‘We’ve all had our bikes individually for long and in 2006 we felt we could come together to form an association which will cater for our needs, so that’s how 09 Bikers came about.’

The Secretary of 09 Bikers, Gomes Adeboye, then adds proudly, ‘It’s now the biggest and most prestigious biking club in West Africa.’

I reported a couple of months ago on the Abuja car drag racing events where anything and everything goes – as long as you have a car and the ability to do something extraordinary with it.

But, unlike the drag racing, the Abuja Bikers club, nicknamed ‘09 BIKERS’ is as organized as you’ll find anywhere in the world. It has rules, regulations and social responsibility programmes, which are guided by the union.

The 200-member club were getting into gear for a national convention and a special reunion at north-eastern state of Bauchi in its popular Yankari Games Reserve facility (which is 600km from Abuja).

‘We’re getting together with all our members from across the country to share interests and also do some other fun things,’ explained Adeboye, 32, who has had a bike for nearly half of his life.

It also gives us the chance to express our innermost desire for biking.

Many of the ‘09 Bikers’ became interested in bikes when they were young and their passion keeps growing as the days go by.

‘Bikes are the special bond for us, so we decided to come together to form this club. It is duly registered at the Corporate Commission as a non-profit and not only allows us to interact with one another but it also gives us the chance to express our innermost desire for biking and also contribute to the society in many ways.’

He said immediately after the formation of 09, they started reaching out to other smaller biker clubs across the country in order to come together and form a national body that could stand for Nigerian bikers.

Another founding member of the club, Yushau Jamil, 28, said the club’s monthly training sessions have ensured there hasn’t been any casualty recorded so far among members despite the dangers attached to their sport.

‘We have a road captain whose duty is to make sure all bikes are road worthy and were used in a previous training. We bring in experienced riders to conduct trainings and also use different electronic gadgets, which make it difficult to go astray.’

He added that every biker gets penalized for compromising safety by not using his full kit before riding and in some cases seizures of bikes have been know to occur.

In cases of accidents, Jamil said they usually come together to speak to people at the scene and to analyse the situation, what led to it and how to avoid it happening again.

For club president Ayodele Jackson, one of his major concerns remains staying within the ambit of the law while also enjoying their passion for the machine.

For club president Ayodele Jackson, one of his major concerns remains staying within the ambit of the law while also enjoying their passion for the machine.

‘Regarding law enforcement, there’s no instance where we don’t obey all the existing laws guiding road use in the country. Anytime we reach check points due to the security situation across the country we make sure to abide to all necessary checks.’

He also said there are times they do get reports of wrongdoing from some bikers and the first thing they ask is if he has the 09 Bikers BADGE (seen on their jerseys) also pointing out that the ID cards given to members are well known to the Nigerian Road Safety Corps members.

‘We have a computerized system where at any point in time, we know which of our bikers did what, because with the ID card and the Badge not forgetting the plate numbers. All that helps keep track.’

New entrant Sunny John told me that he joined the club to appease to his desire to enjoy bikes which started after he watched Hollywood movies such as Wild Hogs, Easy Rider and Outlaw Riders

The 22-year-old came to Abuja three years ago but only joined the club two months ago after owning his first bike, a Yamasaki Roketa and passing all the required tests.

‘I have been in love with bikes for ages and it has always been a dream to own one, so I when I came to Abuja and heard about 09, started making efforts to own a bike and become a member, I’m happy that I can now share my love with other like minds.’

Another amazing thing about the club is that they engage in social responsibility programmes every month, visiting rural areas to deliver aid or a local hospital to offset medical bills of poor patients.

Vice President Uche Chukweke said doing this has enabled them to maintain their deep-rooted desire to see societal upliftment while also doing what they love most.

‘Just recently we were at the Gwagwalada (a suburb of Abuja) hospital where we helped pay bills of poor patients and also the Asokoro (another suburb) hospital, doing is very important for humanity.’

The financial secretary of the club, Finbar Beedie, 30, said the club is planning to develop a massive race track in the next few years which will be a source of revenue for not only the club but the Nigerian government too.

‘Sports is a major revenue earner in many countries at the moment and we believe, the race track when completed and put into use by our army of bikers will generate revenue for us and the government.’

But however serious these bikers might seem, it’s when you see them on their bikes, that you can see how much fun they can have.

Find out more about the club.