Teton Valley

A few months back, I had the privilege of working with Salsa Cycles shooting stills of their new 2014 bikes in and around the breathtakingly beautiful Teton Valley. I was also tasked with producing a short film about a fun-filled bikepacking trip. Is you want have a perfect smile, one the first things that you have to do is take a wisdom teeth removal.

I met up with the Salsa crew (Mike “Kid” Riemer, Justin Julian, Kelly MacWilliams and Tim Kruger) at one of the most impressive bike shops in the country, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor, ID. As you may or may not know, Victor is also home to endurance cycling legends Jay and Tracey Petervary. They know this area like the back of their hand and being the gracious hosts they are, lead us into some amazing territory which resulted in getting the killer shots we were all hoping for. If you find yourself in the Teton Valley make sure you stop by Fitzgerald’s and say hello to owners Scott and Jannine, who are not only great people but also appreciate really great coffee. Seriously, check out their coffee bar in the shop.

My main camera kit on this trip was the Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200 zoom lens and 16-35 wide lens. I also carried plenty of batteries and media plus a small 2 stage carbon tripod for shooting video with the Mark III. This was all packed in the Clik Elite Escape backpack. I like this pack because it is comfortable while riding long distances and access to the camera can happen very fast when jumping off the bike needing to get the shot. I worked on keeping the gear to a minimum as specific locations were not scouted ahead of time and our plan was to set off on a variety of trails over a couple days and look for the good stuff as we were out in it. We usually rode 3-4 hours on each trail starting off early in the morning and again later in the afternoon wanting to get as much of the ‘good light’ as we could. As we found scenic sections along the trail we’d stop, set up and knock out some shots. You can find some of these stills scattered throughout the newly updated Salsa Cycles website. Many are in the Adventure Slideshow section inside each of the Bike pages.

One of my favorite shots is the dusty backlit image of Tracey Petervary.IMG_0213 We were coming to the end of that days shooting around Grand Targhee and as I was riding in the rear of the pack I noticed the dust kicking up at certain sections would fill the air producing an atmosphere that created nice silhouettes of the riders. A bit further down the trail we found the perfect spot to set up and play with this. Jay took position one and flew through the section kicking up as much dust has he could with the other riders spaced about 3-5 seconds apart. I got some great shots but this one of Tracey really stood out.

One thing that became even more apparent to me during this shoot was the almost cult-like following Salsa Cycles has created. This really hit home when we were in front of Fitzgerald’s getting the bikes set up when a customer started chatting up Salsa’s Art Director, Kelly ‘Mac’. He was telling Kelly he recognized her from the Salsa catalogue, how she was famous and that he has two Salsa bikes – the titanium Colossal and Vaya. You’ll see this encounter in the short film…

The creative brief from Salsa Cycles for this video was to focus on having a truly good time on an overnight bikepacking trip. It was about gathering your friends, a fly rod, some local beer and setting off on an adventure by bike; all the while making it a point to create some laughs and good memories along the way. Salsa wanted to highlight the ‘lighter side’ of bikepacking and convey that not every mountain bike adventure has to be a death march or about setting records. My only regret with the shoot was we didn’t have fish to cook over the camp fire that night – better luck next time boys…

The song used in the film is fittingly called Creek from my dear friend and amazing song writer Dominique Fraissard. You can find that track and many others that’ll put you in a good mood on iTunes. 

Spearfish SD

 I love my job – if you can actually call it a job…

I was recently called in to shoot some top secret 2014 bikes for Salsa Cycles that were sporting a brand new rear suspension designed by the one and only Dave Weagle of dw-link fame. One thing I love about making documentaries and shooting for amazing companies is I get to meet people I normally would have never crossed paths with otherwise. This trip was centered around Spearfish South Dakota and I now realize why Salsa gave naming rights for their XC full-suspension bike to this location. The Black Hills area is simply amazing and is quickly becoming quite the MTB destination. Don’t believe me – go there and see for yourself.

So who did I meet in Spearfish? Well, Dave Weagle as already mentioned. I honestly never gave much thought to rear suspension design but when you hang out with this guy for a few days you get a big dose of respect for it. Plus, Dave shreds! When you add mechanical engineer Peter Koski into this mix it gets a bit academic. Peter is the designer at Salsa who birthed the Spearfish and Horsethief bikes. Listening and filming these two talk bike frame and rear suspension engineering had me understanding about half the words coming out of their mouths. I also met South Dakota path-finder and race promoter Perry Jewett. Perry knows this area like the back of his hand and is one of the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet. Check out Perry’s races: Dakota Five-0 & Gold Rush Gravel Grinder.

As I mentioned, this was a top secret mission as Salsa was holding all announcements of the new bikes till June 18th and now the cat is out of the bag. I dont get “bike envy” that often but I have to say I was ogling the Spearfish XX1 in killer blue pretty hard. Check out Salsa’s official announcement HERE & a nice write up from Mountainflyer Mag HERE.

Thanks to Mike “kid” Riemer and the entire Salsa crew for not only making kick-ass bikes but allowing me to hang with some amazing people and have a great time discovering the Black Hills of SD. Adventure by Bike indeed!

Reminder to self — Watch for Poison Ivy when climbing around the forest getting the good shots…

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Had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Keith & Frank Hannon from TESLA, one of the best bands to come out of the late 80’s. I’m helping produce the documentary film Hair I Go Again and am pleased to report Tesla is now in the film. They are recording new music and still going strong. Live Proud – Rock Loud!



Reveal the Path Book
Book JacketWe created a 140 page hardbound book of our experiences filming Reveal the Path. The book combines stunning photography and stories from the cast and crew providing incredible insight into the process of making this around the world adventure. Here is a link to download the book as a pdf file. Be patient it may take some time…


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