Mapping It and Smashing It - LFS2
Ahead of their second DVD release New Jersey's LFS crew talk us through what it's been like to go back in...
Photos by Chris Marshall Intro by JWG Addtional words by Mikey Almondovar and short stories from the rest of the crew
When the first LFS (Looking For Spots) video was finalized, we were all ecstatic. It was a mark of our progression in riding BMX, team development, and personalities. For me, it was quite a relief to get everything done on the trick list. But soon after the video was released and distributed, we were already suiting up for our next hurdle. Most of us were starting with a clean slate. I had to rebuild my trick list. For LFS2, I modelled my list similar to Dan Diehl’s style, which is pull the trigger on what scares the hell out of you the most. We have also been sprawling out even further and the trips we go on each have a specific purpose. First we do a recon mission and scope out the area and film some clips along the way. Then we map out the spot list and dream up the bangers and then head on back to smash it up.
For me my days of working at the cardboard factory have ended. I resigned from my glorious position as a corrugator operator began attending college full time as a sustainability major. I got a job at the local bike shop and I'm loving every bit of it. Now, instead of operating dangerous heavy machinery, I'm building bikes, fixing flats and helping customers pick out new bikes. The guys I work with, the legendary Mike Gozik, Tony, Gabe and shop owner Barry, are all experienced bike riders and love sharing their knowledge with customers. A typical day at the shop never seems like work because we are all doing what we love. Mr. Tony is usually hangin out in his corner blasting punk music bangin out repairs and then later sharing pics and videos of his son Anthony doing some rad tricks on his BMX. In between selling bikes and ordering parts Mike is usually accurately quoting a Seinfeld episode or making an obscene joke that seems to create images in your mind that cannot be erased. R32 driver Gabriel knows more about bike videos than anyone I know and loves changing flat tires and eating BOGO ice cream from the shop next door. Through this experience I've learned a lot about cycling aside from our BMX world. I've learned how to interact with different types of people and became familiar with the variety of genres in the cycling world.
First we do a recon mission and scope out the area and film some clips along the way. Then we map out the spot list and dream up the bangers and then head on back to smash it up.
- Jeff With Glasses
It's crazy that we have to drive at least an hour to find new spots. The whole team has become stronger since Dan Diehl's 100 Proof video was released. The 2 'youts', Mike K. and Special, have been shredding better than ever and been LFS’ing hard this round. They have found tons of unique spots and setups and have brought along some cool dudes, Stevie and Dylan, to join in on the grind. Dan Diehl has been accomplishing his extensive trick list he wrote up when he was 17 and he also met a nice lady friend who loves to LFS with him. Doroba has been painting walls and working on our new online store so you can pick up some fresh LFS gear (insta: @lookingforspots). Smallfry is stackin' banger clips and working diligently editing our footage while balancing college life and maintaining a relationship with a girl named Toe. Our friend Flatland-Dan has been designing some pretty rad T-shirt designs for us lately and has been keeping the hilarious snapchats flowing. Mr. Christopher Marshall has dedicated plenty of time hanging out with us, dealing with our bullshit and ritualistically eating at BigWally's before meeting up to shoot these photos of us going in.... -JWG
DIG Exclusive - LFS2 Trailer
"we all know how having a deadline works out..." - More Info
Doroba - Making it Count
LFS 2 feels like it's been an entirely different experience than our first video. Instead of meeting up and thinking, ‘I need a spot for this trick’ or "we need to find me this kind of setup", it's been more of finding spots that are suitable for each one of us. ‘We should bring this guy here. I know he can get something good’. We also have been spending less time in Jersey and more time going on day trips to Connecticut or Maryland. When you only really have time to ride one day a week, you have to make it count. So for most of us waking up at 5am and driving 3-4 hours to a different state for the day really isn't that bad. Most people would think driving that far and maybe getting one or two clips would be a waste. But every time we go out, we seem to make up for it by finding new spots to come back to. And when we see our boys from Chocolate Truck and StinkPit, as well as SAF and anyone else I'm forgetting, you seem to get more psyched on riding. It's never a competition on who can do what and where with all the crews. It's more about feeding off what each other have been putting out. - Doroba
Mikey Almodovar - An Editor's Perspective
Dan Diehl was the editor and main filmer for LFS1, and to me he killed it, keeping that East Coast feel throughout the whole video. I’d rather watch a raw, (practically uncut) crew video than anything else, and that's the exact vibe he created. Unfortunately Dan doesn't have the time to edit and film the second video, so we decided that I would be doing so.
Being the filmer of a full length DVD is no different than being the rider. These are all my friends, so I don't mind coming out all the time and filming because I'd be hanging out with them anyway. Also, I'm a rider myself so why wouldn't I come out and cruise? Everyone in the crew is starting to get better with the Cambone, so if I'm not there it's not a big deal. I mean, there are a few out of focus and zoomed in fisheye clips but hey, 'clip's a clip'. I try to keep my filming style simple. Dudes like Dan Diehl, Navaz, Matty Miller, and Bob Scerbo, they all keep it real and they're filming always corresponds with spot and rider. That’s what it's all about to me.
Filming a full length video has it's ups and downs though. We all work full time jobs of some sort, or go to school, so meeting up with everyone throughout the week gets tough. Doroba didn't ride all summer because he worked seven days a week for almost two months. Jeff is going to school to be a scientist, so with all his homework it's almost impossible to meet up. But, as a crew we figure out days to ride and trips here and there to get shit done.
As for myself, filming another video part is just another fun time. I wouldn't wanna do anything else. Going on road trips, winter night missions, weekend LFS'ing, are all good times with the crew, and with that vibe there isn't a lot of pressure getting clips; they come naturally. Seeing my friend’s clip up really inspires me, so it's not like I'm just out there, with one filmer and one photographer with mad pressure. But, we all know filming gets stressful sometimes. Getting kicked out, cars in the way, eating shit, being scared; it all gets to us at some point. But I just try to keep it chill and realize, I'm with my friends and I'm having a great time and try not to stress. You can't stress a two year video project or you'll go crazy!
I mean, there are a few out of focus and zoomed in fisheye clips but hey, 'clip's a clip'
I'm excited to start editing the video. Everyone's clips are awesome, and newcomer Special is about to hit you guys with a full speed part! I'm trying to keep that LFS vibe that Dan created and we all have an idea on how we want the video to be. We’re looking to have the DVD out sometime early this year… but we all know how having a deadline works out. - Smallfry
Steve Kool - High Risk, Low Income
Although there’s constant bickering, once we hit the streets everyone looks out for each other. Surviving the trip is the least of my worries when we get to high-risk spots like low-income projects. Yet again these areas provide a wild adventure due to the general feeling of lawlessness. There is no doubt many of the people have nothing to lose and will not hesitate to take advantage of some one slip. It is of the most importance to maintain awareness of the surroundings and remain cautious. This inherent fight or flight response lends well to the focus needed to ride. As a result of the socioeconomic dangers of low-income housing projects coupled with the thrill of riding, the experience becomes just as exhilarating as the riding. - Steve Kulischenko
Dan Diehl - Location Location Location
I’m feeling confident about LFS2. After the first DVD the crew stepped up, got more cameras and equipment and started doing a lot more filming on their own. Doroba has done all the trip planning and found some of the best spots I’ve ever seen… and been fortunate enough to ride. It's great to have a crew that's diligent and motivated like that. The last video was loaded with the best spots right under our own noses. This time around in LFS2 everyone's still on the same page and getting things done at new and old spots everywhere… and under everyone else’s noses. Location is what it’s all about and we got spots forever and ever. "Just wait and see, no ABD's." - Dan Diehl
Just wait and see, no ABD's
- Dan Diehl
Mike Kleissler - Living For The Weekend... from 4 a.m.
Now that we’re all in college or working full-time job we don't have the luxury to ride everyday, but we do the best we can. Saturdays are the only day we really have to ride with each other so that usually means a 4-6 a.m. meet up at Sayreville skatepark. When we’re only going on a ‘day trip’ in the Tri-State area 4 a.m. might seem a little too early to be up to go ride bicycles to most people, but ‘the early worm gets the bird’ (sic) is what I always say. That’s what we gotta’ do. For a few of us we’d even go out drinking or partying the night before. Somehow we still manage to wake up or stay up to go ride the next day but it's all worth it. You might think we just take riding and filming seriously but that's not true at all. The amount of hours we spend screwing around messing with one another is unaccountable. From playing terrible music for hours (such as Sax Man - a ten hour song) to non-stop pranks on each other throughout the day. I give Doroba a huge thanks for somehow staying awake and getting us home In one piece. This is the man who lives by the ‘four hour rule’ meaning he only gets four hours of sleep every night, yet somehow can be wide awake bouncing off the walls in the morning. - Mike Kleissler
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