Ben from Johnson Studios had the “brilliant” idea of self-filming his solo bikepacking adventure in the Andes of Peru. With no previous experience in bikepacking, Ben believed his biking and backpacking experience combined would lend enough skill and know-how to get him through this journey. How hard could it be?? This short film is an attempt at an honest documentation of the victories - and struggles - of a solo first time bikepacker as he ascends the elevations of this beautiful, far-off land.
Doing something new for the first time is a unique opportunity. You add a slightly oblivious human visiting a country far from home, who doesn’t speak the language, and then you have a unique story. Johnson Studios is in the business of telling stories; so, of course, we had to capture this experience to the best of our ability; even when it required more of us than we anticipated; even when we struggled to turn the pedals another revolution; and, even when we were shivering in our tent.
Problem number one: how does one acquire all the knowledge and bike gear to accomplish this goal when you have no previous experience doing this particular activity? We reached out to seasoned bike man Morgan Taylor (aka. @foundinthemountains) and to our amazement he listened to our foolish idea and decided to help us. THANK YOU Morgan and Stephanie! You graciously gave us a quick bike packing 101 and supported us in many many ways.
Problem number two: how do you do this completely solo? How do you film the subject? Enter a below average handy man and a curious mind. We created a glorified selfie rig that attached to the front rack and we mounted a small mirrorless camera. It may not look pretty, but it was a pretty effective solution to the challenging task of filming oneself while biking.
Music for the full film, and the trailer, composed by the magic man Kurtis So.
Much much love for the gear support from friends at Kona Bikes, Easton Cycling, Cima Coppi, Everjourn and Porcelain Rocket.
Special thanks to Danielle Johnson, Adam Foss, Frankie Foss, Manuel Yzaga, Anders Nordblom, If Communications, Stephanie Taylor and Ryan Wilson.
We have been floored by the reaction to our film. Nothing makes us happier than inspiring people and motivating them to get outside. We are absolutely honoured to be featured on BIKEPACKING.com, the Radavist, Sidetracked Magazine, Adventure Journal, and others. Specifically, our feature on BIKEPACKING.com is an in-depth Q&A where we discuss specific details about how the filming process for this film. We also discuss how this idea was born, as well as we offer advice for any others seeking to go on solo adventures. The Radavist feature, written and photographed by Morgan Taylor (@foundinthemountains), dives deeper on the bike build and offers a few of the hacks that allowed us to travel further, and film more.
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