One week ago, we launched a series on the 2011 Ride BMX NORA Cup Awards, and who we thought would be top contenders running into the awards, which happen in Las Vegas, Nev. on Sept 15. In the week since, I flew to Portland, Ore., got married and then returned my new wife to Newark, N.J. for a round of skin graft surgery this very morning. Suffice to say, it's been a long, hectic week, and now we return to the things that really matter in life, such as NORA Cup Dirt Rider of the Year contenders.
And that's a tough one to tackle.
Last year, Kink dirt legend Chris Doyle won the award. It was well deserved, long overdue, and hilarious to see him carried off stage by his teammates on Kink. Doyle finished seventh overall in dirt on the 2010 Dew Tour, and delivered quality, classically-inspired riding all year long on street, park and dirt. I know that Doyle is tired of being called the "nice guy," but it's obvious that his demeanor on top of his riding has earned him the respect of the entire BMX world. And aside from that one kid that made fun of Chris after falling into a puddle at the bottom of a steep handrail in Providence, R.I. on "Road Fools 14," I know you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that could say something bad about Chris Doyle and his riding.
Having said that, I could easily give my vote to Chris Doyle again in 2011. But he's not alone. Along with Chris Doyle, 2011 saw standout dirt riding from Mike Aitken in "Anthem 2," Dane Searls and the Giants of Dirt series, Brett Banasiewicz (who brought the cash roll to dirt and almost won the Dew Cup for dirt in 2010), Brandon Dosch (who ultimately did win the Dew Cup for dirt in 2010), Brian Yeagle's late fastplant landers and for that matter, any of the riders that roasts a set of doubles in "Anthem 2." And while I'm on the topic of trails, I can't forget Mutiny's "Robbo in Pa." video from earlier this year.
But instead, I went with Dennis Enarson. Dennis won dirt at the Portland Dew Tour earlier this month. He currently sits first in overall standings (after one dirt event) and last year, finished fifth overall in dirt at the Dew Tour on top of winning dirt at the Salt Lake City stop. Dennis' abilities on technical competition dirt courses is plain ridiculous. He has the skills to land backside, and he combines that with a Doyle-esque approach to now classic dirt tricks, such as stretched suicide double truckdrivers. Not to mention huge flip whips, opposite trucks and a constant smile on his face.
Dennis isn't necessarily a "dirt rider." He will be the first to say that he grew up riding everything and that he enjoys all aspects of riding. But I believe that Dennis Enarson pushed the competitive aspect of dirt riding along with his own dirt riding skills, into new dimensions this past year. And that's why he got my vote.
I also think it's entirely possible that Dennis could win more than one NORA Cup this year, between his part in the Demolition video, his street riding capabilities and his ramp skills. And that's something that not too many riders have ever been able to claim since Ride BMX started the NORA Cup Awards fifteen years ago.
Finally, to cap this off, I've gotta mention Cory Nastazio, who, through "The X Life," introduced BMX dirt riding to an entirely new audience of fans in the past year. Nasty might not be at the top of the Dew Tour podium, but he made it through the ringer of reality television and represented BMX dirt properly in a way that only he is capable of.
Now let's get this whole Vegas thing done for another year please.