Türkiye'de BMX'in Sesi! | Voice of BMX in Turkey!


INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL DHERS                                                                                                                                                       


Dear BMXTR readers, we are happy to publish our October 2016 interview with Daniel Dhers. We know this has been an interview awaited for a long time by Turkish BMX fans. BMX TR founder Ediz Tenşi had first met Daniel in 2009 BMX Worlds. Later on January 2016 they came across again in Germany and lastly BMX TR met him on July 2016 in Cologne and our friendship with him got stronger. He was very kind to give this interview and we hope you enjoy reading it and get to know Daniel Dhers better. So, before the interview, let’s see how others described Daniel Dhers:

  • Mike Bebernies from Sports Illustrated: Today, Dhers is one of the most decorated BMX riders of all time.” 2014
  • Tony Castleberry from The Daily Reflector:— arguably the greatest BMX rider going today 2010
  • Jamie Bestwick says: "He is one of the most naturally talented persons I've ever seen."2008

BMX TR : Hello Daniel. First off thanks for giving us this interview. It is a privilige for BMX TR to have your interview in our webpage. So, how are you?

D.D. : Im doing well! Happy to be home for a while, I had a crazy amount of travel in the last 3 years and I'm finally spending more than 2 weeks at home :)

BMX TR : Daniel, BMX TR is trying to introduce worldwide known riders to young Turkish BMX’ers. How old are you and where are you from?

D.D. : Im from Caracas, Venezuela and 31 years old. Ive been riding for about 19 years now….         

BMX TR  : We want to ask our traditional question: How did BMX enter your life? Is there a story about it? How old were you?

D.D. : I was about 12 when I started riding, my friends around my block started cruising on bikes so I decided to join. At 12 I had never ridden a bike in my life so I had to learn. Some time later I saw a guy doing bunnyhops and I just started trying BMX without realizing it!

BMX TR : What was your first BMX, how did you buy it?

D.D. :  I had a 16 inch bike I started riding at 12 so I was a bit too big haha. Later one my parents helped with my first couple of bikes and I got rolling.

Caracas-Veneuzela 1999. Daniel Dhers  at age of 14 

BMX TR : Turkish riders are having many difficulties due to lack of resources, and lack of opportunities to show themselves. BMX is still a sport that needs a lot of support in Turkey. That’s why your story would be very inspiring for Turkish riders. What were your problems in Venezuela and Argentina about riding?

D.D. :  The main issue was there was nowhere to ride, in Venezuela my local park closed down a couple years after I started riding so I only rode street and some flatland. You couldn’t really find many brands and definitely there were no sponsors but we rode, we just enjoyed it. When I moved to Argentina, the scene there was a lot bigger and better, the park was nicer but that also closed down and every time a new park would emerge it would close down very soon after. The riders were a lot better in Argentina and that helped me learn more tricks. There were a few competitions I was able to go to but to this day both scenes are struggling. There’s more places to ride but it’s hard and expensive to get parts and all that, that was part of the motivation to leave and start riding in the States.

2004 Latin X Games was a turning point for your career and your first burst out in the BMX Scene. Then you were invited to a BMX training facility in Pennsylvania, United States. Being in United States must be exciting for you but there must also have been difficulties. Could you briefly tell us that period from 2004 Woodward to The 2005 Baco Jam in Orlando?

D.D. : It was insane to had been able to ride and eventually live at Woodward, I grew up watching videos of this place my whole riding life so I couldn’t believe I was being able to finally ride it. In 2004 I was there for part of the summer and a little bit of the winter, once at Woodward during the summer life was pretty easy, just eat, sleep and ride as much as you could but I was stranded there if I wanted to do anything else. In 2005 I missed most of the summer and was there for part of the winter and it wasn’t so easy. Woodward can be very cold. I rode a lot but I didn’t really have much money so I got a microwave and lived of noodles, protein and the Red Bull I could steal haha. By the time I made to Baco I was about 10 kilos smaller but I had been riding so much that I was able to win the contest and do the front flip over the spine in BMX, so all those efforts paid off.

We know Dave Mirra was a big inspiration for you before you became a pro. After you made to USA you got to meet him and Jamie Bestwick as well. You became good friends. How was ther support?

D.D. : I met Dave briefly at Woodward in 04 and I hung out quite a bit with Bestwick since he lived there. Jamie helped out a lot with how to be a professional and motivated me to learn many tricks, I think Jamie was always good at calming me down and motivating me at the moment of learning a scary trick or competing. With Dave it was different, the second time I saw him I was at Greenville, NC where we all used to live and I remember he was super open and supportive, he wanted to ride together and learn tricks all the time. Dave had a crazy influence on me at the time of rolling the dice and taught me a lot in my professional carreer. Most advice I would give today is from words he told me.

BMX TR : Mirra’s death must be quite shocking and sad for you being close friends. Would you like to say something about him and your friendship?

D.D. :  It’s tough because we became close, not only he was an idol but we became friends, I lived at his house when his first daughter was born, we rode together all the time so when I got the call from Bestwick I couldn’t believe it. I think the hardest part is understanding what CTE is. It’s such a new disease that it will take time to understand it, everyone that knew Dave could tell you how much of a fighter he was so for this to happen no one really saw it coming. I'm just glad I was able to enjoy his company in person, I thank him in life and I will always be grateful for everything he has done for the sport and for me. Without him I wouldn’t be here today.

Now you are 31 years old. What are your career plans? For how long are you planning to ride?

D.D. : I want to compete for a few more years, I think I will stay around for another 4 years. With the talks of Freestyle being in the Olympics I definitely want to take care of the body and try to go there!

BMX TR : Are you still working hard to accomplish new tricks?

D.D. : Im always working on different tricks, the difference today is I don’t always work on tricks for the contest scene but I would like to do a few different things this year so stay tuned ;)

BMX TR : If you came to life again would it be BMX again? Would there be anything else that you would like to do? Are there things that you wish you could have done but never had chance to do?

D.D. :  If I can comeback knowing what I know now it would be even better! I really enjoy BMX, it’s all I really think all day so I can’t really imagine what life without it would be.

How is the BMX scene in South America? As a latin rider do you think your success has influenced BMX in South America? Are there any indications of it?

D.D. :  The scene in South America has been growing in the last few years more and more, I think what riders there were more afraid of was to leave their country but that has been changing a lot more and more. I don’t know if my influence has to do with it but I was able to show it’s possible. So maybe a little bit but at the end of the day it’s up to them to do it, it isn’t easy but it is possible to ride and see the world with your BMX!

BMX TR  : Last time we met in Cologne Snipes BMX. As BMX TR we feel like home in the family when we are in Cologne. We know you go to Cologne almost every year on July. What are you feelings about Cologne BMX?

D.D. :  I love the event in Cologne, they were one of the first guys to open the doors to me about 7 years ago and it has been the longest running BMX event in the world, that isn’t an easy task. So for as long as they are around I will do my best to come and support it!

BMX TR : We know traveling takes a major time of your life. You even visited our country once. How is your trip schedule ahead? Any plans to come to Turkey again?

D.D. : I travel almost every week or two so it is very crazy right now Im happy to take a break but it will pick up right after Simple Session. I loved Turkey and I really want to go back again! I hope an excuse to come ride there with the locals come up very soon ;)

BMX TR : How was your Turkey trip? What are your likes about Turkey? Any memories you can tell?

D.D. : The culture difference was awesome, I got to see a few different mosques around town and went to the Asian side of Istanbul! The whole scenery was beautiful and the people even though not many spoke English, everyone was very friendly and kind. I think what really makes a country is the people and Turkey had some amazing humans there!



BMX TR : Have any Turkish riders drawn you attention so far?

D.D. : I don’t remember everyones name as I was there for really short time and there was a lot of riders but RedBull rider Arif Gül was super good and did very well in Cologne. The films made by RedBull and BMX TR-Macera Peşinde have also drawn my attention  and the other riders İbahim and Kadir were also good. It’s amazing to see some riders come out and try this BMX life!

BMX TR : Tell us about How is Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex business going? Has it helped BMX to spread more? What are your feelings about running such a place?

D.D. : So far is doing well, it is a tough business. It’s a lot of square footage for ramps so we gotta keep being creative to make ends meet. It’s also time consuming but luckly by now I have a good system to take care of some business and still have time to ride and work out. It makes me really happy how many new riders are there thanks to DDASC and to see everyone having fun! That’s when you know it’s all worth it.

BMX TR : As a last question, what would your recommendations be for young Turkish riders? To be successful -apart from training hard- how should their daily routine be to sustain their riding quality?

DD : Learn English would help a lot, save money and start traveling! It’s not easy but with the internet now you can hit up a rider anywhere in the world and they will most likely help you with a place to stay or something. The best advice I can ever give anybody is to travel and see the world!

BMX TR : Daniel we appreciate for this awesome interview! Readers of BMX TR would feel very privileged to read this wonderful inspiring life story. We hope you all the best throughout your life.

DD :  Thank you guys for the interview! You are doing an amazing job for the Turkish BMX scene and I am sure you will help Turkish riders to get known more. I hope everything goes amazing in this new year and to hopefully be able to come to Turkey at some point this year!!!!!