VALENTINO UNITEDSUMMER BMX TABLE NJ RD
7 Sep 2015

United Summer Memories: Jersey Life

Looking back to 2014 when Williams, Rigal, and Valentino did a little Dirty Jersey exploration with host Lil' Jeff...

Words and photos by Rob Dolecki

This is the second part of our Summer Memories feature and this time around Nathan Williams, Alex Valentino and Christian Rigal converse about their summer exploits based around a United trip to New Jersey back in 2014 while staying with new teammate Jeff Kocsis. The next United project is starting to get wrapped up and these guys have been collecting steady frequent flyer miles from journeys to various countries over a few continents this past two summer seasons. We were in the process of re-organizing DIG at the time so this trip coverage ended up slipping trough the cracks. The following interviews are a little reminiscing about all the barbeques, traveling, and of course, bike riding during that time, and the entire season.

WILLIAMS UNITEDSUMMER BMX HOPSMITH NJ RD

Nathan, re-living his childhood routine of being outside all day long during summer, this time actually at a school. Beastly rail hop to smith.

Nathan Williams

What was your favourite summer memory from back last year?

Favorite that sticks out first in my mind is the Monster trip to Nashville, where I'm from. It was great to be able to show guys that I've been traveling with for a long time, the things I like to ride and do. And to see the way other people view the place and things, I've seen my whole life, opens my mind to seeing it a different way. Nothing really comes to mind on the negative side, other than some knee injuries I had. I guess if not much comes to mind, then that's a good thing, right?

Was it more of a vacation or a working summer?

It was definitely more of a working summer. I've spent a lot of time traveling and filming for the united project, and finishing up the Above Below stuff. Summer is always the busiest time of the year for me.

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Being outside. I always hated being stuck inside sitting there doing school, so when summer came around, I just remember being outside all day long. before riding i would just be out getting into something with my brothers and once i was a bit older, it was out riding and hanging with friends until I absolutely had to be in.

Now that you're older, what’s changed?

Not a whole lot in the sense that I still have a hard time sitting inside and get the stuff indoors done, like answering emails and that kind of stuff. I still get the same feeling too when all that stuff is done and I can just go ride, or take my dog out somewhere for him to run... just whatever I can find to do outside ha, ha.

How was the New Jersey experience for you last year?

It was great and bad for me at the same time. The week prior, I was in Brooklyn for the Monster Street Series and had some problems with a tooth, that put me in the dentist three mornings in a row to try and get the pain down. So the first couple days of the trip was rough for me, just cause of that reason, but its always nice to get to see your buddies home town and the spots they grew riding, local eating spots... all of that. Lil' Jeff did an amazing job of showing us New Jersey's finest.

You were in the middle of filming for like 16 different video parts; which were they exactly, and how do you juggle all of that?

Well, it was Monster's Above/ Below project, United's two-year project, and the etnies 'Chapters' video, which is a two year project. The Cinema video is still happening, but because of everybody' busy schedules, there hasn't been any trips for that. I was honestly getting a little stressed about trips and figuring out how to divide up my time at the beginning, but I just am taking it one at a time and one trip at a time. I figure... just stack as much footage for all of it as I can, and then pick and choose through it all at the end to try and make sure they aren't all the same. That's what I would worry about the most is just that I don't want them to be the same. Some variety. We shall see, I guess! Ha, ha.

WILLIAMS UNITEDSUMMER BMX HALFCAB NJ RD

"Why you still hanging out at school when it's the middle of summer?" Nathan, perfectly executed rail half-cab into the beautiful banks of School 11.

“That put me in the dentist three mornings in a row to try and get the pain down.”

-Nathan Williams

Would you have the best summer ever, but then not be able to remember any of it or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

I would rather have the best summer ever and not be able to remember any of it. You'd always be around friends that would bring it all back for you! haha. At least you had a blast.

What was your travel favorite destination last year?

I would say Paris was my favorite. Got to spend pretty much a month there riding and seeing the city. Matthias was our tour guide, which couldn't have been better! Good times!

How much did you get to film for the United project?

I filmed a lot last year for the United project for sure. I did 4 or 5 trips last year for that one.

Anything on the summer bucket list you got done riding, and non-riding wise?

Riding wise: just trying to make the most of each moment I have on my bike, and non-riding, just wanting to spend more time with family and friends!

KOCSIS UNITEDSUMMER BMX HPMAN180 NJ RD

New moves, old spots. Jeff Kocsis bringing a new one to a longtime local spot.

Jeff Kocsis

What was your favorite summer memory from last year? And the least...

I think Paris was my favorite part of the summer. I have to say it was the most memorable part of my life, not just the summer of 2014. Pedaling the city everyday with a amazing group of people. Since I hosted and drove a lot last summer It was just stressful making sure everything was perfect. Not just for the guys but for myself. I’m a bit obsessive.

Was 2014 more of a vacation or a working summer?

A vacation for sure; I got to travel more this summer than I ever have in my life. I rode a lot, but it wasn't "work" to me.

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Just having the freedom to ride all day and stay up late. I rode most in the summer as a kid.

Now that you're older, what’s changed?

Age hasn't changed much about my life honestly ha, ha. I still ride my kid’s bike whenever I want and take advantage of a good summer.

Would you rather have a job working as a lifeguard or have a job working as a carnival ride operator?

Lifeguard! It's an honorable position. Carnival sounds desperate, ha, ha.

KOCSIS UNITEDSUMMER BMX WHIP NJ RD

When not jet-setting across the globe or laying down tile, Lil' Jeff was laying down moves on local turf all summer long, both in 2014 and the last few months.

“I still ride my kid’s bike whenever I want and take advantage of a good summer. “

-Jeff Kocsis

Would you have the best summer ever, but then not be able to remember any of it or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

An ordinary summer would be my choice. I consider myself more laid back and appreciate a mellow season.

What was your favorite destination?

Paris was it for me last summer. It taught me a lot about myself and just gaining more experience on the road alone in between destinations. Finding out who you are, it's important.

How was showing the United homies your local riding and non-riding spots last year?

Showing the team around was more exciting for me, watching these guys ride my local spots. I wish they could come back because now I know what they ride more and have cool stuff to show them.

You so many people coming through your 'hood' last year right?

I had Chris Silva come stay with me for a week. I had a cracked rib but we still went out everyday and I'd just film him. The Dub/Monster crew came into New York for a week so I showed them around jersey a bit. Mostly just drove with my map on, ha ha. I can't think of anyone else right now, but it was hectic for sure.

How much did you get film for the next United video?

I've filmed a few things I'm really hyped on. I'm getting the chance to pick out my favorite stuff so it'll be amazing to be able to kinda of mold it and make something I'm proud of.

Best summer BBQ’s last year?

Best bbq was at my parents yard in between sessions. just roasting whatever I have on the grill.

Anything on the summer bucket list you got done riding, and non-riding wise?

Nothing I had planned out really. Just one thing in Passaic that I tried years ago and I finally pulled it for this video. That's about it.

KOCSIS UNITEDSUMMER BMX NJ RD
WILLIAMS UNITEDSUMMER BMX NJ RD
VALENTINO UNITEDSUMMER BMX TABLE2 NJ RD

Alex, catching a wave on a Jersey concrete beach.

"Waking up on the beach in the Southwest of France with all my friends, a nice sun and a beautiful girl on my side. “

-Alex Valentino

Alex Valentino

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Not having to go to school.

Now that you're older, what’s changed or stayed the same?

It’s kind of the same, because I feel like I can do everything I want during the summer.

What’s your favorite summer memory from 2014?

Probably waking up on the beach in the south west of France with all my friends, a nice sun and a beautiful girl on my side.

What was the least favorite summer memory from 2014?

I broke my surf board, because I was idiot enough to leave it on the top of my car during a storm.

How was the New Jersey experience for you last summer?

It was really nice to stay at Jeff, the weather was nice and it’s always good to hang out with those guys. And I really like the New Jersey.

Would you have the best summer ever, but then not be able to remember any of it or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

Weird Question! I think it’s always better to have memories.

Was last summer the time of year that you traveled the most?

Yes, I think so. United gave me the opportunity to travel a lot last year for this DVD project; always a blessing. And I always try to keep August free to go with some friends on a gypsy/ surf trip.

How much did you film for the next United video?

Not enough; it’s never enough.

Best summer BBQs?

Hossegor, on the beach with my hometown friends.

How much surfing did you do compared to bike riding this summer?

I did more bike riding than surfing, for sure.

Which do you prefer to do more of?

BMX is my way of life and surfing is more a hobby; it’s just nice to do something else sometimes.

RIGAL UNITEDSUMMER BMX 360 NJ RD

Christian, dreaming about exotic waterfalls and caves while 3'ing over exotic setups in the urban jungles of Jersey.

Christian Rigal

What’s your favorite summer memory from 2014?

Shoot, I'd probably have to say my three-week trip to Paris for the Sosh Urban Motion film contest, as well as a United trip. I got to ride and hangout with so many rad people, enjoy an amazing city and see a lot of stuff I've always wanted to see and ride. We had Matthias as a host and a dope crew to ride an hangout with; I couldn't have asked for a better time!

What was the least?

Probably hurting myself riding a bowl inside of a bar in Barcelona after a few too many drinks, ha ha. I got a little too comfortable doing this line, and ended up getting killed doing a Ruben wall ride, leaving me useless for two days and feeling rough for the next three weeks. I still had a great trip, it just put a little damper on it since I was there filming with Dennis as well. Aside from that I honestly couldn't think of anything!

Was it more of a vacation or a working summer?

Both, ha ha. I went on a ton of riding trips and a ton of filming trips; they both probably equaled out in the end, though. But It was really good for me; United would always have some sweet trip lined up, so I'd use my filming trips to get healthy for those. It was the best way to take time off my bike without going nuts, ha ha.

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Just not being in school was enough for me. I couldn't stand school when I was a kid, or when i got older, ha ha. But aside from that, I was just stoked to be able to go ride all day with my friends! We would just pedal for days or take the bus to the next town or two over. Summer days as a kid were the best! It doesn't feel like anything's changed though, ha ha.

Now that you're older, what’s changed?

Not much, ha ha! I still wake up everyday and think about where I'm going to go ride with my friends. I'm just lucky enough to get paid to do it now, and I get to film with all of them too! We did this same thing when we were kids, though; we just never did anything with the footage or photos, ha ha.

How was the New Jersey experience for you last year?

It was awesome! Stoked to get to stay with Lil' Jeff and get a proper Jersey tour. The spots were all super-fun and it was cool to finally get to see and ride some of the stuff I've seen in videos since i was a kid. I'd love to go back!

RIGAL UNITEDSUMMER BMX BCKWRDSRAIL NJ RD

Christian, monstrous backwards rail at you guessed it- another school.

“From caves to monkeys, waterfalls, cheap food and nice people, all the spots were just the icing on the cake.”

-Christian Rigal

RIGAL UNITEDSUMMER BMX NJ RD
VALENTINO UNITEDSUMMER BMX TABLE NJ RD

Would you have the best summer ever, but then not be able to remember any of it or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

Shoot, that's a weird one. I'd have to go with the best summer ever. Because even if you can't remember it, for whatever reason that is, in the moment you were having the most fun ever. That's why I film and take a lot of photos, though ha ha; you can't ever forget memories with those!

Did you travel anywhere good last summer?

I was lucky enough to go to a lot of rad places, but I think the most random and fun one was Malaysia with the Haro bikes crew, who all happen to be my good friends! From caves to monkeys, waterfalls, cheap food and nice people, all the spots were just the icing on the cake. It was a really fun and cool experience and I'm happy I was able to be there to document it!

How much did you get film for the next United video?

I think I went on five trips with them last year, and then anytime I come across something on my own I've been lucky enough to film it with one of my friends. So I'm sitting on about five minutes of stuff now. I'm nowhere near satisfied though; I have a lot of setups I'm still looking to find, and tricks I'd like to do. So I'm stoked to be able to replace clips and add new ones over this next year!

Best summer BBQs?

Camping in the mountains or the forest with your homies! Getting away from civilization with a good crew is the best! Your phones usually don't work and everyone just gets to hangout, catch up and crack jokes. I love it!

Anything on the summer bucket list you got done riding, and non-riding wise?

I've been addicted to taking photos with my new camera setup, so I'm really excited to learn and have fun with that! Aside from shooting I'm just excited to keep stacking clips for United, diving into a new MARKIT DVD, and who knows what else will come up. I guess we'll see!

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