Ten reasons why Austin is great for BMX
Ten BMX-friendly facts about Austin
In July, X Games made the decision to move its flagship Los Angeles event to a new location: Austin, Texas. For over 20 years, Austin has been the go-to destination for BMX riders from all over the world, and it continues to attract new riders. What follows are some of the reasons why Austin is such a great place for BMX. (Pictured here: Albie Bennett with a hefty gap.)
Endless riding spots
Sure, there are the old standbys like the 9th Street Trails, but for many visiting BMX riders, the city provides an endless array of untouched riding spots, allowing riders to explore and film new video parts without revisiting the same riding spots that have already been filmed. Here, Estonia's Kert Petersel takes an unexpected route up a tree in the Austin area.
Home to Terrible One
Austin is home to Joe Rich's BMX company, Terrible One, home to one of the biggest private bowls around and home to some of the finest U.S.-made BMX parts and soft goods in existence. Here, visiting T1 rider Garrett Byrnes downside fast plants a recently discovered drainage ditch on the outskirts of Austin.
Home to Texas Toast (and Chase Hawk)
Each October, Austin plays host to Odyssey's Texas Toast Jam. The jam is a homegrown affair that brings the BMX industry together and draws hundreds of BMXers from around the globe. This year, Texas Toast is also hosting the Ride BMX Number One Rider Awards (NORA Cup). Safe to say, it's the biggest BMX event to happen each year.
Endless BMX talent
Austin is home to countless BMX riders, and because of that, countless BMX talent. It's typical to see a dozen or so BMXers each day all ripping up the various spots around town. And it's typical for most people to say, "Who is that guy? He's awesome." Here, Austin local Brammel Harrison gaps over a guard rail and out of a parking garage.
Austin trail riding
Austin's trail riding scene is huge, and the various trail riding spots go from beginner jumps to insane. Here, Austin transplant Clint Reynolds (who also worked for the X Games in Brazil building the dirt course) seat grab nac nacs at Austin's Eastside Trails. And those jumps are huge. Just be sure to pick up a shovel and help out if you plan on visiting.
BMX industry hot spot
Austin is not only home to Terrible One. It's also home to Mutiny Bikes (pictured here, Mutiny owner Gaz Sanders), Empire BMX store, Sunday Bikes, Odyssey, Fairdale and Liquor Bikes. Within the U.S., Austin is probably the one city with the most BMX brands in it. And because of that, it's very easy to stay stocked up on the latest BMX products.
Austin BMX visitors
Everyone who rides a BMX bike visits Austin. It's not unusual to go out at night and run into BMXers from New York, Ohio, and in this case, Scotland. Gordon "Gogo" Reilly took his holiday in Austin, and traveled to San Marcos to stick some one-footed tabletops over a hip.
Austin gets hot in the summer, and there's no better way to combine BMX and staying cool than lake jumping. Here, Empire BMX's Hanson Little lake jumps while fellow Empire rider Tom Smith tail whips. If you're stuck in Austin in the summer, this is a good option to stay cool and learn some new jumping maneuvers.
Austin is BMX friendly
Climbing up on someone's roof with a bike to jump off of it doesn't usually happen without an argument between the BMXer and the property owner. Fortunately, Austin embraces the weird, and in some cases, property owners might even understand the rider's need to climb a roof, gap to another roof and then jump off. That's just what happened in Kert Petersel's case.