Translation: A. MELİH YAVAŞ

BMX TR’s January interview, a lonely BMX rider  living in the middle of Anatolia is introduced. He is continuing to ride despite the obstacles he faces at Kayseri, located eastern part of Turkey. His name is Ahmet Samet ERDEM. He has a stunning and inspiring story for many BMX riders.  On behalf of BMXTR, Akman ATILGAN has made an interview with Ahmet Samet ERDEM.

BMX TR: Merhaba (Hi) Ahmet Samet ERDEM. By sharing your videos on your social media, you have attracted our interest. Not only you are a very good rider but also you are living in Kayseri where there are no other riders we know. At first, which of your names you prefer Ahmet or Samet?

A.S.E.: My firends call me Samet, the others use Ahmet.

BMX TR: We should call you Samet thenJ. Some people know you by the videos you have shared on your social media, but I hope our readers will know a great deal about you after this interview.  How old are you? Are you from Kayseri?

A.S.E.: I am 19 years old. My father is a Caucasian immigrant from Eskişehir (Midwest of Anatolia) My mother is also from Eskişehir but I was born and raised in Kayseri.

 BMX TR: What are you doing at the moment? Work, school?

A.S.E.: I have graduated from high school 2 years ago. Eventhough I have managed to be qualified for Kayseri University Radio And TV Technologies Bachelor’s Degree Program, some unfortunate events prevented me to enroll the University. This year I am studying again to go to the university. BMX is taking the rest of my time.

BMX TR: How about BMX in Kayseri. As far as we know there are not much riders at Kayseri. How many people are riding in this city?

A.S.E.: I know 7-8 people somehow involved in BMX riding at Kayseri, but for many years almost no one is riding. Only I am and one other rider, much younger than me, exist.

BMX TR: How about spare parts and other component’s you might need. Is there a possibility that you find what you need at the market?

A.S.E.: In fact, the only thing related with BMX at Kayseri is me. I am importing parts either from foreign countries or purchasing them from Istanbul.  I am also doing all repairs I need.

BMX TR: What you are experiencing at Kayseri reminds me my childhood 25 yrs ago. We also had many problems at that time. There were no parts not even a simple cable was sold on the market. The only difference was we were having problems despite living in Istanbul, one of the largest cities in the world, and the only option we had was importing the parts from the USA. Off course there were no credit cards or internet. The only option was, one of the bank’s prepaid checks to be sent to the shop we have seen on BMX Plus magazine, and wait for the shipment to be arrived for the next 2 months. Your situation is not that bad, but you  still have obsticles to carry on at Kayseri.  

A.S.E.: There is no comparison with the old days that you have lived through, but it is not very easy to ride at Kayseri either. It is also very complicated when you have to ride all alone. BMX is much more fun if there are other riders on the street. The crowd also helps every rider to be competitive and improve riding skills easily. I am sometimes traveling to Iznik to ride with my friend Gokhan Yıldız.

BMX TR: İznik? How do you go there? It is nearly 600km.

A.S.E.: I put the bike to a bus and go. It usually takes 12 hours to reach there. In fact there are not much places to ride at Iznik, but I am only going there just to ride with a friend. By means of that I am going out of that “Lonely Rider” mood.

BMX TR: It is such a long way to go there. Isn’t it tiresome?

A.S.E.: It is tiring but it’s worth the effort. Gokhan is a very good friend of mine and we learn many things from each other. Arif Gül is also a very good friend. Arif  also started riding at Iznik. He moved to Izmit afterwards. Once we visited him at Izmit to learn tailwhip. We neither had a ramp nor someone to teach us hints of the trick. 

BMX TR: This interview is getting more and more interesting. How have you got interested in a sport that does not exist in a city like Kayseri.

A.S.E. : Let me tell you. When I was a little kid, I had a red bike seemed like a junior BMX bike. I was 12 years old and wheele was my only trick. Soon after wheelie,  I dropped in a pavement while doing a wheele. One day I have come across kids on the TV hopping with their bike. I tried the trick next day and without knowing it I learned bunny hop. I was on top of my bike during all my childhood. 3 years ago I met inline skaters at Kayseri. There was a kid among them having a BMX bike. I had a MTB at that time and my bike was gigantic compare to that bike. I remember thinking to buy one of those BMX bikes. I have sold my MTB and bought an 18” BMX bike. A friend of mine riding a trail bike showed me some videos on internet. By those videos I learned more comprehensive tricks. Soon after I changed my ride and purchased a Stolen. Right now I am riding a wonderful Sunday thanks to Ertan Üçkumru, Darkside Distribution. That’s my story.

BMX TR: Is your family supporting your inriding BMX?

A.S.E.: I should say, my family has been great. Since I was a little kid, they are supporting me by all means. They are going to support me as long as I keep my promises to them.

BMX TR: What kind of promises you have given to your family?

A.S.E.: I have agreed on two things. I will be away from any kind of bad habits, and I will keep my education as a priority. In fact anyone who is working out automatically stay away from any kind of bad habit. For the education, I am doing my best to keep my promise.

BMX TR: Do you have any future plans? Do you think you have a future in this sport?

A.S.E: Sure. I cannot imgine a life without BMX. The days I can not ride are very boring. I am riding almost every day. I like to have a job related with the sport and BMX in the future. My education is also very important. If I had a major injury that prevents me from riding, it’s better that I have a profession

BMX TR: You don’t have any rider friends around you. There are difficulties to ride at Kayseri. It seems like there are no motivation for you to ride. How do you motivate yourself to ride every day?

 A.S.E.: I would call it BMX love. It has become my passion. When I ride in the city, I had weird looks by some people; some of them are snarling even sometimes swearing.  In fact no one is encouraging me about what I do. Sometimes kids’ looking at me with admiration and applause motivates me. There is no one supporting this sport in general. I feel very lonely sometimes but I will continue to ride no matter what happens.

BMX TR: We as BMX TR are aware of you…

A.S.E.: Yes, I was very excited about your call. It was very exciting for you to say that, you are trying to connect everybody involved in this sport. I believe what you are doing is very nice and connecting the riders from different cities is very important. Every rider in Turkey should somehow know what the others doing. If I see my interview on your webpage, it would be a great motivation for me.

BMX TR: Our first interview was with Flatland World Champion Viki Gomez. Your interview is the second one. We believe that besides very famous athletes, the athletes deserve to be known like you should be on our web page.

A.S.E.: I am glad that you say, thank you again. I also have a video broadcasted on a foreign webpage. I sent the video and it is broadcasted.

BMX TR: How nice, which page is it?

A.S.E.: Bmx Union.


BMX TR: http://bmxunion.com/daily/ahmet-samet-erdem-2016-video/  I will share the link of the video for our readers.

On the banner it says:

“Here’s one we had sent through from Ahmet Samet Erdem from Turkey! We don’t see a ton of BMX videos out of this place, but Ahmet is holding it down with some solid riding on a wedge spot and then his local skatepark that is looking like it could use some TLC. Ahmet has whips and bars on lock. Take a look”


I think you have promoted Turkey in a very good way. There is  skatepark on the video. Is this park at Kayseri.?

A.S.E.: Yes, I can say it is a park I have put so much efforts to make it happen. It is more suitable for the inliners though.

BMX TR: What kind of effords you are talking about?

A.S.E.: There has always been a need for the skatepark. I have written a letter to BIMER (Communication Center of Premiership of Turkey) every day. After my letters, municipality sent me a letter that you see, and after 2 months the city constructed the park. 

BMX TR: By means of that, you are showing the way to have a skatepark who needs one in his/her city. It is stunning, I am impressed.  

A.S.E.: It is more suitable for the inliners, but anyways we have a park. Right now, whenever I get in to the city hall, everybody knows me by my name. I am not going to the park when it rains and it’s too cold, but I have a small place under our apartment. It has a low ceiling but the floor is nice. I train there every day. It is next to the central heating unit, a very hot place. I sweat like crazy in an hour

BMX TR: I appreciate you very much, I believe the efforts you put on this sport will pay off one day. We wish you a very successful carrier on this sport. The only thing we can advise you is, carry on riding.

A.S.E. Frankly, before meeting you, I felt like I am going nowhere. Meeting you gave me a big push, and your recognition and support tells me that what did is not waste of time. Thank you, you’re your support and promotion. I also wish BMXTR good luck.