If there's anyone in BMX you can count on to be game for just about anything, it's Huntington Beach native Mike ‘Hucker’ Clark. While others make excuses, Hucker makes it happen. His latest project involved a full loop built into a set of dirt jumps, and in typical Hucker fashion, he passed on the crash pads, figured it out on his own, and then proceeded to session the loop like it was a basic jump.
We caught up with him to talk about the Red Bull Trail Loop project; watch the behind-the-scenes video above, and read on to get more insight from the man himself.
Had you been thinking about doing a loop prior to this project?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to do a loop. Stephen Murray built one in his yard years ago and I wanted to do it but I never got the chance to. I never thought the day would actually come. Red Bull came up with the idea and asked me if I wanted to do it, so I would have been crazy to say no.
What did you think when you arrived on site and saw it for the first time?
It was crazy. There were so many emotions going through my head while driving there. It didn’t really hit me that it was real until I got there and saw it. It was massive -- pretty intimidating. I stared at it all day long, so by the time it was go-time, I couldn’t have been more ready.
There’s no comparison between a backflip and a loop -- none whatsoever.
You guys had to do a little maintenance to it after some bad weather, right?
They got a nice rainstorm -- I think it was the day before I got there -- and it kind of blew out some of the dirt so we had to re-do a lot of it. Dave King and his crew got it dialed and completely perfect.
The only thing that played with my head was having to stare at it while they were working on it. Having every bad-case scenario go through my mind... By the time it was ready to go, I didn’t even want to try it with the crash pads, I just wanted to do it and get it over with. I ended up sessioning it all day long; it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.
Not many people will step to a full loop; was it tough to be the only one riding it?
It was actually really motivating; it was all built for me to do. After I landed it the first time, I was so hooked on riding it. I think I did it 18 times the first day, then came back the next day and did it for four hours with hardly any breaks. I just sessioned it like it was a set of trails. It’s not every day you get to ride a loop, so I definitely tried to make the best of it.
How does riding the loop compare to other wild set-ups you’ve ridden?
It’s definitely different than anything I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. It’s a whole other level of riding a bike; it’s mind-blowing. It’s the craziest feeling ever. After the first time I did it I was hooked.
How does it compare to doing a backflip?
There’s no comparison between a backflip and a loop -- none whatsoever. If anything could relate to it, I’d say maybe a berm. Just having gravity suck you to it.
Do you think loops should start showing up on park and dirt courses?
I think it would definitely be cool to have loops in courses, just because it would give more people the opportunity to do them. So many people have dreamed of it but never get the chance. I feel so blessed that I had the chance to session it as long as I did.
You seem to be up for riding just about anything, anytime. How do you explain that?
I don’t know; I grew up riding anything, really. Just making the sketchiest jumps and ramps out of anything I could find. I try to be as open-minded as possible. There’s a way to ride everything -- you just have to find that way, because anything is possible on a bike.