When posting this morning’s video about the snail on his little adventure across my back yard towards the bin (I haven’t seen him since by the way so he could have made it over the wall, across the field and into the jaws of a passing crow by now…), I was reminded of the work of Barry Godin. Not that Barry looks like a snail, far from it. It was just that his account featured on Vimeo when I logged in. I met him at the Cycle Touring Festival back in May. He’s a cyclist – adventure cycling is his speciality – and also a filmmaker and has been making his films as long as I’ve been writing my books. His talk at the festival was a general overview of what to think about when making films of cycling adventures. To show us that he practised what he was preaching, he’d cycled to the festival and made a short film about doing so. Here it is:
He proves the point very well that you don’t need to carry round a small truck’s worth of camera and editing equipment to make a decent film. My own snail film earlier was, incidentally, knocked up entirely on my iPhone 7. Such is the power of modern technology. Here is how Barry describes himself (in the third person…):
“Barry is a UK based rider and his passion for bikes came from a downhill mountain biking background. He has ridden all over Europe and competed in the Alpe D’Huez Mega Avalanche four times. The idea of bikepacking came out of multi-day mountain biking adventures, such as the Tour of Mont Blanc and a tour of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. For the past three years he has been refining his bikepacking setup on a Genesis Longitude, pushing the boundaries of what trails can been ridden fully loaded. The most testing adventure would have been his three week tour of Iceland’s interior, where he was confronted by walking through every terrain possible, three days across snow fields, riding across lava fields and an eleven minute river crossing. From an early age he has been capturing his adventures on film with the emphasis to share his experiences with others. As technology has developed, he has been developing styles of recording solo adventures, without taking the joy and excitement out of the journey. Filled with enthusiasm even in the toughest situations, he inspires others to get out there and explore.”
I’ve just spent a little time looking through his other videos and I suggest you do the same. They are all very engaging and many, at only a few minutes long, are the perfect length for our 21st century limited attention spans. Here’s the most recent film, about cycling on the Isle of Skye:
There are some longer, more ambitious films including this one about cycling the Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. This is the route that I walked in the summer of 2016 so hats off to him for doing it on a bike.
I’d encourage you to explore his other films – here is the link to his Vimeo page.
Here’s my own Switzerland video, by the way, of the final day of hiking from Zermatt in the direction of the Matterhorn (although not up it!):
The only film I’ve ever made which comes anywhere close to what Barry does is this one, filmed and edited while cycling along the Vélodyssée/Eurovelo 1 in western France. It’s only available on YouTube:
I’m minded to make more an effort with my own filmmaking. Some more of my own creations are on this page of apsykes.com but you can see them (warts and) all by visiting the Cycling Europe Vimeo or YouTube pages. It’s probably an appropriate time to remind you of this post about the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival which I visited earlier in the year. Also worth a visit!
(Featured image of Barry’s bike is from this page of Bikepacker.com.)