A few thoughts about Texas Toast…
Texas Toast was pretty much the Biggest event in BMX in recent times, run by BMXers, providing a forum for riders to compete, to shine, to have fun, see friends, to have a great BMX weekend. Texas Toast was also a great opportunity for riders to get work and earn money at the event as organizers, dirt jump builders, sign painters, ramp builders, a place for small brands to vend their goods, for larger brands to showcase their character, for entrepreneurial bike enthusiast to sell coffee, food, t-shirts and more.
In it’s own small way, it was a tiny BMX community with its own economy, and infrastructure, it was like FDR’s New Deal during the depression, it created work, it created commerce, it created progression of bike riding, it created smiles, opportunity, and quite simply it was just an awesome time. It Made things better!
Outside of some small jams, and grassroots events, BMX is now left with events run by TV Networks, Energy Drink conglomerates, and committees of Olympic hopefuls.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the bigger production events (the Van’s Bowl Invitational is rad as hell), but I think it leaves a pretty big gap in-between the every day rider, and the sponsored celebrity BMX pro’s. I think it says a lot about the state of BMX, that many riders will rely on others to create events, and stand by as great events like Toast are cancelled and bitch about Network TV events like armchair quarterbacks.
BMX Events, like music concerts, and shows don’t HAVE to be in stadiums to be great, some of the best Bands I’ve ever witnessed were in basements, garages, and dive bars, not Madison Square Garden or the Staples Center, but as a whole, all the above can be awesome. I went to a Jam this weekend in a parking lot with nothing more than some grind rails, flat ledges, and banks, but in the true spirit of BMX, riders made the most out of the modest offerings, and everyone had a blast, riders from different generations, scenes, interests, different towns, cities, and states, all in a dusty parking lot having a laugh.
BMXer’s not supporting BMX is the concern here. BMXer’s not supporting their local shops, attending Local jams, throwing jams, BMXers not supporting BMX base brands that bring good times into the scene and the Community, these actions yield the results like Toast Being Cancelled, Shops and Local Skateparks going out of business, Brands not being able to sufficiently support their riders, depleting the natural resources in BMX’s creativity, positive energy, enthusiasm and excitement.
Here is a huge shout out to all the staff and volunteers who made Texas Toast possible for those years, and all the riders and companies working hard to get events and jams going in their communities.
There a still people out there, building spots, hosting events, sharing their efforts, working hard to make their lives and BMX the best they know how, find out who is doing that in your scene, and support it, if you don’t notice it right away, it’s you who is supposed to be on the hustle!
Throw a jam, make a zine, make some dirt jumps, film a video, take a road trip, build a ramp, make a grind box, build your own fun, make it happen!