Three guys, three scooters (sort of) and three days to make a micro adventure film for the Adventure Travel Film Festival. What could possibly go wrong...?

Bike Magazine editor Hugo Wilson took up the challenge this summer and headed out on his local Green Roads, gloriously underprepared.

TRF:

Hi Hugo, thanks for taking time out to chat. I really enjoyed the film that you made for this year’s Adventure Travel Film Festival. How did that project come about?

Hugo:

Bike is still fundamentally a print only product, but we’ve made a few little films and really enjoy doing them. Lois Pryce edits our adventure pages and she’s also the co-curator of the ATFF. She invited us to the festival and someone had the idea that we should turn the ride down there into an adventure, film the journey, and then edit it and show it at the festival. It seemed like an idea that perfectly fitted the ethos of both the festival and the magazine.

TRF:

Compared to some of the bikes that you must get to ride in Bike Magazine, this trip must have been firmly at the ‘micro-adventure’ end of the scale. Did that make it any less enjoyable?

Hugo:

Not at all. It made it more enjoyable. We’re a tight team that make the magazine and we’re all really passionate about bikes. We try to do a couple of these ‘micro-adventures’ every year, and they’re always most fun when we do them on bikes that we actually own, rather than road test bikes. And if the bikes are a bit, er… silly, then so much the better. We’ve had a bit of a thing about mopeds in the office recently, and we’re always egging each other on to buy more and more ridiculous machines.

hugo-bike-01

The 50cc Typhoon, perfect for trail riding
hugo-bike-02

Nothing like a UK wild camp
The disasters always make the journey and on this trip they were mainly provided by Mark Graham and his ‘tuned’ Honda Melody which broke down repeatedly. It ended up being towed for 15 miles before we abandoned it in Hertfordshire. Mark finished the journey on the back of my Piaggio Typhoon 50 (actually its my wife’s scooter). I thought the Piaggio made a pretty decent trail bike, though we didn’t encounter many hills. Or rocks.

TRF:

I really enjoyed the idea that firstly you can have an adventure on pretty much any bike (without all the gear), and secondly that Green Roads allow you get away from the norm pretty quickly and easily. How do you view the idea of trail riding and ‘Green Roads’ in the context of motorcycling in the UK?

Hugo:

I’m a huge fan of trail riding, especially on inappropriate bikes. It adds to the challenge and the entertainment, but it also seems less contentious than riding a 450EXC; I mean, who can object to a scooter?

I usually use a 1981 Morini Camel or a 1948 Matchless 350 (so it’s no wonder I thought that the Piaggio was OK). Obviously the politics around trail riding are difficult these days and the work that the TRF is doing in challenging lane closures is fantastic. On one level I think that everyone who owns an adventure bike should try riding it on green lanes, but I’m mindful of the potential damage (to landscape, bodies, bikes and the image of trail riding) if a herd of GSs get bogged down on a popular trail somewhere scenic.

TRF:

Is it true that the whole film was made in 3 days? Including all the editing?

Hugo:

When we mooted the idea to Lois and Austin Vince they were really enthusiastic and arranged for the brilliant Raphi Goldberg to work with us on the edit. So we left Peterborough on Thursday afternoon travelling by back roads and green lanes. Bike’s art editor Paul Lang rode with us on a trail bike (despite his fear of riding off-road) to do some of the filming. We spent the night camping in a field in Hertfordshire, arrived at the Festival on Friday afternoon, then edited the film on Saturday. The edit was finished ten minutes before the screening that afternoon. It was a bit hairy, but everyone seemed to enjoy the finished film.

hugo-bike-03

TRF:

And who ended up eating the rabbit? Thanks Hugo. Hopefully see you on the trails, but can I suggest sturdier footwear than trainers next time!

Hugo:

We’d probably best gloss over the rabbit’s end, and my footwear, but you might see me on the trails sooner than you think. After years of prevarication I’ve just joined the TRF and want to get along to one of the organised rides sometime in 2017.

If any TRF members haven’t seen Bike recently, I’d love you to claim a free sample copy. Details below.


bike-mag-01