Through The Lens: Travel Life

BMX BMX

In BMX there is nothing better than getting out there, rounding up a crew and hitting the road. For this week’s column the goal was to inspire you to want to get up, get out and make that happen. I recently got a call from my good friend Josh Betley letting me know that he is on a trip right now with a bunch of German riders including Daniel Tuente, Moritz Nussbaumer, Reto Rominger, and Julian Madrzak. They happened to be cruising around in an RV just traveling and living it up. He wanted to see if I was down to meet up and shoot some stuff with the crew and I couldn’t help but see this as a perfect opportunity to do a little bit of a travel themed column. Some of the best experiences of my life have happened on the road and nothing inspires me to shoot more than when I am on a trip no matter how short or long it may be. There is just something about getting packed up and setting out on an adventure that is so inspiring to me. That’s honestly my favorite part of being a photographer is seeing new places and photographing them along the way. Also you just never know what might happen out there and sometimes having no plan is the best plan you can have. Sit back and get ready to check out what their trip is all about.

BMX bikes

This first interview is with the two main guys on the trip Reto and Julian.

Where did the idea originally come from to do this trip?
We both finished school and had to decide what’s up next. Most of the people in our situation decide to go to University but we wanted to do something different.
We first got a job to earn some money without having a certain plan of how to use it.
On a random Friday evening going out in town meeting some friends we decided to explore a bit of China and the United States and were totally stoked about our future.

What were you guys doing before this?
We both finished school and worked to start saving some money.

Have you been to America before?
We both have been to America before. Reto went to San Diego for three weeks around Christmas in 2011 for a vacation. Julian was born in Wisconsin Rapids but went back to Germany after about three months. When he was ten years old he went to his place of birth for four weeks of vacation.

What brought you back?
The sunny California weather and the fact that America is Julian’s country of birth.

Whose idea was it to get a motor home to travel in?

Since this is probably the cheapest way to travel, it seemed kind of clear for both of us to buy an RV.

How long do you plan on traveling in the rig?
All together for about six months.

RV CHECK
Year: 1978

Make: Pace Arrow

RV Motor home

Cost: $2500

Current Mileage: 87654 Miles

RV Motor home

How many people does it fit comfortably?
Six

Best thing about it?
Everything! When you fire it up, it rumbles. It’s just all-in-all badass!

Motor Home

Worst thing about it?
It only gets six miles per gallon and eats up one bottle of oil per week.

How does it run?
It runs smooth sometimes but we run into problems every so often. Just yesterday the horn was stuck, like in the movie Little Miss Sunshine.

RV Motor Home

Was it ready to run when you got it?
We had to replace the fuel pump but that’s about it.

RV Motor home

How has it been on the road?
Minus a few breakdowns it runs perfectly. Repairing it on our own is definitely part of the adventure.

TTL_50_7

What’s the plan for when you go back home? We want to sell it or store it so we can come back and take some more trips.

BMX bikes

Name: Reto Rominger
Age: 20
Hometown: Heidenheim, Germany
Current Residence: Heidenheim
Total trip time so far: Four Months

How did you end up on this trip?
Julian and I came up with the whole idea about the trip.

What has been your favorite stop so far?
Las Vegas, which included heavy partying and good riding.

How much longer do you have?
About three more months.

How are you liking America?
It is great. There are a lot of friendly people, awesome landscapes as well as nice skate parks and street spots.

What is the best part about being on the road?
Seeing a bunch of different things and meeting new people.

What is the worst part?
Rainy days.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to come to America to travel?
Do it with some good friends and be spontaneous.

How is life in the RV?
Comfortable, roomy and luxurious.

What places have you seen that you are the most stoked on?
The Pacific Coast Highway and the Indoor ramps in San Francisco.


Greetings to my parents who made this trip possible for me. KPB forever.

BMX bikes

Name: Julian Madrzak

Age: 19

Hometown: Heidenheim, Germany

Current Residence: Heidenheim

Total trip time so far: Four months

How did you end up on this trip?
After Reto and I decided to go on this trip I had to make sure we have everything to make it possible like our visas for China and USA, credit cards, health insurance, international driving license, some spending money, and so on. At first it seemed to be a lot of work, but we were looking forward to travelling to new countries, so it wasn’t too bad. Our trip started in China (Shanghai) where we had to search for my parent’s house in Suzhou. They provided us with a pretty awesome flat in the 21st floor that we used as a base to discover whatever China has to offer. We continued our trip to the USA, starting in San Diego, meeting a friend from our hometown, who we stayed with for a few days. Since we wanted to have our own home, we had to find an RV as soon as possible, which was pretty adventurous. When we finally bought it, the second part of the trip started, which was travelling the USA in the best RV you can get!

What has been your favorite stop so far?
My favorite stop has been San Francisco. We met a guy (Paul at Ride SFO) and rode his house where all his homemade ramps were built up. It was one of the best riding sessions with the best dudes.

How much longer do you have?
Technically three more months but I may stay a little longer.

How are you liking America?
It is pretty damn awesome. I especially like all of the people who are much friendlier than I have experienced anywhere else.

What is the best part about being on the road?
Being spontaneous. You just do whatever you feel like.

What is the worst part?
You sometimes receive a ticket for a parking, where you would not have expected to get hassled.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to come to America to travel?
Just don’t be a dick and there will always be somebody to help you.

How is life in the RV?
There is not as much room as in a flat or house, but who cares since being outside is much better than anything else.

What places have you seen that you are the most stoked on?
The Pacific Coast Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles has the best scenery including whales, dolphins and an amazing nature setup. I am also pretty stoked on the strip in Las Vegas and the Bund in Shanghai, as well as the poor areas in China where you can catch the best street food for super cheap.

Last words?
This trip is awesome! Thanks Dad, Mom, the rest of my family, Moritz, Reto, Josh, Daniel, Charlotte and everybody else we are having even more fun with on this trip.

BMX BMX

Name: Moritz Nussbaumer

Age: 20

Hometown: Heidenheim, Germany

Current Residence: Heidenheim

Sponsors: Wethepeople and Nike

Total trip time so far: Five weeks

How did you end up on this trip?
I wanted to come visit Josh anyways, cause I have spare time until April where I am hopefully going to enter university back in Germany. I wanted to fly into Los Angeles to meet up with Julian and Reto and head with them to Vegas to stay with Josh but things with his house didn’t work out and we changed up our plans and here we are, all together in this dope RV.

What has been your favorite stop so far?
Riding wise it was definitely San Luis Obispo’s College but as a tourist all of the places we checked out on the way from San Francisco to Santa Barbara on the PCH.

How much longer do you have?
Unfortunately just three more weeks.

How are you liking America?
America is awesome because it’s so different from Germany. The nice weather in California at the moment is what I like the most about it.

What is the best part about being on the road?
Just being with the dudes, meeting new people and seeing so many different places in such a short time.

What is the worst part?
The Smell inside the RV in the morning.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to come to America to travel?
Make sure to have a vehicle and a fake ID if you’re not 21.

How is life in the RV?
The best! You stay wherever you want, you cook food whenever you want, and you sleep whenever you want. The only bad thing about it is that you can’t really take a shower or a shit whenever you want.

What places have you seen that you are the most stoked on?
Some caves close to Vegas and the entire drive down the coast from San Francisco to Santa Barbara was awesome.

Last words?
Big thanks to Julian and Reto for letting us stay in their dope RV and everybody we got to ride and hang out with.

BMX BMX

Name: Daniel Tuente

Age: 20

Hometown: Telgte, Germany

Current Residence: Telgte

Sponsors: Nike, KHE Bikes, TSG, ParanoGarage

Total trip time so far: Five weeks

How did you end up on this trip?
Me and another friend thought of making a trip to the USA this winter a while ago but then he got injured. Then a few weeks later I did a little trip with Moritz pretty spontaneously and he told me that he wants to go to California during the winter to travel with two of his friends in an RV that they already bought. So we talked to them booked our flights and here we are.

What has been your favorite stop so far?
I would definitely say San Luis Obispo’s College. The campus is like a skatepark with street spots. Julian and I even randomly made it to one of the frat party’s.

How much longer do you have?
Moritz and I are flying back on the 16th of February.

How are you liking America?
It’s my 4th time in America and it’s always great. The weather is almost always good and especially in the winter it’s a big difference cause at the moment we have a lot of snow in Germany.

What is the best part about being on the road?
Seeing so many new places riding so many different spots and meeting new people.

What is the worst part?
Not many bad things about that but probably that we have to look for places to shower all the time and that it’s kinda’ tight in the RV sometimes when all of us are driving.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to come to America to travel?
I can’t really think of a better way to travel then in a motor home. You just have to search for a good cheap one.

How is life in the motor home?
It’s pure freedom!

What places have you seen that you are the most stoked on?
As I mentioned the street spots in San Luis Obispo and definitely a few places on the coast we saw between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Last words?
Thanks to Julian and Reto for letting us cruise with them in the RV.

BMX BMX

Name: Josh Betley

Age: 26

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona

Current Residence: America

Sponsors: Felt Bikes, Osiris Shoes, &Forks

Total trip time so far: Four weeks

Give us a bit of the back-story and fill us in on how you ended up being part of this trip.
I had a really crazy end of 2012 with so many things going on at once. I didn’t even really have time to get Christmas presents. I knew that eventually the guys were coming in the RV though. So these guys show up and my current living situation was in shambles. I had two roommates, one up and moved to Hawaii, and the other wanted to move in with his long time girlfriend. While going on these trips I was trying to find new roommates and nothing was coming together. So when these guys showed up in an RV, wanting to travel around and ride, I said sign me up! I threw what little stuff I had into my friend’s garages and hit the road. It’s been an amazing experience already.

How long are you planning on being on the road with the crew?
I really have no idea, we’re about to go up to Phoenix, I’m debating staying in AZ or riding the sweet gravy train that is the Pace Arrow.

Where have you been taking them and have you been working on “American-izing” them?
These guys had a bit of an outline of where they wanted to go, but if I know of a spot, or something dope in the area to see I’ll recommend it. We got to go to my friend Paul’s spot in San Fran, 3rd and Army, all my local spots in Vegas etc. One of the best parts of the trip is explaining our American sayings. Something like “fair enough”. This isn’t something they teach you in English class. My old roommate Sam tainted their young fragile minds with so many sexual terms one night. It’s been cool hearing them use all this new slang, like Crucial and Red Sock Puppet.

Give us a good story from the road.
At one point I split off the trip to go to Truckee Ca to meet up with my then girlfriend. We dated for quite awhile but the distance was really starting to take its toll on us. I figured I would go see her one last time since it was sort of in the area we we’re going to be in. I get there and it was freezing! It was negative five degrees to be exact. We do our thing, have a talk, and decide to go our separate ways. It’s a total bummer, sucks, but life goes on. We decided that I would stay one more night and hang out one last time. The next day she comes home, goes straight to the couch, and sits on her phone for about two hours straight! This was the start to the disaster ahead. Eventually some of her friends come over then we all go out on the town. A few hours and a few beers go by, she’s still ignoring me. We hop bars and I run into my friend Alex Rubio who works at Woodward Tahoe and I was stoked to see someone I know! We shoot the shit for a few minutes and I just start telling about how shitty my night is going. Then, finally enough booze and frustration causes me to finally just snap. I start cursing up a storm at her, and then get in a stand off with what seems like the whole bar. I go outside screaming at the top of my lungs, then Alex calms me down enough to know we need to get the hell out of there. We get a taxi but I go to the only place I know to go which was her place. No one is home, for good reason, and here I am with a dilemma. It’s negative five degrees outside and the house is locked. I do what any drunken idiot would do at this point and break in! Since I had drank so much, it wasn’t an easy task. I eventually got myself in and then passed out. I woke up the next morning like “there’s no way that was real!” but surely the seriousness of the situation sunk in quickly, as I then sprinted around the house throwing everything that was mine in my bag, I thought for sure the cops were going to be there soon. So I packed my stuff and then stopped by her work because I couldn’t have that be the last time we saw each other and said goodbye. Then I headed to San Fran to meet back up with the guys. The thing that probably sucks the most is that my big toe got frostbite and I still don’t have feeling in it.

What is the best part about traveling with friends?
The best part is everything. It is the best thing you can do. It’s literally fun 24/7. I would say it would really suck to break up with your girl then just sit and sulk at home. But I’ve been having the best time; it’s hard to be bummed when you’re having so much fun.

Last words?
Get out and do something! There’s so much random crazy shit I’ve seen on this trip that I’ve never seen, or even knew existed. There’s so much to see, so much to experience. It’s really great for riding as well, we’ve come across so many set ups that I don’t have at home. Julian hit his first rail the other night and it was just the pure excitement of finding it, having it be the right size and the thought that he may never be back at that spot again. It was all super motivating.

RV Motor Hom

That’s it for this week. Hopefully this inspires some of you to go out there and take some chances on the road. Life is short, take full advantage of all of the time you have here on this planet. There is so much to see and do and experience and it’s all out there waiting for you to make it happen. Also, be sure to check back next Wednesday for the fifty-first edition of Through the Lens and as always feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or email me at info@jeremypavia.com and I will hit you back as soon as I can. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jeremypavia.

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