“People used to say that he was going to be the next Bob Hannah because he was in Palmdale and he used to ride all those desert tracks that Hannah grew up on,” says Mike Chavez, who used to wrench for him while working for Yamaha Motor Corp.
“He’s by far the best minibike racer I’ve ever seen in my life,” says Dave Miller, who built his remarkable bikes.
“He was so good—almost unbeatable at one point on an 80cc bike,” offers Bruce Stjernstrom, head of Kawasaki Team Green in the mid-eighties and now head of Kawasaki Racing.
“He was just a fierce competitor,” says 1994 125cc World Champion Bobby Moore. “It’s a huge surprise that he didn’t make it.”
The kid they’re talking about, the one who once had “Boy Wonder” stitched on the back of his pants, is now a man. Eddie Hicks is soon to be 49 years old and living in Hudson, Florida, outside of Tampa. He works at Walmart and still follows pro racing—he even got back on a bike a few years ago and raced the World Vets at Glen Helen. But for now, he’s moved about as far away as he could from his old tracks in the high desert of California.
“I’m trying to get back on my feet, because I had some troubles in Cali,” he says. “The last five years. . . . I don’t want to be negative or anything, but it’s not been the greatest.”