Kulgam: Have you ever been biking with a friend and wanted to impress him or her? Well, even if you haven’t, Mohammad Farhan, a native of Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir, will show you how to. So take out your bike, put on a helmet, and get ready to have some fun.
The 15-year-old is well-known for his crazy stunts with his bicycle. He enjoys performing headstands while riding a bicycle the most. When he rides his bike, it thrills and terrifies the onlookers.
Farhan would keep himself occupied by practising freestyle riding so he could perform stunts on his bicycle. At the same time, the children in his neighbourhood played beloved games like cricket and football. Farhan would frequently find himself alone training in whatever place he could find because the activity was considered dangerous by the locals.
Farhan lacks a coach to assist with his workouts. He came upon an MTB (mountain terrain bicycle) rider video on YouTube when he was 11 years old. He had never seen anything like that before, so it intrigued him. Soon after, he began to grind after realising that he could do it too.
Off-road riding, or MTB, can be done on bicycles with specialised equipment. He identified himself as an MTB freestyle rider and stated that he is still learning.
The stunts performed by the class 11 student on the bicycles are a mixture of stoppies, wheelies, acrobatics etc. In aerobatics, the cycle moves on its wheels while the rider performs over it.
Farhan said: “I am a student of class 11th and an MTB (Mountain terrain bicycle) freestyle athlete. I have been doing such stunts for the last two years and today is the first time I have used professional (protective) gear to avoid major injuries.”
He said people always dislike this game as some do it with safety gear like helmets, shins, knee pads, and gloves, which are compulsory for a rider. “There is nothing like that bad in this game. Like other games, it should be promoted,” he said.
Farhan said there is proper competition for MTB which is held in foreign countries like Poland.
He wishes to participate in such a competition and represent his country at an international level.
“I also want to represent my country, India, in such a game. The administration should help me achieve my dream,” Farhan said, adding that he was already preparing for such a competition.
He currently practises at a public parking lot and in the premises of a college ground.
“There is no proper ground in my vicinity regarding the same and I am performing the stunts in a public park and college premises.
“I have participated in several events at the district administration level. Recently I performed at the District Police Lines Kulgam on the eve of August 15,” he said.
The number of enthusiasts for two-wheelers in the world is way more than those for four-wheelers. The reason is simple, motorcycles offer a completely new level of fun and excitement, not just in riding but in other aspects too.
Furthermore, they look stylish, and the attraction adds up when a rider performs tricks on his beloved bike, commonly known as stunts or motorcycle freestyling. Although the stunts may look easy, it requires a skill set as well as complete riding gear to ensure safety.
The practitioners of this tricky vocation use their talent to make everyday machines perform spectacles on a grand scale.
Manoeuvring their machines acrobatically in unison with their bodies, they make their steeds do unimaginable things, adding an element of risk and danger which inevitably makes the audience spellbound.
“It takes a lot of endurance, both physical and mental, to pursue stunt riding,” says an expert from Bengaluru. “However, that is just about the rider. To pursue the sport, one needs to also invest time and money.”
Another expert said that while the riders hold their sport in the highest esteem, they place equal importance on the two-wheeler that will be their companion in performing the stunts.
What does it take to be a stunt rider? The perfect bike!