The Adventure Cycling blog covers bicycle-travel news, touring tips and gear, bicycle routes, organizational news, membership highlights, guided tours, and more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.
Photo by Adam Coppola
When I was asked to write a few words about filming the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, I thought no problem. It's the longest mountain bike route in the world, almost three thousand miles of the most stunning scenery I have ever witnessed: deserts, peaks, plains and funky ghost towns. My advice to you? Well, really Warren Miller’s advice, “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.”
Made famous in large part by the fabulous documentary Ride the Divide and its subject, the unsanctioned, winner-takes-nothing-but-bragging-rights Tour Divide race, which runs the route's entire 2,774 miles, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route has received incredible media coverage over the last few years. The route's solitude and beauty is accessible to cyclists of all kinds. Watch this video to see why you might want to ride the Great Divide.
In this video, Adventure Cyclist contributor Patrick O'Grady takes a look at the Jeff Jones City & Touring bike. The full review appears in the October/November 2013 issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine, which is now available online for Adventure Cycling members.
After years of pitching bicycle touring shows to the Travel Channel, they finally gave me the green light and "Cali's Wine Country by Bike" is now live on TravelChannel.com.
In this video, Adventure Cyclist contributor Patrick O'Grady spends some quality time with a Bike Friday Silk Road Alfine, an internally geared, belt-driven smoothie that folds like a hanky into pocket size for storage.
In this video, Adventure Cyclist magazine contributor Patrick O'Grady takes a look at the Novara Verita, a suitable "store-brand" bike that will take you everwhere but to the cleaners.
In this video, Adventure Cyclist magazine contributor Patrick O'Grady takes a look at the Kona Rove, a steel all-rounder suitable for everything from gravel-grinding to loaded touring.
In September, Adventure Cycling announced its first Bicycle Travel Video Contest. Since then, we've enjoyed a slew of submissions from touring cyclists around the globe. We've also had the great pleasure of publishing a series of how-to posts on creating bike-touring videos, contributed by some of our volunteer judges -- all experienced touring cyclists and knowledgeable videographers. Their posts covered everything from storytelling to equipment. We thought it would be fun to offer a round up of those expert posts so you can enjoy them all in one place.
With snow and ice abounding in Missoula, it would be so nice to ride a fat bike around, to officially participate in Fat Bike February. But the finances for a rad, new bike are just not in the cards this year. (And truth be told, if I buy one bike this year, it'll probably be this one.) So to stabilize my bike travel, I made my own studded tires! It was easier than I had imagined and I made a video to share this ever-rewarding do-it-yourself with you.
In this video, Adventure Cyclist magazine contributor Patrick O'Grady takes a look at the All-City Space Horse. The full review appears in the February 2013 issue of Adventure Cyclist.
I have spent a lot of time trying to improve my photography and filming skills. Filming something well is almost identical to taking a good photograph. The same principles apply. Learn how your camera works. Give some thought to how to take a good photograph or video clip. If you don't do that then even the geekiest post-production expert will not be able to create a masterpiece for you.
I know what you're thinking -- there are a lot of commas in that title. Just know that they're there for emphasis. You might also be thinking about creating videos on your bike tour and posting them to your web log, or "blog" as the kids call it these days. Well great! That's why we're all here. You've learned how to make a bicycle touring video, you've learned what tripods to use, and you've learned the art of storytelling thanks to the other bloggers and judges so far.
When the three young men featured at the start of Tom Allen's new film, Janapar, set out on their round-the-world bicycle tour, Tom's voice-over says something to the effect of "there is something out there ... we want to create meaning in our lives." Quickly the challenges of the road and the beauty found alongside it begin to carve that meaning, chucking artifice aside until the group splinters and each man goes his own way. We then follow Tom into the desert, into a woman's life, into his existential thoughts on exploring the world by bike, without a road map.
No two tours are the same, and so no two videos will tell the same story. But regardless of the specifics of your trip or your filming ambitions, the same key considerations will make your video project as successful as possible. Some of these considerations relate to the technical aspects of filmmaking, or of shot composition, editing software, and the like. But this kind of information is readily available, so I'd like to touch on something less-often mentioned but even more fundamental to success: the science of storytelling.
Having traveled for the last year and making the slow transition from stills to video, I’ve played with more than a few different tripods in search of THE ONE. Depending on how serious/heavy your gear you’ve got a lot of choices. Here are a few different styles of tripods I’ve used over the years to consider.
Making videos of our bike touring adventures has never come naturally to me. I can often be found muttering to myself, wondering what that button does or how best to combine those two clips. At the end of the day, however, I'm always satisfied to complete a film about our cycling adventures. A video captures the sounds, movements and emotions of a trip in a much more lively, engaging way than a photograph. It is a living memory.
Making videos of your bicycle holidays is a great way to relive your adventures and share your passion with others, as I found out about four years ago when I made my first slideshows of my bicycle holidays. Soon after, I started filming instead of taking pictures. My cycling passion extended to a passion for filming. Three years ago, I founded World Cycle Videos a bicycle-touring video group on Vimeo, a video-sharing platform. I regularly get questions from group members: How do I make a good video? What camera and editing program do I need?
In collaboration with WorldCycle Videos, Adventure Cycling's first Bicycle Travel Video Contest will accept submissions through February 28, 2013. Now is the time to check out the submission categories and begin production, whether you plan an autumn bike overnight video shoot, tackle your footage from a past adventure, or set up an interview with a bicycle traveler who inspires you to document their passion and story in a portrait piece.
Sit back, turn up the volume and check out our "How to Read Adventure Cycling Maps" video. And don't worry if you missed something or need to hear it again, that's one of the joys of video, right? You can pause, rewind and replay as many times as you wish!
In this video produced by America ByCycle about Adventure Cycling, America ByCycle heads to the Adventure Cycling Association headquarters in Missoula, Montana to meet the people behind the maps. There they finally get to weigh their fully-loaded bikes, meet Greg Siple, one of the founders of Bikecentennial and Adventure Cycling Association, and get their portraits taken.
Don't put off that long-distance bike tour! You can do it! To get you started, Adventure Cycling teamed up with America ByCycle to produce this fun video on how to prepare for your long-distance cycling adventure. Strap on your helmet and get ready for the ride of a lifetime!