Monday, October 17, 2011

Rossland BC video shoot

The old saying, "ride it like you stole it!", may be aptly substituted with, "ride it like you're in a video shoot!!"  That may be a commonplace idea for the regular stars of freeride films and ski movies, but for your average spandex-clad,  cross country racer, it's quite the novelty.  Being filmed from a chasing helicopter while tearing down a frosty, snow-covered ridge-top trail was key to inspiring the new saying.  That's what I decided this weekend on assignment with Kona Bicycles for filming the next installment of House of the Big Wheel, Kona's shred-inspiring presentation of their big-wheeled mountain bikes.

LOCATION: Rossland, BC
TRAIL - Seven Summits Trail, IMBA Epic, check it out!

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Jet fuel...check.  With dollar signs literally falling out of the helicopter with each chop of the blade, it was a money-saving and time-saving plan to bring the fuel-stop to the top of the mountain, rather than have the heli fly back and forth to an airport.

That's Derek Frankowski, co-producer of Life Cycles.  He shot stills for the weekend.  Videographer Eric Crosland worked his magic while hanging out of the helicopter all day long.  It was a privilege to work with such  accomplished artists who have done so much to bring our sport to the magazine stands and silver screen for the last several years.

Foggy down low

Breaking through
All clear at the top of Red Mountain

To get to the first shooting location, "standard ride time is 2hrs, you boys need to be there in 40min, chopper's comin''s a map"...

Barry Wicks, on location, fresh snow, elev. ~7,000'

Chopper...Old Glory in the background

Barry & Eric setting up for the day

Kona Team Chopper - Bell 206 JetRanger - gross weight ~1,870lbs

By the end of the day, Barry and I rode between 40k and 50k of epic trail between shoot locations.  It would have been an incredible day of riding without the whole helicopter element.  Barry aboard his Hei Hei 29 Supreme, me aboard the new carbon King Kahuna 29 with the team race build, weighing in at a scant 21lbs.  Getting chased by a helicopter while riding world-class trail through the Kootenay Mountains was pretty fantastic.  A major highlight of the off-season, and a highlight of the year in general.

The action shots and footage should be ready in the next couple weeks, and they're sure to be impressive with the likes of Eric and Derek behind the lenses.  And Mitchell Scott, too (Kona Global Communications Director), who arranged and directed all of the logistics for the entire weekend, and photographed the action as well.

Kona has been doing great things for mountain biking since they started in 1988.  I was flattered to be a part of the story this weekend.  We speculated that this just might be the most epic footage of pure, spandex-clad cross-country riding in the last decade, maybe least since the seminal Chainsmoke, released by Giant Leap Films in 1996.  My friends and I must have watched that movie almost every weekend during summer of 1998 when we first discovered mountain biking.  So much in the sport has changed since then, but the feeling at the end of a day of great riding...feels the same as when I was 14.


  1. WOW- this looks great. Can't wait to see the full video.

  2. SO RAD Spencer!! Looking forward to the video!! XO

  3. oh my god man, Chainsmoke! also, remember when Cadel Evans rode mountain bikes?