Monster Energy's SXSW BMX experience
Welcome to Austin, Texas
This past weekend during South by Southwest 2015, select BMX riders from the Monster Energy team converged on Austin for a tour of the city by X Games Austin 2014 BMX Park gold medalist Chase Hawk. The day started early at Torchy's Tacos, who treated the entire crew to free tacos before the rains arrived. Here, the crew poses for a photo outside of the original Torchy's trailer.
A dog's life
Monster Energy sponsors BMX legend T.J. Lavin, one of the first riders to compete and medal in BMX Dirt at the early X Games events. He's also a dog lover, and before the chips arrived at Torchy's, T.J. took some time to get to know the local dog population in the parking lot.
Here, Mongoose BMX pro Ben Wallace (left) chats with Chase Hawk (right) outside the Torchy's trailer.
Time for tacos
Torchy's Tacos is an Austin, Texas institution, and its graciousness toward the "World of X Games" crew was appreciated. This is one of its famed breakfast tacos.
Inside Empire BMX
After they ate a late breakfast at Torchy's Tacos, the rains arrived. With the original plan being to go ride BMX dirt trails, a new plan was needed. Luckily, Chase Hawk rides for one of the premier BMX bike shops in the U.S., Empire BMX. Empire is a quick drive from Torchy's, so the crew loaded up and descended on the shop. Here, the crew checks out the local photo exhibit in the lobby.
Blast from the past
Empire BMX is also home to Austin Moto Works, a full-service motorcycle shop for BMW motorcycles. The owner, Steve Tyler, is also a BMX veteran, and was stunned to see T.J. Lavin in his shop. Quickly, Tyler dug up his BMX sticker collection and found his T.J. Lavin sticker stash to share with the group.
Off the wall
And upstairs at Empire BMX, the space is big enough to house a small mini ramp. Here, Ben Wallace airs out of the ramp to wall ride on the Empire BMX flag.
The Empire BMX micro mini ramp is small and tough to ride, but the Monster Energy pros made the most of it. Here, from left to right, Kyle Baldock, Mike Varga and Ryan Guettler perform fakie foot jam nose picks on the ramp.
Off the mural . . .
And then came more wall rides. Here, Ryan Guettler squeezes a corner pocket wall ride into the Empire BMX mini ramp.
Watch out for the lights!
These guys will ride anything, and go 100 percent at it. Here, X Games 2013 double gold medalist Kyle Baldock flairs the tiny transitions of the Empire BMX mini ramp.
With low ceilings, the riders had to resort to lip tricks to get their session completed. Here, Ryan Guettler stretches out a lawnmower fufanu on the coping of the Empire BMX mini ramp.
This is as precise as it gets: Kyle Baldock tail taps the back rail of the Empire BMX mini ramp.
Not only is T.J. Lavin a BMX legend, he's quite adept at playing piano.
In the rear of Empire BMX, the Monster Energy team shot interviews for an upcoming episode of the "World of X Games" on ABC.
And finally, the crew poses for a photo in front of the Empire BMX mural. Despite the rain, the crew got some good riding in, checked out a great BMX shop, and shot interviews for television. All in all, it was a great day.