Drop and Ride stands for Drop the gun and Ride a bike. As clear as it gets, this young group of bike enthusiast led by Asghar Mehrzada, the owner and creator of the movement to use the energy of young people to end violence in Afghanistan. It all has emerged in Kabul – the capital of Afghanistan by a little spark that Asghar found during Internet exploration. We are honored to have him for our weekly interview series “Who the Hell is” and talk a bit about the current situation at his area and the whole project! Sit back and enjoy the birth if the new movement! Ladies and gents, please welcome Asghar Mehrzda from Drop and Ride!
Hello there, first of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers? Who is the man behind the Drop and Ride? How old are you, where are you from and where did you grew up?
I am Asghar Mehrzada, the founder and leader of the Drop And Ride freestyle cycling club. I am from Afghanistan and I am 18 years old. I was born in Kabul and grew up in Kabul too.
When and how did you discover freestyle biking?
Four years ago I watched a video on Youtube and it was Danny MacAskill doing freestyle cycling. It motivated me to start the Street Trial Riding.
Can you describe the biking scene in your area? It’s not common to have a chance to see a glimpse of this side of the world from the fellow rider!
It is an upward sport in our country, and it is difficult for riders to improve themselves, because there is not any supporter for them.
What Drop and Ride means to you?
Drop and Ride means drop the gun and ride the bike, because we want peace in our country.
How the idea of making a club for bikers came to your head?
Because I was a rider and found out that I need a place for training but as I didn’t have one, i have decided to open the first freestyle cycling club for new riders.
For how long have you been running the club and what is the purpose of it?
It has been two months since I have opened this club and our main purpose is to keep the youth and kids away from drugs and violence, and also make an equal space between men and women in Afghanistan.
How many members do you have?
There are 50 members in the club.
What do you train at the meetings and how often do you have them?
We train street trial riding and dirt jumping, and we gather three days a week in the club
Is it hard to become a member?
No it’s not hard to became a member, everyone who is eager can join us.
Can you describe us your typical day as a bike rider in Afghanistan?
It’s something that make me full of energy and it never make me tired, but sometimes people harass me!
Where do you get your bike parts? Is it hard to find the “extreme purpose” parts?
We get our bike parts from shops which sell second-hand bike parts and it’s very hard to find standard bike parts in here. There is not any specific shop to sell bike parts.
How do your family see your passion?
Actually my family is disinterested about my passion.
What are your plans for the near future?
I want to promote a freestyle cycling competition and a street arts and sports festival.
How often do you train and what a classic riding day looks for you?
I often train four days a week and three hours in a day.
Is there a place in the world you would like to come to with your bike?
I would like to go to London with my bike.
What kind of music do you listen to? Can you share top 5 of your songs here?
I like rock music, hmm any song.
What’s the best place to ride in Afghanistan? Do you have an official place/skatepark/bikepark or everything is built DIY style?
We usually ride at our own club that we made it ourselves.
How does the recent war has affected you personally and how is the biking scene emerging after it? What riders need out most at your location?
The recent war has effected badly and deprived me from a better education and a peaceful life. And we can’t go far locations because there is still war in our country in some places.
Is it safe now to visit you with a bike? What’s the best part of the year to ride bikes at your place?
Yes, but not totally. And the best part of the year is Spring and Summer.
If you would like to give a shout out to anybody – now is a good time!
Drop the gun and ride the bike. Bring the peace and support the kids! Drop and Ride have a GoFundMe campaign that you can support to get this kids new stuff to learn on!