David Macharia @PeopleSports11
Motorcycle taxi operators popularly known as boda boda normally wow their passengers with their daredevil ability to weave their way through tight traffic jams in Nyahururu town.
But a competition organised for them by a motorcycles sales company at the weekend showed the riders are just human after all and get tensed when given strict instructions.
The venue was Nyahururu stadium and the route was set up like a normal cross-country course with boulders of different sizes and shape made from murram-placed at various points on the route. The instructions were clear, riders had to ensure their machines run over the obstacles.
And when the action began, there was drama as many of the riders were disqualified because they missed a boulder that was tacked at a corner in a section of the route.
Spectators were shocked at the high rate of riders who lost balance and fell off the machines. The victims, however, blamed the crashes on use of different machines from the ones they are used to as organisers had a set of motorcycles for the competitors instead of the ones they carry passengers with.
“Most of us were thinking of the Sh10,000 prize money on offer and ended up losing focus, thus braking abruptly when in high speed and this made us lose balance and fall. The grass route was also too slippery for the competition,” said Ken Rasta, who pocketed Sh3,000 after finishing third in the competition won by Simon Gachuhi (awarded Sh10,000) while Philip Gitonga finished second to earn Sh5,000.
Gachuhi will be among competitors at the national Boda Boda riders championships later this year.
Over 150 riders took part in the competition, racing in groups of six with the top two in each group advancing to the next round.