BMX rider’s breakneck route to success


For Courage Adams a bike is meant to be ridden on its front wheel, along a stair rail, or maybe backwards down some steps. Never conventionally.

Adams, who has to live up to his name to get over the bumps and scrapes that go with BMX freestyle riding, left his native Nigeria when he was six. At 20 he is now one of the rising stars of the extreme sport.

“I feel comfortable with a bike, I forget everything. Just riding, I love it,” Adams told AFP during a visit to Paris to choose locations for a video.

Adams is brave and modest.

“Today, Courage is one of the best pros and the best street rider in Europe,” said France’s BMX Flatland world champion Matthias Dandois.

“Cycling got him out of poverty. That is how BMX brings down frontiers,” added Dandois. “It doesn’t matter whether you are big, small, ugly, beautiful, black or yellow.”

Adams escaped poverty in Nigeria with his mother and two sisters in 2003 to join his father who illegally entered Europe. The family are now based in the Spanish city of Pamplona, famed for its bull run but not yet for BMX.

Courage Adams got his first trick bike in Pamplona 10 years ago.

“I had been riding since I was small but not doing tricks.

“In Pamplona, one of my good friends took me to a skate park and I saw some guys doing some stuff with bicycles and I said: ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool. I want to do some things like that.

His parents were against it.

“They said ‘no, not bikes, football yes, football will get you money.’

“I said ‘No I don’t like football, I hate football, it’s so boring, I want something more, I want to feel good with myself.”

The Adams elders gave in and now Courage Adams has proved himself. His videos get tens of thousands of views and sponsors want to be linked to the rider with breathtaking breakneck skills.

Having started with a BMX store in Spain, he is now linked to a major soda drink that organises competitions.

“Because of my bike, I could be somebody today and I could have all I have today. It’s a big experience and motivation to keep going.”

Adams’ ambition now is to get worldwide recognition. To get that he needs a Spanish passport so that he can travel to the United States and take part in the American circuit.

He hopes to get the precious document within a year.

© 2016 AFP

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