The videos we have selected for this month have a focus on overland travel, using 4X4s and motorcycles, in exotic locations.
For December, we have four videos covering 4X4 action in Australia and overland travel through West Africa, a long distance Eurasia adventure motorcycle ride, and a short road trip on a Triumph Tiger.
Motorcyclists are sometimes seen as individualists, choosing an unpopular and minority means of transport to commute to and from work or school. Surely a better alternative is to travel in a
modern car, bus, or even a train like most commuters, with all-weather protection, the full array of crash safety features and superior comfort afforded by over one hundred years of automotive
If we make the assumption that for each motorcyclist their choice of transport mode results in a net-benefit for them, then the next question, from a public policy perspective, turns to how does motorcycling contribute to the wider transport community. This is an important public policy question because the motorcycle is a minority mode of transport with proven user benefits, but disproportionately large private and public costs from road accidents. However, to treat motorcycling as a single issue, road safety problem is clearly an inadequate policy position. Let's see why.
In high income Western countries, limited policy development has defined motorcycles as a road safety problem with minor road user benefits. The overriding narrative is motorcycles are unsafe;
regulate for this safety risk.
It seems that motorcycles are the invisible mode in transport policy. Their use is too small to have a serious impact on the big transport issues of traffic congestion, vehicle emissions, accessibility, land use integration and the like. If it wasn’t for a bad road safety record and the resulting trauma, motorcycles and their riders would, it seems, not be included in transport policy.
To explore this idea, as a case study, let's look at how a modern transport strategy deals with motorcycling in a large Western city.
The videos we have selected for this month have high quality production values coupled with interesting travel based content.
For November, we'll highlight a long distance ADV motorcycle journey, overlanding by 4X4 in South America, vlog travel by Jeep, and clutchless shifting your motorcycle.
Most people love a Hollywood blockbuster, so while you're waiting for the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie to hit cinemas at the end of the year, why not check out a handful of videos that, although they don't have monster production budgets or famous actors, are often made with passion and creativity to produce a few hours of interesting and enjoyable entertainment.
For October, we'll highlight 4X4 overland travel in Australia, two small aircraft journeys, the journey to modify a small Yamaha bike, and the amazing skills of a stunt rider.
What if you wanted to travel around the world on a motorcycle, but had little money, certainly not enough to finance your multi-year trip. Would you delay your trip until you had saved sufficient funds?
Daniel Rintz’s approach was to work as you travel, stop when you need to, and travel slow, taking time to experience and interact with people from different cultures. The result in a journey
that’s performative, driven by experiences and the hard work required for long distance travel, rather than a trip set to a timetable and deadlines, like your typical holiday. It also makes for
an interesting documentary film.
The documentary Somewhere Else Tomorrow is a record of his journey. The film was released in 2015. A sequel is currently in the works, that follows Daniel and his girlfriend Josephine for three more years across the Americas and Africa.
Riding is an acquired skill, no one just gets on a bike and automatically rides with skill. Often you hear statements like some people are naturally gifted, they learn a skill faster than most. Or, the more you practice the better you’ll get, as your skill level will improve through repetition. Often skill is connected with instruction, as you learn a new skill through lessons or tutoring.
But what do we really mean by gaining a new skill?
And how can a better understanding of skill acquisition improve our riding?
If Moto 4: The Movie was focused on the rider, looking at why they ride and showcasing some pretty impressive footage of their prodigious talent, then The Assignment Inc’s new film, Moto 5: The Movie, seems to take a step back, in a good way, and focuses a little more on the fun of riding and, in particular, the environments they ride in.
This direction provides fertile ground for filmmakers to explore how different terrain draws out different possibilities for riding.
Of course, Moto 5 still profiles a handful of super talented MX riders. Each rider provides commentary about their life and why they ride dirt bikes.
And there’s a mountain of slow motion and aerial footage.
The overland motorcycle route from the UK to Cape Town, South Africa was made famous by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in their 2007 “Long Way Down” trip. With modern, large capacity BMW touring motorcycles, backup vehicles and all the communication, navigation and camping technology money can buy, the two friends made a popular TV series documentary of their overland adventure.
It’s worth watching.
However, motorcyclists have been travelling this way for years and perhaps one of the more arduous journeys was undertaken by motorcycle pioneer Theresa Wallach, and her friend Florence Blenkiron, in 1935.
People ride bikes for all sorts of reasons; in fact, there’s probably too many to list. Some mostly ride for fun on weekends or for short trips over a day or two, while others use their bike to commute to work or school, a strictly utilitarian form of transport. Then there’s a small minority that undertake adventure travels on their bike to exotic locations. With the emphasis on adventure.
If adventure is in your blood and you ride a bike, Chris Scott’s book, Adventure Motorcycling: A Route & Planning Guide is a fun read and a very handy resource as you prepare for that big adventure.
It’s not uncommon for filmmakers to produce technically superb documentaries, showcasing how proficient they are at operating a camera, editing footage and post production, but somehow fall short in creating a watchable and compelling film (for people other than hard-core fans). And it seems sport based films are particularly susceptible to this problem of the technical quality of images trumpeting content - a good story.
One way to address this problem is to use proven documentary techniques such as a formal interview, b-roll to help place the interview in context and additional footage expanding and covering the story as outlined by the interviewee.
Thankfully, MOTO 4: The Movie does this and more.