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Cycling Georgia and Turkiye on the Trans-Caucasus
“Your gonna remember those moments in between where you get to interact with folks…see sights you might not have noticed if you were so focused on the destination.”
“For me it’s true adventure. Everyday there has been a meaningful encounter to increase my understanding of how other people live and function…and helps me understand myself.”
Last year we created the Trans-Caucasus tour during a time when many of the other countries in the region were still not open and accessible for our cycling tours. At first it was a stand-in for our larger Silk Route tour but after a successful first trip, we are making it a permanent part of our calendar of tours. It is now scheduled to run again in 2024 and will include Armenia as well!
>>Learn more about the updated 2024 Trans-Caucasus route
With the help of our talented Content Creator – Mats Fredrix – we were able to produce this wonderful 3-part video series to share with everyone some of the highlights from Georgia and Turkiye and to hear directly from the participants on their experiences. We are very happy to share the resulting video with you now. Please read on below the video where we ask the filmmaker a few questions about the challenges of filming on the road and what advice he has for those considering to ride the Trans-Caucasus tour in the future.
Videographer Mats Fredrix from Belgium on His Biggest Challenges and Advice for Future Participants
Tell us about making this video series… what were the biggest challenges?
I think the hardest part was trimming everything down. I approached my interviews with the riders very much like normal conversations, often with a cup of tea or something similar, and I am really happy I did. Everyone had such interesting things to say and points of view. As a result our conversations went into all directions, sometimes ones that brought a big smile to our faces, but we also touched on less cheerful subjects. As cycling is a mental practice, in one way or another. So often, as is my habit, it turned quite philosophical, and we ended up pondering into the depths of our minds why the hell we like riding our damn bike so much. As you’d expect it ended up being a mountain of material. Choosing which topics to go for and which to cut, the famous process called ‘killing your darlings’ is inevitable when telling this kind of story, so I decided to work around the big themes everyone talked about. Things people often unanimously agreed on, but sometimes their takes ended up being almost complete counter opposites. It was these things I felt would be most interesting for someone who’s into long-distance bike riding and feels drawn to these countries or this tour.
What impressed you / surprised you about the participants of the tour?
As it was my second TDA tour, everyone’s mental and physical toughness wasn’t something that I was blown away by anymore. Though I did often remind myself that this isn’t a normal feat, what everyone out there is doing. I think what impressed me the most was everyone’s thirst for interaction with everything and everyone they were passing. Rather than getting the often long, and often very hot days over as quickly as possible, everyone treated their time on the bike as special. Whatever they saw, whoever they talked to along the way that is what they’re paying for. It is often these things we ended up talking about in our interviews, and it is these stories that we will remember for a long time to come.
What advice do you have for someone considering joining the tour in the future?
First of all, I’d advice somehow, inventing a very strong liking for oatmeal. The going can get really tough without that into your morning TDA routine. Seriously though, I think the tour offers a unique perspective on two completely different people [in Georgia and Turkiye]; culture, way of life and history. They’re separated by nothing but a line in the sand. And it truly special to feel this change crossing that line with a bike. However different both countries on the Trans-Caucasus tour are, there’s one thing that is exactly the same: there’s never-ending, calf-biting climbs on both sides of the border, so I’d suggest not overlooking that granny-gear when choosing your rear cassette.
The Trans-Caucasus Cycling Adventure will take cyclists on a spectacular journey through the ancient lands of Armenia, Georgia and Türkiye. The...
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