IFHT on The Lower Sunshine Coast (Video)
The IFHT Films crew set out on their first multi-day bike trip following our Lower Sunshine Coast bikepacking route. Along the way they made this excellent film about their journey. We had a chance to feature the video and ask them a few questions about the trip…
IFHT Films, purveyors of fun, finely crafted videos on YouTube, is made up of Matt Dennison and Jason Lucas. For this project they brought along Andrew Santos and set out on the Lower Sunshine Coast bikepacking route for their first bike-camping adventure on three Trek 1120s. Watch the film and then scroll down to find the QA and a few amazing photos they took along the route.
First off, great work on the film. I have to ask what film equipment you guys brought along to make it?
Thanks! We’re glad you enjoyed watching. Early on in the process we realized that we were going to need to bring a lot of equipment to create our vision for this film. Leaving our RED Raven behind at home to collect dust, our main workhorse was the Canon 1DX II. Our main appeal with this camera was the incredible autofocus tracking system that would allow us to film ourselves riding through frame, without stressing over focus. To take advantage of these capabilities, we brought four Canon lenses: 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70 f4, 85mm f1.2 and a 100mm f2.8. For support we used the super compact Befree Manfrotto tripod. It’s cheap, filmsy and the fluid head sucks. But when it comes to static shots, it gets the job done. To keep the production value high, we needed to bring a compact gimbal. Miraculously, our Zhiyun-Tech Crane 2 stabilizer is very capable of balancing the 1DX II even with a heavy lens like the 85mm. Additionally we brought three GoPro Hero 6s with chest mounted Zhiyun Tech Rider-M gimbals to capture riding and two GoPro Sessions to capture our banter along the way. This was also our first opportunity to try out our new incredibly compact and lightweight DJI Mavic Pro drone. Of course we had to keep all those cameras and accessories powered so we also packed a healthy amount of extra batteries and their respective chargers that we used at coffee shops and restaurants along the way. On top of all that were the lens filters, microphone, SD cards, cords, and gaffer tape. Needless to say, we pack a lot of sh*t. But with three bodies, it never really bothered us as we managed to distribute gear efficiently amongst three camera backpacks.
Being beginner bikepackers, what was your favorite thing about that initial experience? How about your least favorite?
The whole process was really fun. From choosing where to go, to making a packing list to figuring out how to fit everything on the bikes. It was rewarding to have a simple line drawn on a map turn into an awesome and worthwhile adventure. Being out in the wild and depending on whatever we had with us was a great learning experience. Having a limited amount of gear and learning the functions of how to pack and unpack was rewarding as well. Learning how to work as a team as well and seeing our improved functions over the course of the trip. The worst part? Going home.
It looks like you brought a lot of gear. Is there anything you wish you left at home? Any thing you wish you brought?
It’s easy to look back and critique the gear you brought and how you could do it differently but during the trip we made due with what we had and that worked for us. We were very well prepared and fortunately, no one was ever caught saying “I wish we had…” or “I wish we didn’t bring…”. In hindsight, another bowl for food prep and a sharper kitchen knife would’ve been nice. We probably didn’t need all those spare tubes… but better safe than sorry!
How’d you like the Trek 1120?
Those bikes are awesome. With this being our first time bikepacking it was great to have a bike purpose-built for this type of adventure. It took us most of the first day to get used to the bikes all loaded up with gear, but once we got the hang of them we felt right at home. Fully loaded up with tents, sleeping pads, food, cookware, camera gear and at one point an entire bundle of firewood, the 1120s were our two-wheeled mules. Small touches like the dropper post, big rotors, and integrated racks really add up to make a bike that can carry everything you need and still be a blast to ride down the trails. Coming from a downhill mountain biking background, we were skeptical of the sweeping bars, but we quickly became accustomed to them. Our pal Andrew had an issue in which his taint didn’t quite agree with the stock saddle. He picked up a new saddle at a local bike shop on day two and never heard a complaint the rest of the trip.
It appears that someone in the crew is quite the culinary genius as far as camp food. Any recipes you’d recommend?
While we are by no means culinary geniuses, we did strive to eat delicious and substantial meals every day. One thing we really took into account during route planning was the accessibility of grocery stores along the way. Other than a small amount of rice, oatmeal, Clif bars and water, we departed without food. Each day after riding trails, we stopped by groceries stores in town to fill up our handlebar bags with mostly fresh veggies. We had everything we needed to make simple, delicious stir-fries and pasta. We also filled several small airplane travel bottles with kitchen essentials such as salt, pepper, butter, cayenne, cinnamon, maple syrup, cooking oil and dish soap. With the exception of our delicious dish soap, having these was a real luxury when spicing up simple carb-heavy meals. While we don’t have any special recipes to share, you will make many people happy with fresh guacamole! Just don’t put avocados in your saddle bag.
Any plans for additional bikepacking trips this summer?
This trip definitely inspired us and opened up our eyes to the world of bikepacking. The goal this summer is to ride bikes as much as possible. Period. We’re lucky to live so close to so many great riding areas so another trip is absolutely in the cards.
How’d you like the Lower Sunshine Coast route? Any favorite spots along the way?
The Sunshine Coast route was perfect for bikepacking beginners like us. All of the climbing was balanced out with worthwhile descents and with the massive amount of trails up there you can cater the route to what you want to get out of it. If we ever got into trouble we were never too far from the highway, but we still often felt like we were the only ones out there. The town of Sechelt was a pleasure to roll through — calm, quaint, peaceful and full of character. Porpoise Bay was beautiful, but we didn’t get to spend much time there. Cabin Fever was hands down the best trail we rode all trip – fast and flowy while meandering through endless moss lined forests. Big Tree was… big. Crowston Lake was stunning. There was no shortage of incredible spots on the route. Not to mention we were absolutely blessed with incredible weather the entire trip!
About the Lower Sunshine Coast
A forty minute ferry ride from Vancouver, British Columbia, is all it takes to escape urban chaos. No more than five minutes after docking at Langdale, on the Sunshine Coast, this route leaves the pavement behind, and enters a lush green tunnel and a seemingly endless network of loamy mountain bike trails. View the full route here.