When I head off on my travels later in the summer – to the Isle of Wight, Spain and Portugal – I won’t be writing a book about the whole thing. Well, unless I get kidnapped by remote Asturian villagers and spend months in captivity, learning the local language and gaining the trust of the locals to the point where they offer me an honorary Spanish passport and I live out the rest of my days freed from the shackles of a Britain confined within the reckless stupidity and insularity of Brexit… Actually, it sounds like a dream (and would make a good book) but getting back to the point, the chances are there will be no book. If you were expecting the first instalment of the ‘…on a Bike Called Wanda‘ trilogy, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer, although hopefully not too much longer.
I will, however, be experimenting (as with everything I do, it’s in ‘continual beta‘) much more with the multi-media side of things. In addition to this website and its sister social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I now have The Cycling Europe Podcast as an outlet for audio material. I’m hoping to produce dedicated podcasts about cycling on the Isle of Wight and at least one – if not more – podcast about the 17-day trip to Spain and Portugal.
Yet there is something that has, until now, eluded me; an epic cycling film. By ‘epic’ I mean something much longer than the short films I have made over the past ten years about various escapades – often hiking ones – upon which I have embarked. You can browse the entire collection of those films on the Cycling Europe YouTube channel incidentally. Collectively, the films probably do constitute an ‘epic’ albeit a rather disjointed one… It would be good, however, to film, edit and publish a true cycle touring classic.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Ultimately it will be for others to judge if anything that I do produce is indeed a ‘classic’. I would be standing on the shoulders of the giants of the cycle touring film world of course and, over the years, many of those giants have featured on these pages. Only recently did Barry Godin appear here once again an I am looking forward to seeing The Bikes of Wrath in a few weeks at Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax, as mentioned in this post from June. I have the technology, the software and, crucially, the story-telling skill. Hopefully the trip to the Iberian Peninsula will offer me the opportunity.
All this musing has been prompted by an email from Lucy Hagan at Osprey Europe that I have just fished out of my junk email box. It’s a film of great simplicity but also great beauty with some sublime cinematography. Admittedly it’s also a blatant advert for the companies that financed it but if I can come anywhere close to replicating this kind of feel and look in anything I make, I would be a happy filmmaker…
Out of office | Bikepacking Dartmoor | Trail Creatives: “A cinematic film of our bikepacking adventure on Dartmoor in the UK. Made with help from Trek Bicycles, Osprey Europe, and Restrap. We loaded our bikes and rode from Princetown via the Burrator reservoir and up onto Sheepstor for the night. All powered by the Trek Powerfly E-MTB.”PinkBike.com
I love the sound… Reminds me of this short video that I made on a campsite at the foot of Mount Snowdon last August:
Never before has it been more apt to ask you to watch this space…