“Why cycle South America?” A short video
Since the inception of our company, we have repeatedly been approached by a whole spectrum of filmmakers looking to tell the story of our tours. They ranged from amateurs to award winning companies. With one exception (Where Are You Go?), these films were never made. The length and scope of our tours meant that any film would require significant time and financing. When it came down to it, none of the potential filmmakers could manage these commitments.
A few months ago, before the start of the South American Epic, a US/Colombian company called ‘WhereNext?’ approached us about doing a short film as we cycled through Colombia. We looked at their proposal and politely declined. They came back a couple more times and we politely declined again. Then, about two weeks before the start of the tour, they returned with another suggestion. After discussing it here in Toronto, we decided to take a chance. We gave them one condition, “We do not want a corporate video. We want something that will be real.” We gave them complete freedom to film anything, and to ask the participants whatever they wanted. And we told the participants to feel free to say whatever was on their mind, good or bad.
Towards the end of filming, I offered my help with a handful of interviews. But I still left it up to the filmmakers to edit the story as they wished. My goal in the interviews was to try to dig into the psyche of the riders. I asked them, “Why are you doing these tough, punishing trips that cross continents and last several months, and leaving the comforts of your home?” After all, my own personal experience tells me that the average individual back home simply cannot fathom the appeal of climbing over 1,500 meters a day, or being in the saddle 6 hours a day, or sleeping in a tent night after night.
After some back and forth, here is the final product. You be the judge if they succeeded in answering the question, “Why?”