The best of Texas Toast
A decade ago, homegrown BMX contests that emphasized fun over contest placings were the go-to events throughout North America and Europe. But during the mid-2000s, this brand of BMX contest (created by BMX brands and riders) took a backseat to bigger events. Odyssey BMX veteran (and competitor in the first Extreme Games in 1995) Taj Mihelich decided to change things in 2011, creating the first Texas Toast Jam in Austin, Texas. This year, Texas Toast is back for its fourth consecutive year (Oct. 17-19 at Quest ATX). To preview the event, XGames.com looks back on highlights from the previous Texas Toast events.
Tyler, Texas' Morgan Wade, also an X Games competitor, made the drive to Austin to conquer this contraption built at Texas Toast in 2012. Basically, the ramp is a loop without the top part, and the rider has to backflip past the over-vert section to complete the loop. Wade was the first to successfully get it done.
The "Gauntlet of Death" is one of the Texas Toast Jam's most celebrated sections. Built around the concept of a complicated obstacle course, the G.O.D. is made up of obstacles contributed by sponsors of the event. Tree Bicycle Co. had an actual tree branch on its obstacle, but that didn't stop Dan Norvell from conquering it.
For the first two years, the Texas Toast Jam featured a professional flatland competition. Last year, due to venue space, flatland was not on the roster, which continues into this year. Fortunately, those first two years delivered some of the best flatland photography in recent memory, including Terry Adams executing his famed Katrina jump.
Ryan 'Biz' Jordan
Texas Toast might be the only BMX competition to have ever featured rideable logs as part of the contest. Ryan "Biz" Jordan's balance skills were put to the test.
X Games BMX Street competitor Broc Raiford delivered one of the best tricks to Texas Toast in 2013. As seen here, Raiford grinds up the Texas Toast handrail then throws a hop-over truckdriver out of the grind. This is one of the reasons why Raiford was on the X Games invite list in 2014.
S&M Bikes pro Clint Reynolds pulls double duty at Texas Toast. He builds the dirt jumps for the event and also rides the dirt contest. From the ground up (literally), Texas Toast is created by BMX riders.
Veteran BMX pro Ryan Corrigan is one of the main parties responsible for the creation of the Texas Toast ramps. This year, Corrigan researched popular street spots in the Austin area, shot photos of them and is hoping to recreate some of them for the competition.
Texas Toast attracts riders from all walks of BMX, from the underground street rider to multiple X Games medalists, including Scotty Cranmer. Here, Cranmer throws a tailwhip out of a curved wallride during the first year of Texas Toast.
Not many BMX competitions allow riders to navigate a wooden replica of a Vans checkerboard slip-on shoe. Fortunately, Texas Toast delivers on that front.
These days, Tom Dugan is known as Austin royalty, with a line of signature bikes from Fit Bike Co., signature parts from Odyssey and signature shoes from Etnies. But during the first year of Texas Toast, Dugan was the Austin local riding for Terrible One who absolutely destroyed the curved wallride with aplomb.
Throw any obstacle you can find in front of Haro's Dennis Enarson and he'll figure out a way to fakie footjam nosepick it. That was the case last year at Texas Toast on the dirt course.
Mat Hoffman, Tim Kerr
Of course, Texas Toast is not without its fair share of parties, where BMX luminaries such as Mat Hoffman, left, get to rub up against legendary Austin-based musicians such as Tim Kerr of The Big Boys.
Mike 'Santana' Esparza
During the first year of Texas Toast, the "Gauntlet of Death" was not the safest (or driest) course to navigate. Longtime Austin local Mike "Santana" Esparza used his old-school balance to cruise through it with ease, though.
In 2013, Texas Toast moved the street course to a location under a roof, providing relief from the Texas heat along with the threat of rain. S&M Bikes veteran pro Matt Beringer went back to his competition staples and threw this vertical smith stall on top of the wallride.
Mark 'Fids' Findley
In 2013, Haro Bikes sponsored an old-school high-air quarterpipe competition, and the U.K. rider affectionately known as "Fids" did his best to reach the top of the height pole.
Rather than go for high air in 2013, Jim Cielencki reached deep into his bag of tricks and landed a vertical handplant on the Haro Bikes old-school quarterpipe.
In 2013, Mat Hoffman transported his personal vert ramp from Oklahoma City to Austin so select riders could perform vert demos throughout the weekend. Here, X Games BMX Vert competitor Simon Tabron stretches a tire-grab can-can.
The great thing about Texas Toast is that it brings together old and new generations of BMX riders for a fun-filled weekend. Here, legendary pro Dave Voelker stretches his trademark inverted footplant on a Texas Toast quarterpipe during the first year of the event.
Texas Toast 2014
This year's Texas Toast is going down at Quest ATX in South Austin, Texas. The event begins at 10 a.m. on Oct. 17 and runs through Oct. 19. For more information, check the Odyssey BMX website.