Tobago's creativity, engineering skills and two-wheel techniques were on display at the Best Bike Show hosted recently by Bagatelle/Bacolet electoral representative Nathisha Charles-Pantin at Parade Ground, Bacolet.
Twenty-four bikers from various communities competed for the top prizes, in front of an appreciative crowd.
Charles-Pantin, in her opening remarks, described the participants as talented young engineers, who can utilise their skills to do something positive and stay off the streets.
She noted that no funds from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) were expended in hosting the venture.
“My personal funds, support from residents in the community, fundraising activities held by the Bagatelle/Bacolet action group and assistance from councillor Certica Williams-Orr, contributed to the staging of this inaugural event,” Charles-Pantin said.
Among the entrants who provided the most vibes on the day was Reco Benjamin of Pembroke, who won the best audio display category, which included a $1,000 prize. His mix of soca, hip hop, dancehall and reggae had the youths hyped for at least eight minutes.
Benjamin, 32, who is skilled in fabricating and wielding, said he was confident of winning the title. “I doh play. I does spend my money; when some of them saw my set-up, they drop out the competition. I doh know why they run, they should ah stand up and let's fight.”
Benjamin said he is looking forward to a car and bike show in August, which will include some Trini competition.
“I eh scared ah nothing. Ah coming bigger, louder and more bad, so they better watch out. Ah representing Tobago to the fullest.”
Benjamin, who has entered and won two previous competitions, was persuaded to enter the sport by his friends and currently does customised drop-low bikes as a business.
“It have plenty people checking me to do drop-low bikes, but I does get more work than I can keep up with, because I have other work to do, and it does take time and money to built a good bike – and I like to get everything right.”
Quincy Romeo, 42, of Plymouth said the smoothness of his paint work on his burgundy bike did not go unnoticed, which earned him the best paint job accolade.
He said, “When you watch a paint job, you looking for the shine and smoothness. Some of them was rough.”
He said it was the third competition he won, but the first occasion that there was a financial incentive.
"This time ah win a thousand dollars, so ah thankful.”
He said the event was well organised and appreciated by the community.
"Everything went good, ah like how them youths come out with dey bike, even though all did not take part, if they keep more competition, ah coming out and take part.”
Other category winners were: Kersean Julien – best drop-low bike; Darion Matthews – best bike extension; Curtis Archer – best customised bike; Khella Andrew – longest drift bike; and Declon Regis – Assemblyman’s choice.