Dirt 2 Streets member Darrell Hardy- also known as 9boy has made quite a name for himself through his hobby of biking. His genuine interest in the sport has built a sense of community and also provided him with unique career opportunities.
“I didn’t start riding bikes because I wanted to make a career out of it. It’s just something I love to do for fun- the pay is just a plus.” He explains. Hardy began riding dirt bikes in elementary school after being instructed by his father. Once taught, biking was something that he could not get enough of. He stayed in Compton but looked forward to those weekends where he’d visit his grandmother’s house in Carson on 169th street to ride; which was one of the factors that contributed to his nickname. Over the years he’s come across peers that enjoy doing the same. Dirt bikes and quads began touching the streets in mass, thus- The Dirt 2 Streets team was formed; bringing together a group of individuals as they shared the excitement of doing what they love. Biking is something that they all enjoy- the sound, the stunts, the smoke; it’s an adrenaline rush that can be found in the bodies of athletes and performers.
Naturally, this is something that the team wanted to share with the public. So they began inviting any and everybody to join in on the fun, whether it be riding or watching. “We did a little promoting, but a lot of people really came out. The events were supposed to be temporary but they just kept growing.” Hardy says. The team plans biking trips and organizes gatherings where people in the community can get together and eat, , ride, and have fun as they join in on the movement. Hardy goes on to express- “It’s not just a group. It’s not ours. Anybody who supports is a part of it.”
Hardy’s hobby has also attracted extraordinary career opportunities where he has been able to do what he loves on several sets, including many music videos. He mentions names such as Big Sean, and Nicki Minaj, but disregards his statement in the same breath. His humbleness speaks through his demeanor. It is clear that he feels the opportunities he’s obtained are gracious, but at the end of the day it’s just not that big of a deal to him. When asked if it is something he’d like to make a career out of, he almost respectfully declines. Hardy’s genuine love and enjoyment for what he does surpasses the money and the opportunities presented. Biking is something he wants to just do.
Riding has brought Hardy more pleasure than pain, but he does not negate the painful aspect of it. After being in three major biking accidents, his passion is what drives him to continue riding despite the dangers it may bring. “It’s addicting- I would just say that this is my drug. I know it’s dangerous, but a lot of things that people do are dangerous.” He starts. Hardy has now become an advocate for wearing helmets after a few close calls he’s had without wearing one. “Some people don’t wear helmets for the look of it. I didn’t wear one for the freedom I felt without it.” But he then goes on to explain how much of a risk that was and how no excuse he can give would ever be good enough, that anything can happen at any moment. His advice? To be safe, not to do it for the look or the freedom of it, and to always wear your helmets and pads. Although biking is not something he’d suggest for just anyone to do, he would support it. “If you’re going to do it you have to make sure it’s something you really like to do and you’re not just doing it because you see other people doing it.” Hardy says determined. Like many other things, if you are not passionate about what you are doing, it won’t connect the way it should, and in a sport such as biking, it’s just not worth the risk. Hardy knows this all too well, but the feeling he has for what he does overshadows any “fear” that he may have. The question ‘Is it worth it?’, is answered as he carries out a wheelie down 169th St.