Last weekend, I went with Eric to Texas Toast Jam, which is maybe his favorite event in Austin. It’s a BMX bike event that lasts all weekend, though I was only
forced able to make it to two days. I was so nervous to actually go this year, and I’m talking meeting-his-parents nervous He loves it so much, and I didn’t know if I was going to have a good time.
The slogan for Texas Toast Jam is “Together we shred!” and the thing is: I don’t shred. I was such a cautious kid, that my own personal slogan was “Be careful!” Over the years, Eric has showed me roughly 100,000,000 bike and skateboarding videos. My reaction to the first 15,000 was, “Does he have a mother? Why is she letting him do this?” I somehow felt like they must all be orphans, like, maybe they were all raised like Fagin’s gang in Oliver Twist. Just rowdy boys left alone to raise even rowdier boys.
I took my camera, which was great because I haven’t taken pictures in a while. I took hundreds of shots each day, and I actually got some pictures I really liked.
In addition to action shots, it was a cool place to people watch. As someone who is not really part of this community, I felt a little bit weird at times. To say I was conservatively dressed is an understatement. Compared to most of the ladies I saw there, I was dressed like a dude. (If there was a dress code for women, it would be “Lots of skin. Bra optional.”) There were a lot of little kids there for an event where “fuck” is said over the P.A. system about once every 2 minutes, which I actually thought was pretty cool. It’s a family affair for families were the parents swear a lot, which is maybe where I find some serious common ground with this crowd. It is also, not surprisingly, the place where I’ve seen the largest number of people wearing casts in my entire life.
Finally, it must be said that while I am most interested in seeing people do cool tricks successfully, there is something about the accidents. I resist the idea that I am actually in it for the crashes. I saw a guy actually crack a vertebrae, and it brought me zero joy. However, in terms of taking photos, they provide an interesting encapsulation of a moment. Also, in the place with the highest cast-to-human ratio I’ve ever seen, it also seems like it’s just another part of shreddin’.
Overall, I would say Texas Toast Jam was fun. I have already committed to going again next year.