JAKARTA: The race track was alive with the cheers of spectators and the ear splitting sound of revving engines as racers in heavily modified scooters competed against each other.
It had been drizzling all morning, leaving the asphalt track somewhat slippery. 33-year-old Aden Lintar was undeterred as he rode across the finish line and left his competitors in the dust.
Lintar is an experienced racer and he was very familiar with the 500 m stretch of the Jakarta street where the event was held in late January, having raced there many times.
The only difference was that he was wearing a proper racing suit, decked with the logos of the company sponsoring him, instead of a pair of worn out jeans and a hoodie jacket. He did not have to worry about being caught by the police unlike his previous races.
Up until a few years ago, Lintar used to race illegally on the streets of Jakarta and the surrounding suburbs. Since he was in seventh grade, he had been racing his motorbike almost every weekend for money, often in the dead of night to avoid the authorities.
He said he lost count of the number of times he was arrested. We knew we were breaking the law. He told CNA that we knew we were racing illegally.
Lintar explained that illegal racing is because there are no facilities and that there were hardly any places and events where motorcycle enthusiasts like him could compete safely during his illegal racing days.