It happened again. I thought I had escaped having to go to Interbike but a the last minute Ride BMX Magazine asked me to present an award at Nora Cup. It is a big honor and so even though it wrapped a lot of my biggest anxieties into one (flying, Interbike, Vegas, and public speaking) I couldn’t say no. I was real nervous about having to give a speech but it was also a kind of fun nervousness… it would be the kind of embarrassment I would be laughing about.
Nora Cup was held inside the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort. The Pearl is really nice… I found it hard to believe a BMX event was going to happen inside there. Incredible sound system and really cool design inside. Backstage they prepped us for how the show would run and how the awards would be presented. I was then told I should give a 1 to 3 minute speech about street riding. I was pretty afraid of what I might say so I hid away in my hotel room to try and write something. I actually did manage to write what I thought was a decent speech but I never really got to say it.
When the awards show started I was really amazed at how positive the energy was in the building. I mean, I guess thats why you go to an awards show… to be positive, but I guess I’m just used to a little more jadedness from the world. It was awesome though! Everyone was cheering for everyone and it felt good. The first award up was ramp rider some of the very O.G. guys of freestyle Dizz Hicks and Ceppie May presented that one. I was a real treat to meet those guys. I didn’t really hear what they said from backstage but the crowd seemed stoked! Dennis Enerson who was nominated for everything this year won that one.
After that came Woody Itson Presenting Flat. Woody lives in Dallas TX now and it was really amazing talking with him about the origins of freestyle and his Porsche ad I was messing with in photoshop just the other day. Hollywood Mike Miranda presented racer of the year. Hmmm… I think I’m forgetting the order, but Todd “The Wildman” Lyons announced the Dirt jumper of the year. When I was 13 or 14 and still racing BMX Todd was always one of the my favorites. He would have photos in the mags doing tricks in races. It was rad in the truest definition of the word. Chris Doyle won dirt again and that was really cool. Chris is the dirt jumper’s dirt jumper and rides the way we all wish we could. Then I was up to present…
They started up by playing a video of some of my old video clips. I was real stoked see they put in a one handed tail whip from the end of my Fox Expendable Youth section from Palavas. That was a real memorable moment for me since I ended up winning that contest and really throwing caution into the wind on that particular trick (and survived). When I got on stage there was a lot of loud cheering, and then some more, and then some more. I couldn’t hear myself think and I totally couldn’t talk. Seemed like the more self conscious and embarrassed I got the louder it got inside my head. The truth is it was probably just the drunk dudes in the front row yelling the loudest, but even so it was overwhelming and really flattering. Kind of felt like I had won an award. My speech was supposed to say something about how street riding is unique in that its progression is not linked to the terrain. If you think about it dirt jumps and ramps keep getting bigger and better and that leads to new types of riding, but the streets we ride haven’t changed. Some of the guys who got nominated had filmed video clips on spots I had rode almost 20 years earlier and had come up with new ways to see riding those spots that I could have never dreamed of. Thats really the amazing part of street riding. Its all about how the rider sees the world and how they can apply their skills to ride it.
Anyway, I got out about one or two sentences of that before bursting out laughing because it was just SO loud and at least partially because Mark Losey kept yelling monkey boy. The less of you who get that joke the better!
I got to open the envelope and incase you were wondering the presenters really truly don’t know who wins. They gave me the envelope right before I walked on stage and I was as curious as anyone. This years group of street nominees were all very possible winners. Dennis Enerson, Sean Burns, Dakota, and Nathan Williams are all amazing riders. Garrett Reynolds ended up winning and I am in total agreement. Everything that kid does is amazing and he’s so full of original riding it blows me away.
Bit of a blur for me after my job was done. Mat Hoffman dressed up in the original Aggroman suit and ran around and gave away best video part. It was complete with Eddie Roman backstage doing the voice over for Aggroman just like the video. If you’ve never seen Aggroman and don’t know what I’m talking about I highly reccommend you give yourself a history lesson and get the HB Triolgy DVD here or here. There’s some riding in there that will blow you away when you think about how long ago it was, and, you owe to your BMX roots to watch Aggroman and with that confused look that we all had the first time we saw it. Its an amazing video and if anyone is a super hero its Mat Hoffman!
The awards wrapped up with Will Stroud presenting best video part. Will was real nervous but he made it through and really got to cap off the night by awarding Anthem 2 the best video of the year. I was so happy for my friend Stew Johnson and all the Anthem guys. I do wish I had been healthy enough to have filmed some for that video, but I can take some comfort with a having a spot in Anthem 1. Stew’s words about Aitken (who was injured during filming for Anthem 2) was inspiring and backstage it was really cool to see how stoked those dudes all were on the very hard work they had all put into filming that video. They hung out for a while back there and I had to think it felt really good to work that hard on something and then have it be recognized in such a big way.
Nice job Ride mag! I was really stoked and honored to get to be a part of it. Sorry again I didn’t deliver my speech!