WOW! That’s the first word that comes to mind when I’m asked to describe the past week I spent in Austin, Texas with the rest of the Redline Bikes crew. This was my first Texas Toast so I wasn’t fully sure what to expect other than a chill, laid back comp. Turns out it was much more than that. The Texas Toast comp is a fully rider run event based around the idea of doing nothing but having a good time riding your bike with 1000’s of your good friends. Add in the Markit Zero Video Premier and Ride Magazine’s Nora Cup awards and you have what many called “The best BMX weekend EVER”.
The Redline crew all flew into Austin TX on Tuesday and the plan was to decorate the Redline Sponsored vert wall at the event and try to ride and film a little street the 2 days leading up to the event. The weather kinda shut us down as far as getting too much street riding in but we did have a blast tagging up the ramp. Gerber came up with a funny Texas theme that we threw our teams spin on and we ran with it. 2 trips to Home Depot and several hours later we had it finished. Gerber did an amazing job on the artwork. Seems like all the industry guys from other bike companies that were working on their ramps got a kick out of it too.
Thursday kicked off practice and the guys got to ride the street and dirt course. With Tyler, Gerber and Glenn, we stand out for sure. Gerber was doing his normal tech stuff and then tossing in big moves when no one would expect. Glenn was quiet like normal but always makes noise with his riding. Glenn may be one of the most under-rated guys out there. Tyler came out and pretty much “won practice” by going higher than EVERYBODY and doing it with a smile and tons of style.
The dirt guys started off a little slow as the course was a bit muddy still. Seems Austin got 8” of rain in the day or so leading up to our arrival. That’s very odd for TX so it was a mess. Once the course builders got things buttered up and the comp was underway Dosch, Hult, Christie, Glenn and Tyler all started flowing the jumps. Dosch kept it SMOOTH like normal with all his back to back tricks yet with flow like he was at the trails. Hult would flow one minute then send himself in both directions at will. Hult can do more tricks switch than most can do regular. Brandon Christie rode the course with his normal laid back approach then would send 3 inverts better than pretty much anyone in the world. Both Glenn and Tyler were a little more concerned with competing in street so they kept it chill. Even with both guys being chill they almost made finals. In the end Dosch was the lone Redline rider to make it in to the finals for dirt.
In between dirt and street was the Redline high Wall ride comp. This was held on a EXTREMELY steep ramp making it very difficult to go high. After 10 mins or so of people killing themselves trying to get to the top spot there was a 3 way tie at about the 10’ mark between Colt Fake, Trey Jones and our own Tyler Fernengel. A few more tries later and Tyler took the lead by a few inches. The others gave him a run for the money but his height stuck. He took a last run for fun and even topped himself ending up around 12feet high! Congrats to ya Tyler!
Street qualifying was next. Gerber, Tyler and Glenn were all ready to have some fun. This comp was less about impressing judges and more about impressing / having fun with your friends. Gerber came out swinging with a huge front flips and 360’s to flat as well as a fakie front flip that NO ONE saw coming. As far as I’m concerned he pulled one of the tries but smashed into the crowd. In a normal comp that may upset a rider but I think Gerber loves that shit! He’s way more into the crowd and his friends being stoked than the judges. Next up was Glenn. He rode amazing and had a super good mix of tech and big tricks. His last trick was a back flip. That may not sound super impressive to some hard core riders until you learn the ramp he flipped of was only A FOOT TALL! No one else at the comp even thought of that! Tyler was the last of our team guys to ride and was ready to burn the place down. Tyler was the talk of the past few days and almost everybody there had their money on him to qualify in the top spot. It was his time to shine. Tyler dropped in and blasted about a 7-foot air on the quarter and pedaled his ass off full speed across the course at the 9’ tall Dig Magazine satellite dish ramp. Tyler went so high that he went out of sight of many of the cameras as he was higher than the roof of the building. There was so much awesome energy in that place at that point….Until he came down. Tyler’s front wheel completely missed the ramp and he basically went right to his face from 20’ in the air. Tyler was knocked out and the crowd was freaked out! It was probably the worst BMX crash anyone there had ever seen. The next hour was a bit scary but in the end Tyler turned out to be ok. Not only did he walk out of the Ambulance on his own but he went back to the hotel, took a shower and headed to the Markit Zero Video Premier to be with his friends. We are SOOOOO Thankful Tyler turned out to be ok. In the end Gerber ended up with a spot in the finals.
Dirt Finals was much different that what you are used to seeing at these big comps like Dew Tour and X-Games. Instead of guys only doing trick they have super dialed in order to win the big prize money guys were trying stuff to impress the crowd, progress and have fun with their friends. In the end Dosch said it was just like riding at the trails with all his friends but with 2000 screaming people and Steve Crandall on the mic heckling each rider as they with through the course. At one point I heard BMX legend Gary Young say that this was the most fun he’s ever had in a contest.
Street finals was up next and we were all on the sidelines supporting Gerber. Gerber doesn’t really like to ride in normal comps as his style is less polished and more BALLS TO THE WALL!! Zack started his run by calmly removing his shirt and then pedaling FAST at everything. BIG BIG BIG and to flat most of the time. The crowd loved it. Stand outs were his bunnyhop front flip to flat and the GIANT 360 transfer over the heads of all the photographers that nobody saw coming. It was amazing!
That night was the Ride Magazine Nora Cup awards. If you don’t know what that is it’s basically the Grammy’s of BMX. We weren’t aware but they added a few awards to the program from the weekend’s festivities as well. Surprising to us all Gerber and Tyler both ended up winning a category! Gerber for best Can Can of the weekend and Tyler for worst crash. It was an amazing night for Redline and BMX in general.
Over the past year or so the Redline team has become more than a team of guys that happen to be sponsored by the same company. It’s now a super tight family. All the guys on the team or so different on and off their bikes yet when we travel together are the best of friends. The amount of good times we all have together can’t even be described. 2 years ago when I became TM of Redline my biggest goal was to make sure we had an awesome team that loves to ride and hang out together while we turn a few heads in the process. A few big successful trips, an Xgames Medal, a few web edits totaling over 100k views and 2 magazine covers later….I’m a proud guy.
Special thanks to Redline Bikes, Texas Toast, Ride BMX Mag and the Markit Crew for making this the best BMX weekend ever. I’d also Like to thank Brandon Dosch, Josh Hult, Glenn Salyers, Tyler Fernengel, Zack Gerber, Brandon Christie and Jeff Tabb. Can’t wait for our next team “Adventure” —–Flip
All Photos By Fat Tony