Kit Oates has been out in Africa riding with Tanzanian biker gangs, the British Photographer went out on a trip to photograph for an american company, and ended up hanging out with “Toyo Riders” large gangs of young men who ride Toyo bikes, cheap motorcycles from China.
“I was mostly photographing at local schools and orphanages, and soon realised that the opportunities the kids had after graduating we’re limited compared to the opportunities available to students back home in England. most students we’re destined for a life tending the family farm, or hawking souvenirs to tourists.
So it was with a keen interest that I began photographing the groups of bikers, not just a few, but lots, sitting on the edge of the highway, some hanging out, some looking for work or something to courier. Casually hanging out as if they didn’t have a care in the world.”
“The Toyo gives them the chance to not only have an exciting job but also the freedom of riding a bike gives them. Regardless of their situation and their budget bikes, I like to think the Toyo riders share a common ground with all motorcycle enthusiasts around the world. Being able to escape at a moments notice and to be in control, is surely something that draws bike enthusiasts wherever they come from. The feeling of freedom was quite clear. When I asked one rider why they do it, he said “because I get to ride everyday”.
You can see more of Kit Oates work at http://www.kitoates.com/