Bicycle motocross, better known as BMX, was all but nonexistent in Jamaica—until now. Jonathan Gosse, Executive Director of the Oracabessa Foundation, is bringing the sport to Jamaican youths, and he hopes it will change their lives.
For the Oracabessa Foundation, the BMX bike is a clean vehicle, both literally and metaphorically. In addition to being green, Gosse and his colleagues hope BMX will empower the country’s youth. After building the first BMX racing track in the English-speaking Caribbean, the Oracabessa Foundation introduced the “Two Wheels, One Love” project. This program was launched with the support of local schools that intend to implement BMX into the sporting curriculum.
After learning to bike safely, the students will have the opportunity to put their knowledge to the test in the “Two Wheels, One Love” racing series. Most importantly, throughout instruction the kids will be taught principles of love and forgiveness. Gosse says life skills such as these are “desperately needed” in the community.
Luckily for the Oracabessa Foundation and the growth of BMX in Jamaica, the sport’s rising star, Maliek Byndloss, switched allegiance from the USA to Jamaica last year. In 2013, Byndloss ranked as the sixth best junior rider in the world. This year, he hopes to qualify for the upcoming Rio Olympics. Until then, Byndloss will continue to serve as Jamaica’s unofficial BMX ambassador. Jamaicans dominate sprinting (hello, Usain Bolt), and Byndloss hopes to do the same with BMX. He holds the title of best Jamaican biker—at least until talented and driven Jamaican kid takes his place.