Enarson and Hucker Steal the Show at Texas Toast, NORA Cup
There’s no BMX event quite like Texas Toast. What it lacks in mega sponsors and guilded venues, it more than makes up for in energy and excitement and spontaneity. Time limits are relative, boundaries don’t really exist; the crowd calls the end of a run, the riders dictate when and how they ride and no one is any less stoked on what goes down, from the organizers to the fans to the sponsors. It’s a BMX event exactly as the BMX community likes it.
“Texas Toast is insane, there’s no event like it in America. It’s the closest event there is to the European vibe that there is; everyone is partying, having a good time, just psyched about BMX and that’s what it’s all about,” said Mike “Hucker” Clark, who was a fan-favorite all weekend long. “You can do a fun trick that you don’t do every day and the crowd is just as psyched as a 360 double tailwhip. It just goes to show that BMX isn’t just about big tricks and contests, it’s all about fun, That’s why we’re all here and why we all started.”
The third annual event in Austin, Texas brought BMXers cruising across town from every nook and cranny of the county. Fans came in from Dallas and Houston and as far away as Wyoming. Texas Toast is as core as core gets in BMX and anyone who’s a fan wants to be apart of the unique experience. Hucker and Dennis Enarson and Chad Kerley roam the crowd, groms can hop on the Vert ramp for a first-ever drop-in and then choose to ride the “Gauntlet of Death” (it’s much less gruesome than it sounds) alongside one of their favorite pros. And all this goes on amongst the wood piles of a lumberyard which plays host to the event.
While Hucker is all about keeping it fun and putting on a show, he’s no less the tactician on the dirt course. Between his goofy faces and pelvic thrusts, he’d add in tailwhips, rotations and some of the best amplitude of the weekend. After finishing up Finals of Dirt, he cruised over to the Vert ramp for some demo rides and crashed on his first run, knocking himself out briefly and earning a gurney ride. He came up smiling and throwing shakas to the crowd and back amongst the masses within 30 minutes watching the Street Finals, where Enarson was in the process of stealing the show.
“The fans here are true BMX fans, they know what’s up,” Enarson explained. “You go to most big events and some dude does a backflip and the fans freak out, here a dude does a backflip and they’re like, ‘we know that’s not that hard,’ someone does a bar-to-bar back 360 and they get rowdy for that. It’s a real BMX contest, as core as it gets.”
At the Street Finals, improvisation was the name of the game. Airs from one feature to another, tech wall rides, tech rail rides, even an ’I’m-out!’ over the fence boost from Trey Jones. Riders had 40 seconds to complete their runs and then a 10-minute jam session, but clocks went out the window when Van Homan or Ryan “Biz” Jordan were trying to stick technical combinations, with the announcers dropping F-bombs (common all weekend) and the crowd amping up the riders.
Every night, the focus shifted from the venue to 6th Street in Downtown Austin, where there was always something going on. A Bell Helmets art show, general debauchery, and the world premiere of the MARKIT ZERO movie from Enarson and his crew. The fire marshal had to temporarily shut the premiere down because so many people turned out, but all went to plan eventually.
On Sunday night, after all the runs had been completed, the party continued on at the 17th annual Ride BMX NORA Cup Awards. The open-to-the-public event brought the rowdiness to a new level in-between the announcement of winners. Hucker finished third in Dirt, while Enarson was second. Enarson took the Street win to close out the Texas Toast categories. The NORA Cup awards on voted on by the riders and the fans, and Hucker – as we said, a crowd favorite – was voted “Dirt Rider of the Year” for the second consecutive year. “I never thought I’d ever even win this thing once,” he said afterward, moments before calling his mom to break the news.
Just after Hucker’s win, Enarson was welcomed back to the stage to receive the “Ramp Rider of the Year” award. After a great speech about how BMX was all he’s ever wanted to do and will always do, he joined his people, being crowd-surfed to close the evening.
“As long as this events goes on, I’ll keep coming back,” Enarson said afterward, with a big grin on his face and a handful of event hardware. “There’s something special about Texas Toast; the crowd, the riding that goes down, everything. There’s nothing that can touch it; it’s the best event of the year.”