Motocross in Namibia (Last race of the season)

To end off the racing season the Gallina Motocross Club decided to end it with a bang.

For the last race they decided to once again reach out to South Africa, as well as to Botswana to try and organize ons huge final race. We as the riders were more than extatic when we heard that 10 riders were coming from South Africa and 2 from Botswana. It’s always exciting to race against new competitors, it makes all of the riders race with renewed vigour.

One of the riders from Botswana, Ross, is one of the African Motocross Champions. On the practice laps he already broke the record lap time. The race between the A class riders was something to behold. At the end of the day Ross won 1st place and our own champion got 2nd and a South African rider got 3rd place. 

In my riding class we had 2 additional riders from South Africa, they performed quite well, finishing 3rd and 6th. I managed to finish 4th, barely snatching up that 3rd position. No worries, next year I’ll came back swinging.

All in all the last event of the season was a heap load of fun, there were tons of people and it was a huge turnout.

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Motocross in Namibia (Riding in the Dunes)

Going to the coast also means going to ride in the dunes, since Namibia has a desert right ons the edge of the ocean.

After our practice on Saturday at the Swakop track, we decided to go to the dunes on Sunday morning. Waking up bright and early, we once again loaded all our riding gear and bikes and headed off. The morning was chilly with quite a good amount of mist laying in the air. This was very good news as it meant the sand dunes would be slightly damp, perfect for riding.

We drove out a long way to the spot we always go to and started offloading and getting ready to tackle the dunes. It’s quite a different experience than just riding on normal ground, for one the amount of traction the bikes have is very limited in the soft sand. This means that one has to try to keep the momentum of the bike going at all times. This makes it a heck of a challenge, but once you master it it’s loads and loads of fun.

One however also needs to be very careful as the dunes could be very dangerous. As the sun gets higher in the sky and the shadows shrink to nothing, it is very hard to judge depth and one could easily be surprised by a sudden drop off or blind dune. However, just being careful and keeping a constant eye out is enough to prevent any accidents.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day, surely one to remember.

Motocross in Namibia (Best race ever)

It is safe to say that last weekend’s race was one of the most fun events in a very long time.

The new track layout received heaps of positive feedback from all the riders in all the classes. Some of the new jumps that were added looked daunting at first but proved to be fun as the day grew longer and more and more riders started jumping them.

However, as always with the addition of new jumps and turns there is always going to be a few crashes as well. Nothing serious luckily, all the riders that tumbled and fell quickly got up and tried their very best to get back in the race.

I personally had one of the most epic falls ever. As I was attempting to jump one of the new jumps for the first time, I misjudged the distance between the take-off ramp and the landing. I did not have enough speed and I hit the landing too short, as soon as I left the take-off I knew, this could not end well and waited for the inevitable as I soured through the sky.

After what felt like an eternity I hit the flat side of the landing and bottomed out the bike, this flung me forward and up into the air. As I was flying through the air, a good 3 meters off the ground, I did a complete frontflip and when I hit the ground I landed on my feet (none of which was planned of course), I stumbled forward from the momentum I was still carrying but managed to stay on my feet. I froze for a moment, not believing what just happened. And then out of pure joy and amazement I threw up my arms and yelled “that was awesome”. I rushed back to my bike and got back into the race.

I managed to finish 5th overall for the day in my class, but the main highlight of my day was that epic crash that could not have gone any better. I hoped and prayed that one of the photographers managed to catch my moment as an Acrobat on a photo, but sadly none did. Non the less it was great fun and an awesome day of racing.

 
 

Motocross in Namibia (A massive track change)

Some of the head managers of the Gallina club decided that a massive revamp of the track would be a welcome surprise to the riders.

During the week out of the blue and image was posted on the Gallina Motocross Facebook page of a track that looked allien to us all. A discussion broke out and we found that the strange track we were all looking at was in fact our beloved track that received a massive change.

According to the management, the track was changed mostly to accommodate a more diverse skill level. The layout of the previous track was more suited for pro riders, which caused allot more crashes for the “not-so-pro” riders.

The whole community very quickly became ecstatic. The new track looks very different and yet very fun, I believe I speak for everyone when I say that the race this weekend is going to be heaps of fun and a completely new experience for all of us.

 

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 (Biting the Dust)

This Saturday at practice I bit the dust… literally!

It has been a while since it rained, and because they only wet the track before the races it was especially dry and dusty this Saturday. Everything went great (accept for the heat as always in Namibia) until around the 3rd hour of practice, we were about to call it a day and I thought “okay just 2 more laps”. That was not one of the wisest decisions I ever made, quick tip: If your body aches from continuous practice rather rest or call it a day, don’t keep on riding if you can barely hold on. So rounding the one corner the ground, being mostly loose sand, gave way beneath me, and with my arms being no more than useless I couldn’t do much to prevent the inevitable. So as if in slow-motion I watched the ground get closer and closer and did my best to brace for the impact I knew so well by now.    Weirdly enough the first thought is never if I am okay, it’s whether the bike is.

After taking a second to retrieve my bearings I got up and dusted myself off. I picked up the bike and rode back to the pit areas, on my way I noticed that the steering was a bit off and at I just thought that maybe I just bent the handlebars. However, as I climbed off I saw that my front left shock was leaking oil. So now I have to take it in to Yamaha for repairs this week.

All in all not a bad Practice session, except of course for the unfortunate incident with the ground.

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Damn Son

Motocross in Namibia (an Introduction)

MOTOCROSS IN NAMIBIA
It All Starts With The Drop Of A Gate.

This is my first BLOG POST, so please hang in there, I am as they would say “a Newbie”.

I wanted to do a blog about general Motocross in Namibia, focusing mostly the Windhoek (capital city) area. Being a rider myself and also being somewhat involved in the “behind the scenes” action, I have an overall general insight into the planning, running and also racing aspects of the sport here in Namibia.

Motocross in Namibia is not as big a sport as compared to other countries, however in the last 2 – 3 years the sport really grew and it is continuing to grow with more and more new rider entries each month. We have one Motocross track called the “Gallina Motocross Track” – the track is situated about 20km (12.5miles) outside Windhoek.  A brand new track, situated outside of Swakopmund at the coast, was built in 2016.

Gallina hosts a monthly event ( this year, it falls on every first Saturday of every Month), with the Track being open for practice every other Saturday not being a “race day”. The riders at these events are split into 5 categories, namely Class D (this is the rookie class with all the new riders), Class C (The bit more experienced riders that have levelled up from Class D), Class B (These are the faster riders but not yet the fastest), Class A (These are the fastest riders of the lot, the ones that can truly be called the “Pro’s”) and then we also have a Quad Class that are only the quad-bike riders. This year there are also 2 kiddies classes.  The one class (7 riders) for bikes with engine sizes less than 85cc and then the “bigger” kids on the bikes with more than 85cc’s – in this class they are a whole 6 riders.

The event is usually a fun-filled day for the whole family.  Great music, an open bar, food and all the adrenaline filled action anybody’s heart can desire.

 

This is only the first blog and just an overview – I will do more weekly posts, where I will cover in more detail all the aspects of the sport in Namibia as seen from a riders perspective, as well as share with you more about the races, practice days as well as any news and “action” that is guaranteed to go down!