Only ten minutes into our evening UBCO ride and a large canid rose out of the sage and trotted toward the treeline. We were searching for wolves in a remote corner of northeast California, as part of our new online show called Where the Wild Roam. I slammed the brakes and pulled out my video camera.
“Wolf?” Asked Kyle, my friend and our cinematographer. He pulled over too, second camera in hand, squinting into the slanting light. The sun dropped behind a ridge and the sky flamed orange. Encountering wildlife en route to get a few quick sunset shots wasn't impossible, just a bit unexpected. A smile tugged at my cheek. This was fun.
And to be clear, starting your own online show about wildlife, wild places, and conservation isn’t always fun. Rewarding, but not necessarily milk and honey every time: The days can be long, the packs heavy, and the wildlife doesn’t always show up. Combine that with busy day jobs and families, and a side-passion project can quickly become overwhelming. Kyle and I are constantly looking for ways to streamline production –and maintain the passion for our passion project.
Lately, we’ve gotten a lot of help from UBCO on both fronts.
First, the UBCO 2X2 bikes are extremely capable of hauling tons of gear over rugged roads and trails. Our field kits consist of safety gear, provisions, and videography equipment –including wildlife camera traps. In our wolf story, this meant covering hundreds of square miles to set up our wildlife cameras over the wolves’ extensive summer range. Which also streamlines production and allows us to tell more stories and have more of a conservation impact.
The utility and power from dual wheel drive allowed us to easily and comfortably access high points for glassing and within the first field day we completely trusted the bikes with all our delicate and expensive equipment mile after mile deep in the backcountry.
Because the bikes are electric, they are also quiet. This means limited sound disturbance for others enjoying the same outdoor locations we’re filming in –and– limited sound disturbance to wildlife which of course we’re trying to sneak up on and film undetected. Which brings us back to fun. Like wind whipping through your hair while you throttle and golden eagles cruising past and oh ya, you and your friend have started a nature show. That kind of fun.
We could get used to this.
Written by Joe Flannery, conservationist, creator and host of Where the Wild Roam.