By Andreas Kathindi, the Villager Newspaper
Fresh off winning the Best Quad Rider of the Year title, local rider Maike Bochert said she has plans to dominate the local quad-riding scene for years to come.
Bochert (Honda) won almost every round of the Bank Windhoek Namibian National Enduro Series in Aranos to earn her the title as the best quad rider in the country in every category. She said despite the competition, she expects to toughen up next year.
“Shannon Rowland and Claire Brendel are great riders, who I know will be coming after me. This only helps keep the quality of competition up, and I will take it as a challenge. I plan to dominate, not just the women, but all the categories. One advantage I have over some of the other riders is that I also mountain-bike, which keeps me fit and brings up my endurance overall”, beamed Bochert.
The quad rider finished the Enduro series with 140 points by winning seven of eight events. She was followed by Dimo Eloff with 126 points, and Shannon Rowland with 118 points. Bochert said she hopes her victory will serve as motivation for other female riders to push for excellence.
“We need more female riders in the country, as at the moment, we only have five. And as much as getting the quad rider of the year title motivates me, I also hope it motivates other female riders, not just those who are already riding, but others to join as well”, she noted.
“The challenge of course is that quad riding is a very expensive sport. I can support myself, but all the other female riders are at least 10 years younger than me, so they rely on their parents to support them. However, not all the parents are willing to spend such amounts, even if it is for a good sport”, she added.
The average quad bike can cost up to N$100 000 or more. On top of this, bikes need special suspensions and other parts in order to be race-ready. Constant racing also brings down a bike’s lifespan. Thus, bike replacements can be a financial burden for riders.
Bochert, who has been using her current Honda quad bike since 2014, said she is already in search of a new one. She started racing in 2005 after saving up for a few years for a quad bike and getting it race-ready.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Namibia Enduro Club (NEC), Günter Brettschneider said 2015 was an excellent year for racing, and he hoped that 2016 will bring a similar level of quality. “There was excellent racing throughout the tournament. We are getting better, and soon we will be able to compete on the South African level”, he said.