Wild Virtue: NICA Bikepacking the Oregon Timber Trail!

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Remember the feeling of your first bike camping trip? In the Summer of 2019, the Oregon Chapter of NICA took 18 kids on their first bikepacking outing along a section of the Oregon Timber Trail. Watch the video here…

Photos and video by Daniel Sharp and Dylan VanWeelden

Everyone has a “first trip” story about their inaugural journey out to camp with their bike. It’s usually good one. But not everyone gets to have a film made about it. Blackburn Design, in cooperation with Oregon League of NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) and the Oregon Timber Trail (OTT), just released Wild Virtue, a short documentary that follows a group of student athletes on their first bikepacking trip. Watch it below and find some photos and background of the event below…

  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail

When most people think of NICA, they picture junior racing leagues in mountain bike-centered towns scattered across the United States. So it’s good to see NICA stepping out of that box and realizing that cycling can benefit youth beyond speed and competition, particularly by inspiring an appreciation for the outdoors. Last spring, the Oregon League of NICA partnered with the OTT to get more young riders out on the trail. Filmmakers Dylan Van Weelden and Daniel Sharp came along to tell this story from the perspective of NICA’s Adventure Program.

Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail

For those unaware, the OTT is a 670-mile route traversing the State of Oregon over four tiers via a patchwork of remote and challenging singletrack trails. The Oregon League riders tackled a 30-mile section of the Deschutes Tier. Van Weelden, Sharp, and board members of the OTT, accompanied to document and to provide additional instruction. “Eventually we’d like to get these kids to be stewards of the trail,” said filmmaker Sharp, “but first we needed them to fall in love with it.”

  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail
  • Wild Virtue, NICA Bikepacking Oregon Timber Trail

“Reflecting on your first bikepacking (or touring) trip is important for everyone to do every once in a while,” added Blackburn Marketing Manager Daniel Powell. “Such a practice provides perspective on where you started, where you thought you were going, and where you ended up. Experiencing this from the viewpoint of a bunch of stoked kids was all we needed to get behind this film project.”

Wild Virtue was directed, produced, and filmed by Daniel Sharp and Dylan VanWeelden. The editing was done by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff. Ron Lewis provided the score. The title animation was made by Christopher San Austin.

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