Bikelordz Spotlights Ghana's Young, Fresh BMX Scene

Check out behind-the-scenes pics of the vibrant culture.

Handstands and Backflips - The documentary Bikelordz reveals the small, yet booming BMX culture that young people in Accra, Ghana, have created. Filmmakers Mikey Hart and Tobias Arturi followed a crew of young BMX gurus hustling to make money, gain recognition and live on their own terms. Keep reading for a behind-the-scenes look at this dynamic culture. ? Patrice Peck(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Handstands and Backflips - The documentary Bikelordz reveals the small, yet booming BMX culture that young people in Accra, Ghana, have created. Filmmakers Mikey Hart and Tobias Arturi followed a crew of young BMX gurus hustling to make money, gain recognition and live on their own terms. Keep reading for a behind-the-scenes look at this dynamic culture. — Patrice Peck(Photo: Bikelordz)

Innovative Bikers - The team behind Bikelordz launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2011 that earned them nearly $12,000 to further promote and support Ghana?s BMX community. Hart, the film?s co-director, spoke with BET.com to shed light on the making of the short documentary-turned-feature film, which is currently in post-production.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Innovative Bikers - The team behind Bikelordz launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2011 that earned them nearly $12,000 to further promote and support Ghana’s BMX community. Hart, the film’s co-director, spoke with BET.com to shed light on the making of the short documentary-turned-feature film, which is currently in post-production.(Photo: Bikelordz)

What's in a Name? - BET.com: What?s the story behind the film?s title?Hart: The film's title, and a huge part of our aesthetic, was inspired by the handmade sign culture and the DIY entrepreneurial spirit in Ghana. Ghana is pretty famous for their signs and business names, which can have all sorts of word combinations, jokes, spellings, etc. It's a constant source of amusement when walking down the street.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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What's in a Name? - BET.com: What’s the story behind the film’s title?Hart: The film's title, and a huge part of our aesthetic, was inspired by the handmade sign culture and the DIY entrepreneurial spirit in Ghana. Ghana is pretty famous for their signs and business names, which can have all sorts of word combinations, jokes, spellings, etc. It's a constant source of amusement when walking down the street.(Photo: Bikelordz)

Fit for a King - ?The title Bikelordz specifically was inspired by the name of a Pure Water company,? said Hart. ?Pure Water is these little plastic bags of purified water that are sold everywhere in Accra, in traffic on the streets, in shops, etc. Anyway, we were having a laugh about one Pure Water logo that we had in downtown Accra called Wetlord and the Bikelordz title just came out of all that: having fun but being regal.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Fit for a King - “The title Bikelordz specifically was inspired by the name of a Pure Water company,” said Hart. “Pure Water is these little plastic bags of purified water that are sold everywhere in Accra, in traffic on the streets, in shops, etc. Anyway, we were having a laugh about one Pure Water logo that we had in downtown Accra called Wetlord and the Bikelordz title just came out of all that: having fun but being regal.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

Universal Audience - Why do you think Bikelordz has resonated so well with audiences?The Bikelordz story, to us, is bigger than just a film full of rad bike tricks. Of course that's there, but we're also trying to underscore the importance of doing your own thing, even if it?s a struggle of being creative and determined without a well-traveled path.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Universal Audience - Why do you think Bikelordz has resonated so well with audiences?The Bikelordz story, to us, is bigger than just a film full of rad bike tricks. Of course that's there, but we're also trying to underscore the importance of doing your own thing, even if it’s a struggle of being creative and determined without a well-traveled path.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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From Montana to Accra - ?I think that showing people doing incredible work in those kinds of difficult scenarios can resonate with any kind of person anywhere, whether you're an artist, scientist, musician and whether you live in Montana or Moscow,? said Hart.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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From Montana to Accra - “I think that showing people doing incredible work in those kinds of difficult scenarios can resonate with any kind of person anywhere, whether you're an artist, scientist, musician and whether you live in Montana or Moscow,” said Hart.(Photo: Bikelordz)

Learning From the Crew - What did you learn from the bikers?These guys are not members of Ghana's upper class by a long shot. We are constantly inspired by their dedication to biking as well as to their families and communities.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Learning From the Crew - What did you learn from the bikers?These guys are not members of Ghana's upper class by a long shot. We are constantly inspired by their dedication to biking as well as to their families and communities.(Photo: Bikelordz)

Photo By Photo: Bikelordz

Inspirational Biking - ?Many of the riders are loosely organized into communities wherein they help each other find parts, repair and build bikes and train. Most of them don't drink, wake up early, stay up late, help out younger kids in their neighborhood, and do chores around the house. Aren't you inspired by that??(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Inspirational Biking - “Many of the riders are loosely organized into communities wherein they help each other find parts, repair and build bikes and train. Most of them don't drink, wake up early, stay up late, help out younger kids in their neighborhood, and do chores around the house. Aren't you inspired by that?”(Photo: Bikelordz)

BMX Lands in Ghana - How did the BMX culture get introduced to Ghanaians?That was a question we were very interested in answering ourselves. Like a lot of things in Ghana, it depends on who you ask. As best we can tell, guys in Accra started getting ideas about BMX biking from a copy of the Puffin BMX Handbook, published in 1984, which found its way over there.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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BMX Lands in Ghana - How did the BMX culture get introduced to Ghanaians?That was a question we were very interested in answering ourselves. Like a lot of things in Ghana, it depends on who you ask. As best we can tell, guys in Accra started getting ideas about BMX biking from a copy of the Puffin BMX Handbook, published in 1984, which found its way over there.(Photo: Bikelordz)

Chale Wote Dancers - ?Performance and dance is an everyday part of living in Ghana so I'd bet it didn't take a book to connect an incredible dancer or acrobat with a bicycle,? Hart told BET.com(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Chale Wote Dancers - “Performance and dance is an everyday part of living in Ghana so I'd bet it didn't take a book to connect an incredible dancer or acrobat with a bicycle,” Hart told BET.com(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Meet the Crew - Tell us about some of the characters you followed in the film.“There's a lot of variety in the characters we follow. Most of them go by a nickname when they're performing or with friends.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Meet the Crew - Tell us about some of the characters you followed in the film.“There's a lot of variety in the characters we follow. Most of them go by a nickname when they're performing or with friends.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

Photo By Photo: Bikelordz

Razak: The Wild One - ?Razak is sort of the wild one of the bunch, charismatic, but wily; aggressive and focused on hustling and making a quick buck in the present.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Razak: The Wild One - “Razak is sort of the wild one of the bunch, charismatic, but wily; aggressive and focused on hustling and making a quick buck in the present.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

Abrokwah: The Elder - ?Abrokwah is the eldest rider, the one most focused on the future and BMX's continuing development in Ghana. He works with most of the bikers we follow and is the proprietor of Circus Ghana, a company specializing in dance, acrobatics and BMX.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Abrokwah: The Elder - “Abrokwah is the eldest rider, the one most focused on the future and BMX's continuing development in Ghana. He works with most of the bikers we follow and is the proprietor of Circus Ghana, a company specializing in dance, acrobatics and BMX.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

Osman & Fii: Generation BMX - ?Osman and Fii are younger riders who represent a new generation of BMX's evolution in Accra. Smaller and light on their feet, they both are always working on new styles and ways to push their game further.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Osman & Fii: Generation BMX - “Osman and Fii are younger riders who represent a new generation of BMX's evolution in Accra. Smaller and light on their feet, they both are always working on new styles and ways to push their game further.(Photo: Bikelordz)

The Coveted 360 - ?[Osman (pictured) and Fii] have bikes which boast the coveted 360 handlebars (common in many other countries), opening up a world of tricks, such as bar spins, that other riders long for. Many riders speak of Osman and Fii in hushed tones because of this, and because Fii resides in the neighboring, rough-around-the-edges port town of Tema.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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The Coveted 360 - “[Osman (pictured) and Fii] have bikes which boast the coveted 360 handlebars (common in many other countries), opening up a world of tricks, such as bar spins, that other riders long for. Many riders speak of Osman and Fii in hushed tones because of this, and because Fii resides in the neighboring, rough-around-the-edges port town of Tema.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Sight Man: The Teacher - ?Sight Man is the one teaching the next generation of bikers. He instructs neighborhood kids in Accra's most urban neighborhood, Jamestown, in bike repair and flatland tricks to support themselves. He's also the tallest and most athletic of the bunch.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Sight Man: The Teacher - “Sight Man is the one teaching the next generation of bikers. He instructs neighborhood kids in Accra's most urban neighborhood, Jamestown, in bike repair and flatland tricks to support themselves. He's also the tallest and most athletic of the bunch.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

Computer Man and Rashid: Tag Team Tricksters - ?Computer Man and Blackfire, a.k.a Rashid, are two friends who always perform together, often in synchronized sequences of tricks. Rashid is precise, technical and quiet, while Computer Man tells jokes and speaks louder.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Computer Man and Rashid: Tag Team Tricksters - “Computer Man and Blackfire, a.k.a Rashid, are two friends who always perform together, often in synchronized sequences of tricks. Rashid is precise, technical and quiet, while Computer Man tells jokes and speaks louder.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

A Hometown Star - "Computer Man is famous in his neighborhood and as he walks down the street, people yell "Compute!" from shops and he always stops whatever he's saying to respond "Thank you!"?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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A Hometown Star - "Computer Man is famous in his neighborhood and as he walks down the street, people yell "Compute!" from shops and he always stops whatever he's saying to respond "Thank you!"”(Photo: Bikelordz)

The Bigger Picture - What social and economic impact does BMX biking have on the Ghanaian community?There's a stigma against biking right now in Accra that seems unnecessary, and perhaps this will encourage people to look at bikes not as just an interim between walking and owning a car, but a valid transportation alternative that can benefit Accra.(Photo: Bikelordz)

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The Bigger Picture - What social and economic impact does BMX biking have on the Ghanaian community?There's a stigma against biking right now in Accra that seems unnecessary, and perhaps this will encourage people to look at bikes not as just an interim between walking and owning a car, but a valid transportation alternative that can benefit Accra.(Photo: Bikelordz)

Showcasing the Incredible - ?We should point out that other Ghanaian cities have incredible bike infrastructure, especially less populous cities as you travel further north in the country. I'd also like to point out that we are not making this film as a means of bringing charity or economic development per se, and rather as a showcase of some incredible people doing incredible things, free of that context.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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Showcasing the Incredible - “We should point out that other Ghanaian cities have incredible bike infrastructure, especially less populous cities as you travel further north in the country. I'd also like to point out that we are not making this film as a means of bringing charity or economic development per se, and rather as a showcase of some incredible people doing incredible things, free of that context.”(Photo: Bikelordz)

The Mission - ?We hope that bringing this community to wider attention in Ghana and internationally will not only benefit the bikers in their home environment through sponsorships and media attention, but also present bike culture in a more positive light in Ghana.?(Photo: Bikelordz)

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The Mission - “We hope that bringing this community to wider attention in Ghana and internationally will not only benefit the bikers in their home environment through sponsorships and media attention, but also present bike culture in a more positive light in Ghana.”(Photo: Bikelordz)