Man In A Suitcase: A Sergio Layos Interview

Whether going to contests, roadtrips, or just hanging out in Austin, Texas, for a month, Sergio Layos is a well-traveled man. With a few video projects in the works and always on the move, we still managed to catch up with Sergio and see what he’s been up to lately.

Sergio gives the neighbors on the other side of that wall a show with this lofty air out a of a SoCal pool. Photo: Zielinski

I know you spent a few weeks in Austin, Texas, this winter, and then you came out to Oregon for the first trip for new Ride video Range Of Motion, where else have you been traveling to this year?
This year has been crazy for me! I have been traveling a lot and I haven’t been able to be at home much, but it’s hard to say “no” when you know it’s going to be fun! I went to places I have already been to and some others that I really wanted to go to for a long time like China, a bit in the US, and Latvia.

Do you have any good stories from any of those trips?
I have many, but sometime I travel by myself and it’s not the same. But hanging out with Catfish in China and seeing him try to convince a girl that he could read her mind (at 6:00 in the morning) could be one of them.

I believe you’re working on two videos right now, the new Empire video and Range Of Motion, how are those two projects going so far?
Well, I also have to film for the Flybikes video, too. But with all the trips I’ve been doing I haven’t been able to film much, but I’m working on them and I already have plans for special trips for all the videos I have to film, so I don’t think I will be behind schedule, or I hope I wont be, anyway.

The Ride video is going to be broken up into three separate trips—park, dirt, and street, which are you looking forward to the most?
I was looking forward to the park one that already happened and I was really stoked about that one. And now I’m really excited about the trails one. I’m sure the street trip will be fun, even though that is not what I usually ride, but as always, I’m sure it will be fun and I’m excited about it!

I think Keith Mulligan told me that you’re hoping to stop at the mega photo/video store, B&H, in New York City, during the trails trip back East. Are you looking to max out your credit cards on some fancy camera gears?
[Laughs] I hope I don’t go crazy and spend all my money there, but I want to get two flashes and a memory card because I need them for a trip I’m planning that I have to travel light. The flashes I have right now are too heavy and I need some memory space so I don’t have to carry my computer with me, too.

Tell me a little about that bike trip across Spain that you’re planning.
It’s a crazy idea I had of doing the Walk of Santiago with a mountain bike with my BMX bike attached on the back and stopping at every spot that we find on the way and filming and taking as many pictures as I can. (If you guys don’t know what the Walk of Santiago is you guys should check it out).

Paul Buchanan first jumped this gap in an old issue of Dig, and I know a few others have have done it since, but that doesn’t make it any less crazy. Sergio had some plans for it while filming with Dave Parrick for the Empire video in Austin, TX, but after he jumped it once he knew he couldn’t muster anything else over it. Photo: Zielinski

While on the topic of photography, with all of the travel you do you must have a huge collection of photos. Which is your favorite camera to bring, and why? I have a bunch of photos that I have taken over all of these years from all the trips that brings some good memories and that is what I love from photography… Last year I got to buy a camera I wanted, the Hasselblad Xpan—you can take panoramic and regular size 35mm pictures and the quality is amazing. Like every new toy, that is the one that I want to use the most.

I‘ve noticed that you spend a lot of time on the computer when you’re not riding, are you keeping in touch with friends and family back home?
Yes, I am a very family guy and I like to keep in touch with my family and friends. It makes me feel good while I travel because I know they are far, but with the technology these days I can still have them really close.

I read that your local park in Madrid was turned into a tennis court? What’s the riding scene like for you at home at the moment?
It’s not really good. The parks around home aren’t very fun, but we built some trails and that is what I have been riding the most and now I’m trying to build a mini ramp there and hopefully it will be done by the end of the summer and then I will be the happiest man on earth! [Laughs]

Midsummer tbog. Photo: Zielinski