On the ground at Texas Toast 2014
The return of Texas Toast
Texas Toast, a free-for-all type BMX jam hosted by Odyssey BMX, returned to Austin, Texas, for the fourth straight year this weekend. Now at a new location outside of Austin dubbed Quest ATX, the event began on Friday with a plethora of one-off events such as brick-ledge grind challenges, cowbell-ringing dirt jumps and high-air comps. Check back all weekend long for more photos from the ground at Texas Toast 2014.
It wouldn't be Texas Toast without an event pre-party, which was Thursday night and featured slime wrestling hosted by local BMX brand BoneDeth and local Austinite Kitty Buick. Music was provided by local band the Hard Dads, and fun was had by all, unless you got covered in slime.
Attention to detail
Odyssey ensures that no expense is spared when preparing for Texas Toast. For signage, Odyssey employed the help of local tattoo artist/BMXer Pat Schraeder. And because the ramp builders found several scorpions during the load-in, Schraeder had fun with his warnings.
Burro Cheese truck
Aaron Ross is not just an Odyssey/Sunday Bikes sponsored pro who calls Austin home. He's venturing into new territory with Burro Cheese, a brick-and-mortar grilled cheese shop located on South Congress in downtown Austin. Burro also has a truck, which parked at Texas Toast and featured BMX-inspired sandwich names.
The Gauntlet of Death
Of course, the Gauntlet of Death obstacle course made a triumphant return to Texas Toast, and it featured an X Games-inspired obstacle.
Mike Tag brick ledge challenge
In the Mike Tag brick ledge challenge, and riders were allowed to use only metal pegs without any wax. After the competition was over, the bricks were given away as tokens. Here, Ryan Corrigan (left) and Dennis McCoy divide the bricks.
Friday also featured a Credence Bikes "More Cowbell" dirt jump challenge. Riders attempted the big dirt jump and aimed to hit a cowbell hanging above the jump with one of their wheels. Larry Edgar went as far as to try to ring the bell during a flip.
Haro Bikes rider Matt Cordova took the win in the More Cowbell challenge. Check the height and style on that air.
United Bikes pro Leo Forte made the trip over from the U.K. and threw his brand of style into the More Cowbell challenge.
Pat "Big Daddy" Loughlin is studying full time to be a dentist in Utah, but he took this weekend off to bring his brand of insane park riding to Texas Toast. Here, Big Daddy ice-picks the Hoffman Bikes-branded quarterpipe/backrail setup.
Friday's final event was the Haro Veteran Quarterpipe contest, which Casey Smith won with ease. As you might imagine, riding a chevron-shaped quarterpipe lip is not the easiest thing in the world.
The Gauntlet of Death featured street obstacles from downtown Austin, including this launch-to-launch that was inspired by a setup at a drive-through bank in Austin. Sandy Carson jumped the original setup in an Etnies video, and Corey Walsh took charge of the recreation at Texas Toast.
Kareem Williams took home a clean hundred dollars for pulling this smith grind up the Texas Toast brick ledge.
The BoneDeth team was out in force for the brick ledge challenge. Rather than grind it, Dirt Ron Pitcher threw a tailwhip fastplant over it.
The brick ledge took out a few competitors, including BoneDeth team rider Jay Wilson. He walked away unscathed and humbled.
BoneDeth pro Sean Burns is no stranger to rough ledges. He just pedals faster at them and holds on, landing moves such as this ice pick during the comp.
And on Day 2 ...
Saturday of Texas Toast kicked off with dirt qualifying followed by an old, trusted vestige of BMX competitions, the bunny-hop competition. Odyssey BMX/Volume Bikes pro Broc Raiford and his soon-to-be-bad lower back took the win with ease, along with a cool $500, which is basically half a year's salary for the average BMX pro.
BoneDeth BMX pro Colt Fake traveled all the way from the suburbs of Orlando, Florida, to enter the pro park class and smith-stall a gigantic wall shaped to resemble a piece of buttered toast. It's the little things that matter.
And even the announcers ...
Even the event announcers get in on the action. Here, Texas Toast MC Darryl Nau footplants one of the Texas Toast quarterpipes in '80s-inspired garb.
The beauty of the Texas Toast BMX comp is that it combines all ages, and all disciplines, into one cohesive BMX competition. Cult amateur Grant Germain is known to be more of a street rider, but at Toast, he's inclined to throw stylish no-handers into the mix while competing against veteran park pros on the Texas Toast course.
The "other" beauty of Texas Toast is that it encourages originality and transfers. Mongoose pro Greg Illingworth traveled all the way from South Africa to land this air-to-wallride-to-transfer.
BMX dirt qualifying, hats
The Texas sun shows no mercy even into the third week of October. Here, an unknown dirt qualifier tailwhips a set of jumps as spectators (trying to shield their bodies from the sun) look on.
A vert rider named Leo Chen perfected the first brand of the decade air in 1989, but Australia's Jason Watts owns it in 2014.
Kyle Hart might not have had the best luck with the Austin Police Department early into the weekend (he was given multiple bike-related tickets on Friday night), but he manned up, entered the bunny-hop contest, and fastplanted his way into one of the best bunny-hop photos of the weekend.
X Games BMX Big Air and Park competitor Morgan Wade attempted this fufanu several times during qualifying and pulled it on his last run. It was tech and burly and insane all at once, just like Wade likes it.
Double front flips on the MegaRamp, no problem. 360 inverts on the Texas Toast course, also not a problem. Anthony Napolitan can do it all, effortlessly.
Tom Dugan, style, air and an adoring crowd. Welcome to the Austin BMX scene.
Van Homan, wallride to downside tailwhip. Homan's qualifying runs were good enough to get him into the finals on Sunday. Tune in for more.