SAN FRANCISCO -- Get this. BMX daredevil Dennis Enarson once failed a driving test for going too slow.
"In everyday life, he's that much of a rules follower," his mom, Darcey Enarson, said Wednesday.
But her son also is an action sports star who embraces the creative, come-as-you-will spirit of bicycle motocross trick riding.
The La Mesa performer will bring his high-flying act to the Dew Tour Toyota City Championships starting Thursday in San Francisco. The tour, which was held in San Jose in 2005 and '06, is a four-day sports festival featuring BMX, freestyle motocross (FMX) and skateboarding at Civic Center Plaza. The streetstyle events Sunday are scheduled to be held at Harrison Street, between Fremont and Spear. All events are free.
Enarson, 21, has entered all the BMX competitions -- dirt, street and streetstyle. Those who know him aren't surprised he's going for all three for only the second time in his career.
"If I wasn't a pro I'd still be riding year around," Enarson said. "BMX is what I love to do."
San Jose's Ryan Nyquist, one of the most accomplished BMX riders in action sports history, appreciates the way Enarson competes.
"Dennis is an animal," said Nyquist, who is competing in the dirt event in San Francisco. "Any time he steps on a bike he's doing ridiculous things, whether they make sense to you or not."
The Dew Tour stop will be Enarson's second competition since he suffered a broken leg in
He got hooked on bicycle motocross at about age 8. Enarson started with BMX racing, a pedal version of motocross on dirt courses with curves and ramps for jumping. BMX has been part of the past two Summer Games as the International Olympic Committee tries to appeal to younger audiences.
Enarson, though, has no desire to become an Olympian.
Darcey Enarson recalled the day her son stopped racing while at a national championships. "Mom, would you care if I didn't do this anymore?" he asked. He dropped out of the competition and never looked back.
"He will ride his bike all day long, but he hated to go to coordinated practices," Darcey said. "He's not into that structure element whatsoever."
Enarson equated BMX racing to serious training.
"You have to be a real athlete to do that," he said. "I'm not cut out for that. I just wanted to go to the track and race." He loves the action sports culture with no coaches and a less combative environment. Enarson brings a big smile to the ramps whether he wins or loses.
The riders might talk about how much fun it is to bounce off ramps while performing double back flips but it's not always easy for the parents to stomach.
"I had to let go of being nervous, because he couldn't afford to have me that way," said Darcey Enarson, a nurse.
The Enarsons turned their quarter-acre back yard into a BMX playground. At first they built a $20,000 dirt racing course for their two sons. Then they added ramps for trick riding.
By the time Enarson was a high school sophomore, he was traveling internationally to competitions and filming sessions as a Nike-sponsored athlete. His parents insisted he attend school even when returning from overseas.
"I wanted him to stay grounded," his mother said.
That's a funny way of putting it for a guy who catapults through the air for a living.
But it works for this action sports star.
Follow Elliott Almond on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.