2016 Bikepacking Awards: Film, Photography & Art.

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In appreciation of all that this year has brought us, we’re happy to announce our 2016 bikepacking awards. Part one of three celebrates all things creative with 24 awards in categories such as ‘Best Short Film’, ‘Best Trip Photography’, and more…

To honor all that’s been accomplished in the bikepacking community, here is the first of three posts recognizing over 70 people, teams, brands and products who’ve impacted 2016. Part one focusses on photography, bikepacking videos and film, and creative endeavors that have helped spread the stoke. Stay tuned for Gear of The Year, and People and Routes of 2016. So without further delay, here are our awards for what we think is the best, most impactful, and/or original photography, video, artwork, and creative documentation from 2016.

Best Short Film

Fast Forward

By Talweg Creative. Fast Forward is one of three short films commissioned by outdoor co-op REI. It’s a beautifully shot account of Tour Divide record holder Lael Wilcox’s attempt to race the Arizona Trail. It has all the makings of a great film — excellent production value, great characters, suspense, tribulation, and a happy ending. Perhaps one of the best bikepacking videos done to date. See our full coverage here.

Honorable Mentions

Specialized Adventure Dispatch Documentary Series

by Warren Kommers and AVERingenuity follows four riders on inspiring bike trips across the US and beyond… prepare to be stoked. See the other episodes here.


by Luke Francis is a collaborative film between Pannier and Brother Cycles following an bikepacking trip to explore the Cape Wrath track; a journey inspired by a 1970s OS Map Sheet of the most north-westerly part of Scotland.

Roll With It

is a short film produced by Blackburn Design. The film follows five strangers, an illustrator, food blogger, photographer, ecologist, and musician on a trip across the southeastern united states. It offers a unique look at the unconventional beauty that traveling by bicycle provides. Watch the trailer above and rent the full film on Vimeo, here.

Best Indie Film

Bikepacking The Mongolian Steppe

by Jay Ritchey. An intimate film that follows a four riders on a journey through the Khangai Mountains – a lush, forested steppe in central Mongolia – during the summer of 2015. It shares their experience of the country’s rugged terrain, its rich culture, and the hospitality they receive from every herdsmen they meet. Read the behind the scenes here. Note: While technically this film was released in 2015, it missed our cut off for last years awards.

Honorable Mentions

Ride. Camp. Repeat.

by Dan Mattison, Knut Kitching, and Skyler Des Roches is a fun short bikepacking video about a three day trip on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia … pure inspiration. Read the story here.

Norway: Gray and Glittering

by Joe Cruz is a heady first film capturing a summer bikepacking trip from Sweden through Norway to Oslo. Read the full story here.

The Frozen Road (Trailer)

by Ben Page. While this is simply a trailer, and the full film is yet to come, based on the sheer solo accomplishment we thought it deserved a spot here.

Best Cinematography

Flashes of The Altai

… by Joey Schusler is a whimsical look at a self-supported mountain biking and packrafting adventure into the unknown. Never having attempted a mountain bike to packraft link-up, they decided it was a great idea to travel to one of the most remote and sparsely populated places in the world to try it out — Mongolia. See our original coverage here for more background.

Honorable Mentions

Raw 100

by Scott Secco No drone footage. No music. No shaky GoPro video. No slow-mo. Just 24 frames per second and the pure goodness of multi-day backcountry mountain biking… feel the mountains in this awesome 100 second film from Scott Secco. Coverage and photos here.

Not Far From Home

by Joonas Vinnari. Kona Bicycles sent Finnish Kona Super Grassroots rider Erkki Punttila off with their new bikepacking specific Kona Unit for an adventure “not far from home”. Erkki strapped his bikepacking kit to the Unit, loaded up his old fishing boat, Sitikka, and then pedaled off into the night. See our full story, stills and more about the Unit here.

Little Trail Hunter

by Matt Hunter and Matt Miles is a warm and fuzzy film that captures the sights and sounds of bikepacking from a parent/child perspective. While it technically may not be breaking any new ground, Little Trail Hunter is a flawlessly shot short on a new subject — tykepacking. See our original coverage with more photos and background.

Best Trip Photography

RJ Sauer, Iceland

This past August, RJ’s trip across Iceland consisted of six riders — two couples and two third wheels — navigating the remote Highland off roads eastward from Reykjavik to Vik. Iceland is an idyllic landscape and RJ without a doubt captured its essence. Follow RJ on Instagram @RJSauer and stay tuned for more photos and a story… coming soon.

RJ Sauer, Iceland Fat-bikepacking

Honorable Mentions

Colt Fetters, Bikepacking The Annapurna Circuit

Bikepacking The Annapurna Circuit

Drawn by the majesty of the Nepali Himalaya and its welcoming teahouses, Colt Felters set out to pedal around the region’s infamous Annapurna Circuit. He shared his story and an amazing set of of photos here.

Bikepacking The Chilcotins, British Columbia

Bikepacking British Columbia’s Chilcotins

by Gabriel Amadeus. This past summer Gabe ventured to one of Canada’s few Provincial Parks that allows mountain biking, and one of the few places to ride alpine terrain. He came back with a great selection of photos that tell the story of a lot of hike-a-bike and fast descents. Find the full set at his Flickr.

Tales on Tyres, Baja Divide

Life’s a Beach

by Tales on Tyres. Franzi and Jona set off to explore the world on their bicycles. After a lot of zigzagging, they are now scooting through the Americas. During their stint on the Baja Divide, they enamored us with an incredible collection of photos. Make sure to check out their Instagram to follow along.

Best Themed Photo Series

Dirt Road Landscapes, by Ryan Wilson

After Ryan, AKA @RMDub left his job of 10 years and apartment life in L.A., he headed for the Andes. While en route he’s kept quite the Instagram feed with incredible photos from a long the way. A large portion of his photos come in the unique form of dirt road landscapes in portrait format. Each is beautifully transportive window into his journey.

Ryan Wilson, Bikepacking Dirt Roads

Honorable Mentions

James Robetson, Highland Trail 550

Suffering on The HT550, in B&W

by James Robertson. During this years running of the Highland Trail 550, James Robertson was all over the route shooting a haunting collection of images. It seems James has a special interest in capturing suffering and his black and whites do it justice. Find a few on our write up here and follow James on Instagram @jprobertson.


Portraits of the Japanese Odyssey

by Eigo Shimojo. At this years Japanese Odyssey, an epic, one-stage, endurance bicyle journey across Japan, Eigo Shimojo took a series of unique portraits that captured our attention. Stay tuned for an upcoming Rider’s Lens and follow Eigo on Instagram @eigoshimojo.

Aerial roadscapes, Paul Michael Fowler

Aerial Landscapes

by Paul Micheal. Over the summer, Paul Michael cycled through Europs to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. During his trip he took a series of drone shots to capture roads and tracks he’d ridden. A unique perspective indeed. Follow Paul @paulmichael

Best Artwork


Released earlier this year by Alex Hotchin, an illustrator from Melbourne, Australia, Borderless is an incredible series of 15 maps based on her bicycle journey from Scotland to Southeast Asia. Each map is an incredibly intricate story of of a specific place where she travelled. Stay tuned for a Rider’s Lens featuring her work. You can also buy a copy here.

Alex Hotchin, Borderless Map Drawings

Honorable Mentions

Chris McNally, Roll With It drawings

Roll With It Drawings

by Chris McNally Chris has been recounting his bicycle adventures by sketchbook for some time. This past year he and his work was featured in Roll With It, a short film commissioned by Blackburn telling the story of several strangers coming together on a bike trip in the southeastern United States. Follow Chris on Instagram @the.scorps.

Bicycle Crumbs Artwork

Bicycle Crumbs

While he may not be doing his work while out bikepacking, @BicycleCrumbs is a bikepacker, and has a knack for putting a rad face on two-wheeled adventure.

@idrewyourbike, Drew Sprocket


I drew Your Bike is a new project — only 3 weeks old as of this posting — but has already impressed a lot of folks. Drew Sprocket claims to, “… creep on cool bikes, then draw them,” … all with his right pointer finger on an iPhone screen. Follow Drew @idrewyourbike.

Stay tuned for part two of our 2016 Bikepacking Awards series, Gear of The Year.





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