Some of you might remember a post I wrote last year about bicycle spinning and stance in Soweto. The bicycle stance subculture, which is the art of transforming regular bikes into flamboyant showpieces that ride very close to the ground, stemmed from the car stance culture — same thing, but with cars.
On Sunday I went to a stance car “Park-Off”, also referred to as “Stance Church”, in a parking lot just off Nasrec Road across from FNB Statdium. Five of us — Percy, bicycle stance aficionado and @Sentech_Croozers founder who tipped us off to the Park-Off, Kristen, Nigel, Sipho, and me — squeezed into Greylene and made the short drive from Brixton to Nasrec. We spent a few hours roaming the parking lot, admiring the low-slung cars, listening to revving engines and popping exhaust pipes, trying to figure out what the heck was going on.
I won’t try too hard to explain what stance is about, as I will inevitably get it wrong and sound like an idiot. Instead I will show you lots of pictures that Percy and I took. (Percy is also a photographer and we took turns shooting with my camera.)
The Low Limbo Stance Competition
We had hoped to see some spinning, but Percy suspected that wouldn’t start until much later in the evening. We did, however, catch the delightful “Low Limbo” competition, which is pretty much exactly the way it sounds: the Limbo for cars. A makeshift Limbo pole is erected in the parking lot and cars try to squeeze under the pole at its lowest possible height. The judges carry tape measures to confirm the winner.
Stance culture seemingly makes no sense in a place like Joburg, where potholes proliferate and the roads aren’t always even paved. But maybe that’s exactly why this trend is so big here: because Joburgers relish a good challenge. We live our lives like low-slung Citigolfs, navigating dark, pock-marked city streets, surviving and thriving despite all odds. Whatever the reason for it, I applaud the effort.
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