Sneha Girap (Editor)

Terry Tenette

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Full name
Terry Tenette

Jack's Cyclery

91 kg

Rider type
Off Road

1.83 m

Current team


"Mr. T"

Terry Tenette

Terry Tenette BMX Legend Terry Tenette

August 10, 1968 (age 55) , Palo Alto, California, United States (

Bicycle Motocross (BMX)

Charles Townsend (BMX rider), Eric Rupe, Tinker Juarez

2016 national bmx hall of fame racer inductee terry tenette

Terry Tenette (born August 10, 1968 in Palo Alto, California U.S.) is a professional "Old/Mid School" Bicycle Motocross (BMX) racer whose prime competitive years were from 1989 to 1998.


Terry Tenette BMX Legend Terry Tenette

His nickname "Mr. T" is an allusion to the alliteration of his given and family name, both starting with the letter "T". It is also an incidental reference to the American actor with the stage name "Mr. T" who played a character on the popular 1980s American television show "The A-Team", Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus.

ABA BMX Racing 1988 Coal Canyon National AA Pro Main

Racing career milestones

Started Racing: July 24, 1978 Introduced to the sport by a friend named Greg Hill. NOT the BMX racer but a childhood friend. Mr. Tenette raced at the Fred Watson Park track in San Jose, California

Sanctioning Body:

Sanctiong body district(s): American Bicycle Association (ABA) California 15 (CA-15) (1984); CA-19 (1985)

First race result: First place in 9 novice.

First win (local): See above.

First sponsor: Jack's Cyclery; Woodside Bicycle Shop.

First national win:

Turned professional: November 1987 Age 19.

First Professional race result: First place in "A" pro at the 1987 American Bicycle Association (ABA) Grand Nationals on November 29 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He won US$800, or the equivalent of US$1,448.59 in 2007 (Cost of Living Calculator). He also won Pro Cruiser, winning US$330 (US$597.54) and came in sixth in Pro Open, winning US$150 (US$271.61).

First Professional win: See above:

First Junior Pro* race result: See above

First Junior Pro win: See above

First Senior Pro** race result: First in "AA" pro at the ABA Gilley's National in Pasadena, Texas on March 26, 1988. He won US$700, or US$1,267.52 in 2007 dollars. He also won "AA" pro the next day, winning US$875, US$1,584.40 2007.

First Senior Pro win: See above.

Retired: Still active in Veteran Pro and Masters classes.

Height & weight at height of career (1994–1998): Ht:6'0" Wt:200 lbs.


  • Jack's Cyclery: 1981
  • Woodside Bicycle Shop: 1981-1983
  • Boss Racing Frames: January 1984-December 1984.
  • CW (Custom Works) Racing: January 1985-June 1985.
  • U.S. Boss Racing Products: June 1985-December 1986. Boss had changed their name slightly since the last time Terry Tenette was on their team.
  • GT (Gary Turner) Racing: December 28, 1986-early August 1987. Terry Tenette was removed from the GT factory team for drug use after he was caught with marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was previously given a warning a month prior after GT detected a problem but he apparently disregarded the warning and was subsequently released from the team after being caught with the controlled substance. Terry Tenette stated that he was being made a scapegoat for five other racers. Fellow Senior pro Kevin Hull was sent home from the team on suspicion and apparently on guilt by association alone since he and Tenette often were off together. Hull demanded and received a polygraph test. He passed and was allowed to rejoin the GT team in time for the IBMXF World Championships in Orlando, Florida held on the weekend of August 8. The various factory team sponsors were taking a vigorous zero tolerance policies particularly ever since the revelations of Ronnie Anderson's admitted 10 year drug habit as he revealed in quotes in the December 8, 1986 issue of Sports Illustrated and rumors and accusations of anabolic steroid use by top pro racer Pete Loncarevich which were never substantiated. Auburn BMX racer Danny Millwee would also be fired for marijuana use in late 1988. GT's spokesman Shawn Buckley made this statement about Tenette's dismissal (excerpt):

    "This is a clean sport with a good reputation. Drugs are not a major problem in BMX, but if we let this kind of thing go on, it could become one." --Shawn Buckley BMX Plus! November 1987.

  • In a later interview with BMX Action Terry Tenette made this statement:

    "I just think GT blew it 'cause I think they could've used me as an example to sell more bikes, like they do in baseball. They could've played it off. They could've kept me in there and let people know that there was a problem, they've solved it, and now look what they've done--like, 'GT! We're an example.' Instead, they threw me out in the street, like 'We don't need you! Beat it!'" --Terry Tenette BMX Action August 1988.

    Other than alleging that what GT did was unlawful search and seizure, Terry at this stage and time never denied GT's allegations against him. Also during this time when his time was free he worked at a hospital counseling teenagers with drug and alcohol problems.

  • MCS (Moto Cross Specialties) Bicycle Specialties: Mid August 1987-August 1988. Tenette was added to the MCS racing team two weeks after he was fired from GT. Tenette would turn pro with this sponsor.
  • Professional

  • MCS Bicycle Specialties: Mid August 1987-August 1988. In August 1988 MCS joined with Eagle Snacks to form a combined race team.
  • MCS Bicycles/Eagle Snacks: August 1988-November 1988. MCS claimed that it fired Terry Tenette because of a "bad attitude". Tenette claims he had quit, went on strike as it were, pending a better offer from MCS for his services. Lawrence Rybko, the owner of MCS said they "...couldn't come to terms." for a new contract.
  • Peddle Power (bicycle shop): November 1988-December 1988
  • Vans (Van Doren Rubber Company): Late December 1988-November 1989. Vans has not yet merged with the MCS team after Eagle Snacks reduced its BMX race effort.
  • Vans/MCS Bicycles: November 1989-December 1990 The Vans and MCS race teams merged near the end of 1989. By the end of 1990 Eagle Snacks dropped out of the BMX scene.
  • Vans: January 1991-September 1994. Vans and MCS separated after the 1990 racing season.
  • Cyclecraft: December 1994-mid 1995
  • Ross: 1995-1996
  • X-treme: 1996-1997
  • Vans/Calabazas Cyclery: Early 2001-June 2001
  • Atlas Bike Company/OX Industries: June 2001-
  • NorCal: 2002
  • Munger/OX Industries: 2003
  • Maxim USA: 2004 Tennette was also the Regional Sales and Promotions Representative for Maxim Sports Nutrition at this time.
  • Psykopath: 2006–Present
  • Amateur

    National Bicycle Association (NBA)

    National Bicycle League (NBL)

    American Bicycle Association (ABA)

  • 1984 California District 15 (Cal-15) No.1
  • 1985 Winter Season 17 Expert District Age Group (DAG) California 19 (CA-19) champion
  • 1986 17 & Over Expert and 17-21 Cruiser Grandnational Champion.
  • 1986 National No.2 Overall and 17 & Over Expert National No.1. This was for his age class only. The overall National No.1 Amateur for 1986 was Eric Carter.
  • 1986 National No.2 Cruiser Overall and 17-21 Cruiser National No.1. This was for his age class only. The overall National No.1 Cruiser for 1986 was Matt Hadan.
  • United States Bicycle Motocross Association (USBA)

  • None
  • International Bicycle Motocross Federation (IBMXF)

  • 1986 17 Expert Murray World Cup V Champion.
  • Professional

    National Bicycle Association (NBA)

  • None
  • National Bicycle League (NBL)

  • 1990, 1991, 1992 National No.1 Pro.
  • 2006 Elite Masters Grand National Champion
  • American Bicycle Association (ABA)

  • 1987 "A" Pro and Pro Cruiser Grandnational Champion
  • 1988 AA Pro Race of Champions (ROC) Champion
  • 1993 National No.1 Pro Cruiser.
  • United States Bicycle Motocross Association (USBA)

  • None
  • International Bicycle Motocross Federation (IBMXF)

  • None
  • Pro Series Championships

    Notable accolades

  • He was named number one of BMX Action magazine's The Terrible Ten of 1987 of top amateurs and future pros.
  • He is the winner of the 1989 BMX Plus! "Racer Of The Year" award with 15.8% of the vote out of 6,517 cast. He won Honda NX125 street legal motocross motorcycle.
  • Terry Tenette was the first pro racer to win the Senior Pro 20" class three consecutive times: 1990,'91 & '92 in the National Bicycle League "A" Pro (Elite Men) class. Brent Patterson did it previously in the NBL Pro Cruiser class in 1981,'82 & '83 and Cheri Elliott in the ABA's girls amateur 20" division in 1983,'84 & '85. Other racers have done it and exceeded it in other classes since but Terry Tenette was still the only one to have done it in 20" Men's Senior Pro in any sanctioning body until 2006. John Purse came close to matching it in 1997 in the NBL after winning in 1995 and 1996. He was leading the points totals going into the 1997 NBL Grand Nationals by one point over Christophe LeVeque. A crash in the semi-finals ended John Purse pursuit of a "three-peat". However, 14 years after Terry set the record, current top pro 20" racer Bubba Harris who won the national pro 20" number one title with the ABA in 2004 and 2005 has equaled Terry's record by winning the ABA National No.1 plate on November 26, 2006 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He can make it four in a row breaking Tenette's record if he takes the 20" AA pro title again in either the ABA or NBL racing circuit in 2007 and becomes the first to quadruple with any sanctioning body. Terry still retains the distinction of being the only one who has done it three consecutive times with the NBL.
  • Racing traits and habits

  • Tenette was known for often giving the "thumbs up" sign when photogaphed.
  • Miscellaneous

    Like fellow BMX racer Pete Loncarevich, Mr. Tenette had a heavy interest in body building, and was often pictured displaying his physique in BMX publications.

    BMX press magazine interviews and articles

  • "Terry Tenette & Trademarks" BMX Action August 1988 Vol.13 No.8 pg.40
  • "Terry Tenette" BMX Plus! June 1989 Vol.12 No.6 pg.36 His Racer of the Year interview.
  • "N.C.B: Nor Cal Boys" BMX Action August 1989 Vol.14 No.8 pg.23 Joint article with Cecil Johns.
  • "Mister 'T'" Bicross & Skate Magazine Avril (April) 1990 No.87 pg.40 French language BMX and Skateboarding magazine.
  • "BMX Plus! RAP" BMX Plus! January 1991 Vol.14 No.1 pg.26 A short interview with Terry Tenette.
  • "Terry "Mr. T" Tenette: NBL's #1 Pro!" BMX Plus! December 1991 Vol.14 No.12 pg.37 A short blurb interview with the 1991 No.1 pro.
  • "Vans' Grand Slam! Taking a stand on BMX!" BMX Plus! April 1992 Vol.15 No.4 pg.35 Interviews with Tenette and his teammates Pete Loncarevich, Steve Veltman and Racer/Team manager Everette Rosecrans.
  • "#1 PRO cruiser terry tenette" American BMXer November 1994 Vol.16 Iss.10 pg.42
  • "From One Track to Another" Transworld BMX May 2003 Vol.10 Iss.5 No.79 pg.32 An article written by pro BMX racer Jason Richardson the described the tryouts on a Velodrome track at USA Cycling's United States Olympic Training Center (USOTC) from January 8 to 14 2003 with Steven Alfred (track racer), Jason Carnes, Kenth Fallen, Rob Lindstrom (track racer), Darrin Mitchell, John Purse, Craig Reynolds, Richardson himself, Greg Romero, Randy Stumpfhauser and Terry Tennette. Following the lead of Jamie Staff making the British Track Cycling team some of his fellow BMX racers explored the possibility of trying out the track racing discipline with the idea of going to the Olympics. This was done Just before the announcement on June 30, 2003 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of their making BMX Racing an Olympic sport beginning in 2008.
  • BMX magazine covers

    Bicycle Motocross News:

  • None
  • Minicycle/BMX Action & Super BMX:

    Bicycle Motocross Action & Go:

    BMX Plus!:

  • September 1987 Vol.10 No.9 in bottom insert (2) with Craig Marsh (4). In upper left insert freestyler Krys Dauchy. Main image is freestyler Dennis McCoy.
  • Total BMX:

    Bicycles and Dirt (Published by the ABA):

  • None
  • Snap BMX Magazine & Transworld BMX:

    Moto Mag:

    NBA World & NBmxA World (The official NBA/NBmxA membership publication):

    Bicycles Today & BMX Today (The official NBL membership publication which changed its name once.)

    ABA Action, American BMXer, BMXer (The official ABA membership publication under three names):

  • American BMXer July 1987 Vol.9 No.6 (2) with J. Richards (4)
  • American BMXer January/February 1988 Vol.10 No.1
  • USBA Racer (The official USBA membership publication):


    Terry Tenette Wikipedia