ST. STEPHEN – The production of season three of Trekkit is set to begin in August, and it will begin and end right in St. Stephen. Producer Ryan Groom said they are going to “circumnavigate the Province of New Brunswick” for the show’s final season. For the past 10 years, Groom has been doing Trekkit, travelling around the globe to places like Iceland, Norway, and Scotland. He and his team decided to film the last season in New Brunswick because they live here and they love it.
Groom, who is from St. Stephen, said they thought it was a “neat way to showcase the beauty of the province”. He has been producing Trekkit for Bell for a couple of years, and the show has also aired on Wild TV and the Rev channel. The show follows a “lovable gang of office jockeys on unforgettable treks across the world to explore the great outdoors and experience the wonders of the world”.
“Trekkit is a TV show we’ve been doing since 2012,” said Groom.” It’s been mainly carried on Bell, but we’ve expanded in the last couple of years to those other channels. Basically, we take computer nerds or office junkies out of their comfort zone and go to the great outdoors.
“We started in New Brunswick. In season three we did Iceland. We’ve done Norway and Scotland as well. We’re just doing these crazy, outdoorsy things. One of us is in good shape. The rest of us aren’t. Some of it’s a struggle of being overweight and sitting on your rear-end all day, but then you go visit this beautiful glacier and the hike was worth it, but we huff and puff on the way.”
The group of ATV riders is going to circle the province, and figure the whole trip should take about 14 days. Obviously, it wouldn’t normally take this long to do this type of a ride, but when you are filming a television show, there is a lot more work involved. Groom said the group plans to go to Grand Manan, Madawaska, Miscou Island, Confederation Bridge, and many other locations throughout the province in order to showcase the beauty that New Brunswick has to offer.
“We’ve got to film it too. It’s not like we’re just smashing the throttle and away we go. It’s going to take a couple of weeks to do that. We’re going to circle the whole province. We’re going to go to the most north, south, east, and west points of the province, a true circle.”
Groom said his group is a bunch of guys who want to do a trip like this before they get too old and are unable to. The members of the group range from 49 to 55 years of age, and Groom said most of them aren’t exactly in the greatest physical condition, but they still love to get out there and ride. They will spend some nights camping, sleeping in hammocks, and other nights they will go into towns and find places where they can shower and sleep in real beds.
“We aren’t young bucks doing this,” said Groom. “The thought of a few nights in a hammock is a little daunting for some of us. We’re going to do two or three nights in a hammock, then we’re going to find an interesting bed & breakfast to shower and sleep in a real bed, and get some of the aches and pains out of the body. It’s going to be a combination of 50 to 60 per cent outdoors, and the rest stop and be a little civilized.”
Groom said one of the biggest challenges for a trip such as this is packing lightly, but also packing everything needed for a two-week trip. They have to bring several changes of clothing, not to mention their hammocks and other gear.
Many people don’t realize that a lot of towns and even cities allow people to drive their ATV’s right into town, so riders can stop for a bite to eat, gas up, etc. Groom said there are about 15 towns in New Brunswick that allow ATV riders to bring their bikes right into town so they can get gas, eat at restaurants, etc. He said most people see someone riding an ATV through town and think that they are breaking laws, when in many places, this just isn’t the case. This final season of Trekkit will put a spotlight on these areas,
“Instead of someone driving into town really fast to get gas and get out before they get caught, now you can actually follow the rules, go in and get your gas, and you’re not a rebel or outlaw any more. We’re going to highlight, not just the points of interest geologically, but also the little towns and even the bigger cities where you can drive down to get gas. It’s creating revenue and tourism dollars for these little towns.”
Groom wants to show the rest of the world what New Brunswick has to offer. He spoke about a place in West Virginia where US ATV riders often go as a destination, and then talked about how Newfoundland is now becoming an ATV destination. He wants to promote New Brunswick and help it to become another popular destination for ATV riders.
“New Brunswick has got some pretty cool spots. Why can’t we become also a bucket list destination for North American ATV-ers? So, we’re going to do this loop to help promote that New Brunswick is not a drive-through province. We can be a drive-around province.”
Groom said Trekkit was originally his idea. As a computer programmer, he was trying to sell software to some friends who work for Bell Media. They weren’t interested in the software, but said they were creating a new channel, and asked if he would like to do a show because they “know I’m crazy”. Groom agreed, bought a camera, and started doing small films about waterfalls in New Brunswick. The show grew from there. He and his group get together every Monday for meetings to plan their annual trip. Interestingly, the majority of viewers aren’t from New Brunswick.
“We only get about 7 per cent of our viewers from Atlantic Canada. The rest is Canadian, American, and European, so it’s really to highlight what we have here to the rest of the world. That’s a really important part of this.”
The final season of Trekkit will begin and end in St. Stephen, but won’t be aired until February, 2022, because it takes time to edit and put together each episode.
Groom said the group will meet at the Red Rooster on Saturday, August 14 at 9 a.m. They will meet up with Rob Howland, the local ATV club president, to guide them to McAdam where the journey will officially begin. They will be back at the Red Rooster on Saturday, August 28 at noon. Again, they will meet up with the ATV club, and be escorted into St. Stephen with an antique fire truck for a show and shine at the Garcelon Civic Center at 2 p.m.
“We’re hoping to get 50 bikes or more to drive into town,” said Groom. “They’re going to escort us by antique fire truck to the Garcelon Civic Center, where we’re going to do a show and shine of the bikes. We’ve been inviting some other automotive interest groups to join us as well. Just sort of have a meet and greet and a party to put St. Stephen on the map.”
Groom said he really wants to showcase New Brunswick to the rest of the world. He said there are so many interesting places that can be seen while riding an ATV that can’t be seen while hiking or even off-roading. His group loves making these trips, because they get a chance to get away from their day-to-day jobs and experience the great outdoors.
“This year alone we’ve seen two owls, four moose, and a bear. How else do you do that? That’s the theme of the whole thing, to say, ‘look what we’ve got. We’re not a drive-through province. You can come here and have a really unique experience’. We’re hoping to inspire that.”