Man’s best friend, sure, but biker’s best friend? Meet Kaia, a 3-year-old Border Collie who’s earned a reputation for charging on the trails near her Port Moody home with her owner, mountain biker Bryan Gregory. And while Kaia might not be the first trail dog we’ve ever seen, she’s certainly the fastest. Case in point, when Bryan bikes, Kaia doesn’t just follow; she leads.
We spoke with Jonathan Kang of Foxwood Films, who filmed the duo in Port Moody’s Bert Flinn Park, about mountain biking, difficult shoots and furry friends.
Mountain Life: Jonathan, how did you meet Bryan and Kaia?
Jonathan Kang: Bryan and I met each other in middle school and have been mountain biking together ever since. We have been making mountain bike films for a while now, and a few years ago Bryan’s family got Kaia.
ML: Bryan, when did you start biking with Kaia? Was there any training involved?
Bryan Gregory: I started training Kaia to bike with me almost right after we got her. The training mostly consisted of teaching her to stay with me and keep her distance from the bike. We slowly worked our way up and by the time she was a year old, I was taking her on trails. She’s pretty good at it now, although sometimes she runs a bit too far ahead and makes me feel slow.
ML: This is a pretty high intensity shoot. How did you pull it off? What was the most challenging part?
JK: The most challenging part about shooting this film was Bryan being able to keep up with Kaia. We had to redo some shots in the film because there would be a large gap between the time Kaia entered and exited the shot, and when Bryan did, making for an awkward pause. We have shot many mountain bike films, so Bryan and I work well together. Including Kaia was the biggest challenge, but in the end we feel it paid off.
ML: Bryan and Kaia has been shared all over, including by lots of people who have never mountain biked. Why do you think people are so excited about this story?
BG: I think the video appeals to such a wide audience because it does a really good job of showing the bond between a dog and it’s owner. We had no idea we were capturing that when we were filming though. We were just having fun, and I think it shows in the footage.
JK: I think the atmosphere the video creates also attracts people to watch the video. People like to watch videos that make them smile, and I think we accomplished that with Bryan and Kaia.
ML: Is it just us or is Kaia the fastest dog in British Columbia (Canada? The world?)
BG: She’s definitely the fastest in our local scene, but I’m sure there are lots of dogs tearing up their own local trails that would give her a run for her money on the world stage.
ML: This ones for Kaia: thoughts on the Whistler bike park?
Kaia: Looks like fun, I would love to try some of those jumps, although there are a lot of bikes to chase which could get confusing.