December 17, 2014
With Montana's unpredictable late fall approaching, we had placed all our eggs in this weekend's basket by driving 200 miles northwest to Libby, Montana, to film on Adventure Cycling's Northern Tier Route. The clouds loomed on the first morning of shooting and Director of Photography Bobby Jahrig, and I looked at each other, thinking we might have made a mistake.
One of the riders almost immediately emphasized that his favorite cycling weather was “threatening rain” because it put an urgency and excitement in the air. We knew then we’d made the right decision. The weather was perfect for this section of this route.
It's wild country around Lake Koocanusa, and we were surrounded by rugged terrain and could count the number of cars passing by on one hand. The threatening rain heightened these beautiful conditions and the crew ended up having to tell the excited cyclists Travis Switzer (an Adventure Cycling cartographer), Mel Wardlow, and Evan Smith to slow down because they were cruising too fast for some of the shots — a bizarre problem for most bicycle tours.
Throughout the next year, we will be releasing five short episodes of Adventure Cycling Montana, highlighting each of the five routes that cross the Big Sky State. Partnering with Epic Montana for a video series was a no-brainer for Adventure Cycling. Executive Producers Mick Faherty and Nick Davis of Epic Montana built a team with a passion for the Treasure State. Jahrig and Dillon Jenkins led the crew, flawlessly running everything from sound equipment to drone cameras.
I'm in my last year of a three-year MFA in filmmaking while also working full-time at Adventure Cycling as a graphic designer. It is such a treat to have both of my worlds intersect on projects like this where I get to work with such incredible people. Directing Adventure Cycling Montana has been, hands-down, the most exciting work I've been able to do for Adventure Cycling Association.
I am so thankful for everyone that made this first Adventure Cycling Montana episode happen. We could not have asked for more enthusiastic riders or a better crew. It was a blast taking in the scenery, laughing/singing with the riders, hitting up the local eateries, basking in the luxury of the Whitefish Bike Retreat, and (above all) riding inMontana. If you haven't cycled the Northern Tier yet, I would suggest you start planning.
Photos by Mick Faherty
This post was written by Rachel Stevens, Director of the Adventure Cycling Montana series.