In 2014, more than 160,000 fans poured into Circuit of The Americas for Austin’s inaugural X Games. Though ESPN doesn’t release numbers, Tim Reed, Vice President of ESPN X Games, labeled the event a success: “Austin was a great fit–music, culture, lifestyle–for action sports.” And now X Games is back in town for its second year, and these upcoming four days will be epic. As Reed reminded reporters, “X Games never does anything twice.”
New for Austin X Games
It’s a tough call on Thursday night. You have a decision to make: go see Moto X Step Up or Flat Track Racing? They’re at the same time but in different locations.
Flat Track Racing
Tip: You’ll park at COTA and then catch a shuttle to the track, which is separate from the main X Games villages, so give yourself a little extra travel time.
Moto X Step Up
Head downtown to 11th and Congress to get in on this X Games action at a new location. With the State Capitol as a scenic backdrop, riders rev into a 30-foot approach, power up a 12-foot dirt ramp, and launch themselves over a bar. Think pole vault…but on a motorcycle. Each rider gets two attempts to clear the height, and then the bar is raised for those who’ve succeeded.
Ronnie Renner, X Games Austin 2014 gold medalist in Moto X Step Up, holds the current record–47 feet at X Games Los Angeles 2012–and he’ll be back for more this year.
Tip: You need to purchase a general admission ticket to get into the area (VIP tickets are already sold out).
7 X Games Athletes Who Make Texas Proud
Watch for these athletes with ties to Austin and the Lone Star State. Once you know their faces, look for them around town this week.
Charles Dorrance, Off-Road Truck Racing
Dorrance lives here in Austin. In fact, he owns Sportsmans Finest (12434 Bee Cave Road), a local fishing and firearms store. Dorrance came in 17th at X Games Austin 2014 in TRK Racing and recently placed 10th in Round 4 and 5 of Stadium Super Trucks (SST) in Indianapolis this May.
Dorrance is a big name in desert racing Trophy Trucks, and R&D Motorsports is his joint venture with fellow pro driver Jay Reichert in Round Mountain, TX off Hwy 281.
Brandon Dosch, BMX Freestyle
A native of Michigan, Dosch moved to Austin in January 2014. He holds one silver (X Games Foz do Iguacu 2013) and one bronze medal (Austin 2014). In 2010, Dosch took the overall Dew Dirt Tour title. He also finished 2nd in Dirt in BMX Worlds in Germany 2012.
Dosch recorded this video with Redline Bicycles just before moving to Austin:
Gavin Harlien, Off-Road Truck Racing
This competitor is only 15 years old, making Harlien the youngest person to ever compete in a motorized event at X Games. Harlien was born in Austin and lived here until he was 6 years old. He now calls Meza, AZ his home.
In April, Harlien came in 5th at the 2014 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in SST (Round 3) and was 9th in TRK Racing at X Games Austin 2014. He’s racing this year in honor of his younger sister Presley, age 13, who has autism.
Harlien has a great website with cool videos, photos and stats.
Chase Hawk, BMX Park
This local boy represents. Hawk started racing at age 7 and this will be his 8th X Games appearance. It was an emotional moment last year when Hawk won his first X Games medal–gold–in BMX Park on his home turf in Austin.
Hawk recently announced his involvement in a new two-day BMX event, Born and Raised, at House Park Skatepark (1213 Shoal Creek Blvd). The jam is a way to showcase amateur talent and is set to coincide with Chase Hawk Day on August 16th.
Oakley produced this videoand it gives a fabulous look at Hawk, beautifully illustrating his love for his hometown.
Ben Raybourn, Skateboard Park
Originally from Rosenberg, TX (in the Houston metropolitan area), Raybourn moved to California in 2011, followed by Portland in 2014. He feels his athletic talent may come from his grandfather, Eddie Tilley, who was an Olympic diver in the 1950s and a Navy SEAL in Korea. Raybourn took 5th in X Games 2012 and 9th in Austin 2014, both in SKB Park.
See Raybourn’s style in this Thrasher Magazine video, “The Raybourn Identity.”
Clint Reynolds, BMX Dirt
Like Chase Hawk, you can find Clint Reynolds riding around town. An Austin resident, Reynolds has an old school style and loves building trails and constructing jumps for events. He placed 6th in Dirt at Texas Toast (October 2013) and has been featured on the covers of Ride Magazine (December 2013) and Dig Magazine (2014).
Morgan Wade, BMX Big Air
Morgan Wade is the pride of Tyler, TX and grew up making trips to Austin to ride (he also lived here for a short time). Wade holds multiple X Games medals: one gold (Los Angeles 2013), three silver (Austin 2014, Munich 2013, X Games 2006) and one bronze (Foz do Iguacu 2013). The Austin 2015 event will mark his 15th X Games appearance, and Wade holds the X Games BMX Big Air record with a max height of 23-feet 3-inches (Barcelona 2013).
The guy’s an amazing competitor who’s known as much for his sense of humor (check out his version of “the worm” after a fall) as he is for sheer athleticism. Local shop Empire BMX (6310 N Lamar) has recreated Morgan’s Lucky T, the one that was cut off from his body when he ruptured his spleen after a fall. The shirt was sewn back together and Wade wore it last year at X Games…and now you can wear it, too (there are also a few signed shirts available).
So You Wanna See X Games Austin 2015?
X Games Austin 2015 runs June 4-7, 2015.
@leahruns100 wants to know:
Did you attend X Games Austin 2014? If so, what’s your standout memory?