I spent the afternoon in Sheffield watching some short cycle touring films at SHAFF, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. Below are the films that I was able to see. The text is from the SCHAFF website.
COMES WITH BAGGAGE – 18MINS (trailer)
“Comes With Baggage” is a lighthearted history of bicycle travel in the Americas, that makes you want to sell your possessions, quit your job and escape on a bike.
MOHON – 15MINS (not available online)
In the spring of 2016 19 year old Jimmy Hyland boarded a plane to Mongolia. Having spent his life reading books, watching films and hearing stories of adventure he decided it was time to find his own. Drastically unprepared and armed with little more than a bike he had bought the week before for £50 and a few basic tools Jimmy set off into the steppe, but all did not go to plan.
This is the story of Jimmy’s first taste of travelling alone in a totally alien land. Continually battling wind, bitter cold temperatures, mechanical problems and solitude which pushed him to his limits, it wasn’t until he discovered the incredible Mongolian hospitality that he got back on track.
FLASHES OF THE ALTAI – 5MINS (full film)
Three childhood friends set out for the far western corner of Mongolia to combine mountain biking and packrafting in a self-supported 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. The goal was to traverse the Mongolian Altai, a remote range of high glaciated peaks with silt-laden rivers draining from their heights. The only inhabitants of the region are Kazakh nomads, the last people on earth who continue the tradition of hunting with golden eagles. Ancient standing stones carved over the millennia stand guard over the landscape. Twelve days in the wilderness, riding over high passes loaded with gear, surviving raging whitewater, drinking fermented mare’s milk, and battling the elements, this was not an adventure these young lads would soon forget.
ROLL WITH IT – 26MINS (trailer)
Going on an overnight camping trip with just what you can carry on a bike seems scary to most people. This quirky, yet artful film debunks those fears, by pulling together strangers with different backgrounds to show how truly joyful and enriching travel by bike can be.
The film will be accompanied by a book that explains, in more granular detail, how anyone can use their bike as a portal to a world of adventure. Look for both the book and the film this June at theatres, bike shops and other venues worldwide.
BEULAH – 8MINS (full film)
I travelled to Cape Wrath myself back in 2014 in preparation for the cycle along the Norwegian coast the following year. Here’s my account of the (non-cycling) day that I spent travelling to the cape itself. The ferryman is becoming quite famous as he features in my photos as well… (Featured image Pannier.cc)
Beulah follows a Pannier cycle tour to explore the Cape Wrath track; a journey inspired by a 1970s OS Map Sheet of the most north-westerly part of Scotland found in a Hay-on-Wye bookshop. Stefan, Will, Jordan and Luke set off from London on the sleeper train one evening to ride a three day circular route at the golden touring pace of 10mph; turns out they probably dropped to an even lower average.
More than discuss the details of this trip in particular, Pannier and Brother Cycles wanted to celebrate the general idea of heading off on bike adventures. The eight-minute short was filmed totally unsupported (Luke, the filmmaker, carried all the kit on his bike) and they wanted to make it this way for two reasons: to provide an authentic account of what it was like to be on a Pannier adventure cycling trip, and to test it out and see if it was possible…
THE TRAIL TO KAZBEGI – 16MINS (full film)
What happens when four like-minded adventurers head into one of the world’s wildest mountain ranges with nothing but their mountain bikes and enough food to survive for 10 days? The answer? What doesn’t happen? Terrifying lightning storms. Raging-river crossings. Snow-covered glacial pass traverses. Mind-melting descents. Constant fights with vicious dogs. Tense encounters with over-zealous border-patrol guards. All of the above were just another day following “The Trail to Kazbegi,” a self-supported mountain-bike mission through the highest reaches of the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Our four-man team—adventure filmmaker Joey Schusler, Bike magazine editor Brice Minnigh, photographer Ross Measures and mountain man Sam Seward—spent half of June 2015 exploring the crown jewels of the Georgian High Caucasus on a feature assignment for Bike. Along the way our crew overcame countless obstacles and experienced some of the most spectacular scenery and trails they had ever encountered. They also were treated to the unparalleled hospitality of the Georgian people and the benign indifference of the elements on their quest to reach the magnificent Mount Kazbek. In the process, they cemented lasting friendships and proved, yet again, that life is simply better in the mountains.
What do you think?