a bike. As if defying gravity the freestylers did Backflips and Supermen and stunts that would leave any mind blown. The stunts were performed a good 20 – 25 meters in the air. The show was amazing to say the very least, it gave me an adrenaline rush and I was merely watching.

After the show they signed autographs and took fotos so naturally I stood in line to get one as well. I hope they do a show next year again, it was truly an amazing sight to behold.

Motocross in Namibia (New Bike Test Ride)

During the course of last week the Yamaha dealership in Windhoek reached out to a bunch of riders, asking them to test ride a few of the new bikes they shipped in and to give a short review about what they experienced.

I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen riders. Pure excitement rushed through my veins as I was busy reading the message. The thought of being chosen to ride and review one of the brand new bikes in stock had my heart pounding and I could not wait for the weekend to roll around. As Saturday drew near I grew more and more excited and finally it was time to head to the track.

When I arrived some of the other chosen riders was already there and others was still on their way. When we were all there the guys from Yamaha gave us a short speech and a few rules. When we were all “briefed” the moment I have been waiting for all week was finally here. It was very apparent that I was not the only one more than eager to get riding. All the riders rushed to put on their kits (riding gear) and get on their bikes. We were 4 riders in total, each testing a different bike.

The rest of the day was spent riding and having fun, I constantly had to remind myself that “this is not my bike, so please don’t break it”. I also had to remember to test the bike and not only enjoy it. However, the bike was amazing to say the very least, the speed, steering, weight, torque   everything was beyond anything I ever rode before.

A silent tear was shed when it was finally time to hand back the bike at the end of the day. Non the less it was great fun and an experience I will not easily forget. I wrote a positive, yet still honest, review and sent it to Yamaha, who were pleased to hear that I enjoyed the bike. 

The whole experience was very exciting and a heap of fun, I truly hope I get the chance again in the future.

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Yamaha, Windhoek

 

Motocross in Namibia (Private practice session)

Last weekend my “riding squad” (basically just me, my father and my best friend) had the entire Gallina Motocross track to ourselves.

This weekend on Saturday there was an Enduro event that took place outside of town. Many of the riders either went to participate in the event, or they just went along for the event itself. This along with the fact that we only went to practice quite late in the afternoon, as apposed to early in the morning like we usually do, meant that when we got there we were the only people at the track.

At first we thought that we came to late and that practice was over, but a quick phone call later we were pleased to hear that it was not closed just empty.

We offloaded the 3 bikes and started practice. Since we were alone we had the chance to practice and perfect indevidaul jumps and corners over and over. My friend and I also had a friendly competition, the loser was to wash the bikes when we got home after. However, me being the nice friend that I am, did not just sit and watch him wash the bikes on his own.

All in all it was a great day and an opportunity not likely to come around  again soon.

Motocross in Namibia (Awesome race day)

No matter how much one trains and prepares for a race, one always wakes up with a ton of butterflies is one’s stomach.

The weekend that just passed (8th of June), was the 5th leg/race of the Gallina Motocross season. The day started relatively early just as any other race day, we arrived at the track about half past 6 and the pit areas was already buzzing with not only the sound of the people but the sounds of the bikes. We offloaded the bikes and set up everything to be ready once practice started.

Practice started at half past 7, all the classes had a chance to take a few laps around the track to warm up themselves and the bikes. After practice was done all the riders sat down for the “riders briefing” where they once again tell us the same rules as all the times before.

And at last ,after what seamed like an eternity, it was time for the races to start. First off it was the A class riders then B and then C, this is where I ride, and after us it is the D class and then the quads. It is always breathtaking to watch the A class riders race, the level of skill they show on the track is something I can’t put into words.

Finally it was time to head to the starting gates and line up for the race. It is hard to put into words the feelings rushing through one when lining up at the gates. It is a mixture of both excitement and terror, and then when the gates finally drops it’s as if the adrenaline just pushes everything aside. The second that those gates drop and the 15+ riders all gun it for the first corner is the most terrifying yet exciting moment of the entire race. I’m shaking just thinking about it.

All in all it was a pretty good race and even though I did not manage to win, I did get a 4th place in the first race. All the more reason to practice a bit harder and push just that little bit more.

The day however did not go as smoothly for everybody. One of the quad riders fell on the very last lap and broke his thumb, this has to be a quad riders worst nightmare as one is then unable to continue riding until it heals.

The second round of races was equally as fun. However, I crashed in one of the corners, luckily I didn’t get hurt, but it cost me valuable time and I only finished 6th.

The whole day was a blast, The food was good and as was the music, and as always the entertainment was to die for.

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