Inducted in 2000 for BMX
Toby Henderson started his prolific racing career in 1973 at 12 years old at Hollyfield Park in Norwalk, California and Scot Briethaupt’s B.U.M.S. track on a Schwinn Stingray. He turned Pro in late 1978 and his first pro race was at Saddleback Park in early 1979 with one of early BMX’s most formidable team’s, DG. In 1984, Henderson captured the #1 plate as the National Bicycle League’s World Cruiser Champion for SE Racing.
His career and notoriety took off when he became part of the Raleigh Racing team. He raced for Raleigh from 1979 to 1981 and was one of the first racers to promote the sport of BMX worldwide, traveling around the globe with Raleigh doing BMX demonstrations for the masses. A broken collar bone in 1981 ended his season.
Henderson went on to ride for Hutch BMX and states that, “Hutch was such a powerful program, that one year I flew away from home to 40 weekends of racing and drove to another 10 that same year. The Owners wanted us to be at every event, so they even made me postpone my wedding!”
Early on he was given the nickname “Coca-Cola Cowboy” from BMX Action magazine, however it quickly changed to “Captain Elbows” when he started dominating races in the middle of his Hutch BMX days. He added, “When you’re a gate-filler everyone loves you, but when you win races, you are the most unliked rider among your competition. Funny how that works.”
An early innovator in the dirt jumping genre of BMX, Toby is known for his jumping skills, inventing the “Henderson”, a one handed and one footed jump variation. Toby became a test rider for BMX Action magazine from 1985 to 1987 and raced under their colors as well.
After retiring from a 10 year highly successful BMX racing career with numerous victories, Toby Henderson became one of the pioneers to transition into a professional mountain bike racing career. He achieved multiple championships in Downhill racing, showcasing his exceptional skills in this discipline. Despite being a decade older than most of his competitors, Henderson represented the USA Team for five consecutive years and consistently performed admirably in World Championship races. This transformation also saw him adopt a more suited nickname “Hollywood Henderson” from his BMX days.
Toby served as the poster boy for renowned brands like Shimano and JT Racing, prominently featured in their advertising campaigns. While he might not hold the record for the most wins in the sport, he was widely regarded as one of the most professional riders at any given event. This reputation earned him some of the most lucrative contracts in the sport, and throughout his career, he graced the covers of more than 60 magazines. All in all Toby spent 20 Years as a Professional Cyclist.
Even after retiring from active racing, Toby Henderson remained deeply involved in the industry. Over the past two and half decades, he has served as the CEO of several brands, many of which he founded, acquired, or sold.
Currently, he leads a BMX and MTB-specific company that he founded himself. Box Components, under his leadership, has received multiple design awards tailored to racing BMX and Downhill MTB. These accolades reflect the unique touch that his racing experience and passion bring to the product designs, setting them apart from others in the industry.
For a detailed timeline of Toby’s racing career and his transition to becoming a successful businessman and product developer, you can visit his website at www.tobyhenderson.com.
(Courtesy – Peter Cowley & Toby Henderson)
1980 – National Bicycle League (NBL): National No.3 – Pro
1982 – National Bicycle League (NBL): National No.2 – Pro Cruiser
1984 – National Bicycle League (NBL): National No.1 – Pro Cruiser
1985 – U.S.Bicycle Motocross Assn (USBA): National No.2 – Pro
1985 – U.S.Bicycle Motocross Assn (USBA): National No.2 – Pro Cruiser
1986 – U.S.Bicycle Motocross Assn (USBA): National No.3 – Pro
1978 – National Bicycle Association (NBA): Grand National Champion – 16 Novice
1981 – National Bicycle League (NBL), Knott’s Berry Farm Grand National Champion – Pro Cruiser (NBL, United Bicycle Racers (UBR) & World Wide Bicycle Motocross Association (WWBMXA) sanctioned)
1983 – Grand National Champion – “A” Pro
1984 – Grand National Champion – Pro Cruiser