BMX TR has made their October 2016 interview with a rider from Northern Turkey-Samsun. Haktan Oral. Haktan is a rider who has confronted many obstacles and difficulties riding BMX. But these difficulties cannot stop BMX enthusiasts from riding, just the contrarty they motivate them. Because first of all BMX requires passion, otherwise non of us would be riding today in Turkey. What do you think Haktan?

H.O.       : Let me give you a brief answer: No matter what the conditions are, riding is a must!

This has been an unusual introduction to the interview. You have drawn our attention with your edits on Facebook, afterwards we had the chance to meet in Istanbul on 8th May-Turkish BMX day. You had quite an adventure which we will mention in the interview later on. For our followers we would first like to introduce you. How old are you and where do you live?

H.O.       : I am 20 and I live in Samsun.

BMX TR: Are you a student or do you work?

H.O.       : Actually both, I am studying business administration, in the meantime I ride for Style of the Power. I ride for shows for 6-7 months a year in Antalya and after the season end I work in cafes in Samsun. I also have a sponsorship from Hell Energy Drink. This sponsorship yet only includes drink support but I suppose the size of the sponsorship will be different in 2017.

BMXTR : How did you get this sponsorship?

H.O.       : I was following Hell Energy from the beginning. They are a new brand in Turkey. I made a research and was able to contact their people in charge in other cities. They directed me to their area manager in Trabzon. He then sent me to their manager in Samsun. I met him and introduced myself. He managed to arrange a sponsorship for me. It is yet a new brand in Turkey but in 2017 they have good hopes for the business.

BMX TR: How is your education going then?

H.O.: In fact I started feeling like I am going to make my living by riding by looking at the point I have come so far. But this doesn't mean that education is not necessary. I am gonna finish the school. Meanwhile I am learning Spanish. In my opinion self progression is important. 

BMX TR: Spanish? Why Spanish? How are you learning it?

H.O.       : Just because it sounds nice. Plus it has a great advantage of being the second most spoken language in the world. I have this friend in Samsun who is attending to a Spanish course, he is teaching me. I don't have a book or something, just making use of his notes. My Spanish is not that great yet but I think I can survive if I went to Spain.

BMX TR: Had you dreamt of BMX as a profession from the beginning?

H.O.       : In the beginning it didn't even cross my mind. I think I just love BMX so much, if you love doing something enough, success comes after.

BMX TR: Would you say something about your family?

H.O.       : I have two elder sisters. My mother is an officer and my father owns an accessories workshop. We are a middle income family.

BMX TR: How are their support for BMX?

H.O.       : If they didn't support me they wouldn't be sending me to Antalya for 6-7 months a year. We are going to build a sponge pool to my father's workshop, I think they have great support so far.

BMX TR: How is the social life in Samsun? Is riding fun over there? How many riders are there in Samsun?

H.O.       : Although Samsun is a big city, we are only 14 riders most of which I pushed to start riding BMX. Socially it is not very developed there, young people generally spending their time in internet cafes.

BMX TR: How did you first start riding bicycles and BMX? How old were you?

H.O.       : My grandfather had bought my first bicycle. I was 7 or 8 years old. When I was 17 I first encountered a BMX owned by a friend of mine. At the beginning like every Turkish person I thought it was a kid's bike. Then I started riding that bike and began liking it. After 3 months I bought my first BMX and that's how my BMX adventure started.

BMX TR: What discipline are you riding and why did you choose it?

H.O.       : I am a big fan of Tommy Dugan and Aaron Ross. I was watching Tommy's edits when I started riding and he was always riding in the pool. Of course there was no pool around and I wasn't even dreaming about One day somebody told me there was a skatepark being constructed in Samsun and I still didn't even think it was a pool. When I saw the construction I was so happy and excited. Now I am the only rider who uses the pool in Samsun!

Is the pool somewhere close to your home?

H.O.       : Around 17 km far away from where I live. I am riding that distance almost everyday.It is taking me 45 minutes. There is also a subway going to the area but they allow bikes only at weekends. So weekends are good for me cos I can use the metro.

BMX TR: How is your training schedule?

H.O.       : Thanks for asking. Actually training hard is the key factor for me. I ride 9 hours a day. 5 hours of it serious excercise and remaining 4 hours is just riding for fun.

BMX TR: What else is in your life other than BMX?

H.O.       : Movies. I am a Tolga Çevik fan, I watched all of his movies and series. 

BMX TR: Do you and your friends meet other riders from different cities?

H.O.       : Yes sure we do. Riders coming from other cities find me or Enes to ride together. Umut Çaygara from Bursa, Nihat from İstanbul, Batuhan Erdinç from Ordu and Hosein from Iran came a few times and stayed in our or Enes's house. I went to Ordu, İstanbul, Isparta and Antalya to ride. It is fun to ride with different riders.

BMX TR: What are your future dreams about BMX? 

H.O.       : I dream of riding BMX with my son in the future!

BMX TR: What are your thoughts about us, BMX TR?

H.O.       : BMX TR is awesome! We have the chance to meet with other riders all around Turkey by the organizations and events organized by BMX TR. The website is really good, the articles, BMX stories and BMX news are very helpful for young riders like us to learn more about BMX. I also would like to thank BMX TR on behalf of every rider in Turkey for also helping us to introduce us to the rest of the world by interviews like this.        

BMX TR: Ok, now we would like to hear your adventure on 8th May-Turkish BMX day. Would you please share it for our followers?

H.O        : We had booked our tickets for 8th May Turkish BMX day and we couldn't wait for it. On 2nd of May we suddenly decided with my friend Ahmetcan that we should go to Istanbul next day so we revised our tickets. Enes also joined us. But we didn't have a place to stay in Istanbul, we were planning to camp in a tent but we didn't even have a tent! It was a strange feeling, we were going to an unknown city and would spend 5 days. 

4 th May morning we arrived to Istanbul at 7:30. We first visited Ertan Üçkumru. We had talked on the phone several times, but that was our first face to face meeting. He is a really cheerful guy. When we were in his shop Bülent Öztürk came. He was up for a show that day in Bursa as Action Team. So we joined him and spent the night in Bursa. Next day we were back in Istanbul and started waiting for the night. Aroud 02:20 am we were in Maltepe skatepark, I received a message from a friend in Istanbul. Nihat came all the way from Zeytinburnu to Maltepe and we didn't sleep all night. When it was dawn we went to Burger King and slept a few hours until they started serving breakfast menu. In the morning we went to Avcılar skatepark. It was 6th May and there were still 3 days to go. As we spent time in the skatepark we started having new friends. All riders welcomed us very nicely.

It was another night again, this time we found a cafe to sleep. That was a big luxury! We spent the whole next day in the skatepark and 7th May night we tried to sleep outside in the children's park which we couldn't. 

Finally it was 8th May morning. BMX TR founders Ediz Tenşi and Akman Atılgan arrived. Other riders started coming too. The atmosphere was awesome, everybody was speaking about BMX and everybody was riding. It was a beautiful day. Just the atmosphere I was dreaming of. We carried out contests, and a full day with pure BMX riding. But like every other nice thing, this had an end too. People started leaving the place and we had to find a place o sleep.

That night in the park we found a bag full of expensive cameras and equipment which was left there by BAŞKA İŞLER who was supporting BMX TR. Since Ediz TENŞİ knew we were there he phoned me to ask if we found a similar bag. Cemil came from BAŞKA İŞLER company to collect the bag. He was very happy to find it, and he awarded us by arranging hotel rooms for us in a nice hotel for us to sleep! That was awesome! Finally we were going to sleep in comfortable beds! After the shower I fell into a deep sleep in the first minute. 

We left the hotel in noon time, I was happy I was going back home with nice memories. We said goodbye to our friends in the skatepark. They came with us to the bus and next morning we were back in Samsun! It was like a dream, and I look forward for the next gathering!

BMX TR: Haktan, we are very happy to know you. We hope with this interview we helped you to make others hear your voice all lover the world. We wish you a life full of BMX.