40+ Years in BMX – Chico Hooke
In what year and how did you discover BMX?
1982 was my first year. My dad knew Jamie and Jeremy Vince’s dad from the antique furniture trade. They were coming to race at the new Hillingdon (London) track near us and said we should go along. We went to watch the first race then went back soon after.
Local scene / tracks?
Hillingdon was always my local and Region 9 – Slough, High Wycombe, Hemel, Hounslow then Harrow and the London skateparks and Pinner.
Your early day’s crew?
Lee Restall, CJ Butler, Michael Chenery, Bruce Hutchins, Dylan Clayton, Sam Jarvis, Ben Beasley were my local crew around my age. Then as I got older I rode with Paul Roberts, Bobby Hyde, Dean Iddiols, Keith Joseph, Winnie and the rest of the Hillingdon and London Locals. So many people through the years.
You were definitely one of the early riders that traveled to the US to race in the 80s. Can you remember much about your first trip and racing the Jag World Championships?
Not a great deal to be honest, just vague memories of the arena, water jump, having my photo taken with some of the pros, and winning a massive trophy.
You were so young but like so many were always one of the guys on the European trips. Favorite International events?
Slagharen was a treat in so many ways, the track was always so good to ride. Any trip to Europe was always fun, getting to ride new tracks and hang out with the euro crew.
How were some of the guys you battled with in the Am days?
I was never overly competitive, but there were a few guys that it felt nice to beat.
What teams did you ride for?
I think Revcore was my first sponsor, then onto Mongoose. UGP, Giant, Spooky, Edwardes, Beamish Bike Shop and DMR. S&M have always helped me out in some way.
Tell us about TwoAnd8?
It is a clothing brand I started in 1994 which ran well for a number of years, then slowed down for a while. I realised at the start of last year that it was 28 years since I started the brand, so we did an anniversary tee which people seemed to like so we have decided to reignite the flame and see where it goes. Stay tuned, much more planned for 2023.
Proudest moment result wise in BMX?
I was never really a results guy, I just enjoy riding my bike. Some of the more memorable ones were when I was racing master class then into elite. Not necessarily wins but good battles and fun days on the bike.
Name some of your favorite UK riders?
So many to name, mostly people I grew up riding with – Paul, Dylan, Murrays, Ross, Fortes, London / Union crew more recently going to Hastings & Sidley and hanging out with Rikki, Ian, and Dulys.
You traveled frequently to the US over the years. Where were some of the places you raced/rode visited?
Mostly Cali – Sheep was always a favourite, Hidden Valley, Orange. So many places over the years.
In addition to all the BMX stuff, what do you do for work these days?
As well as TwoAnd8, I’ve been working on a new project with my girlfriend – Cornwall Skatepark Map. Check it out, I’ve been visiting and documenting all the skateparks in Cornwall, we are in the process of producing a free map. I also work part time in a surf shop.
BMX in 2023, how much do you ride these days?
As much as I always have, if not more as I get older, I appreciated the time on the bike. Since moving to Cornwall last year, I’ve been riding some of the many concrete parks down here. Trying to ride dirt and pump tracks as much a possible.
Could you ever see yourself stop riding?
I don’t think so, as long as I keep fit and healthy I can’t see a reason to stop.
Keep building the TwoAnd8 range and see where that goes. More riding.