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Old 07-11-11, 09:48 AM   #1
BurningTorchPro
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Film producer to ride over 700 miles through mountains. I need advice!

I am a film producer riding 700 miles this month for a film with 100 lbs of gear.

Hey everyone,

I am a filmmaker working on a documentary that is going to involve riding 700 miles through the mountains without a support vehicle, and pulling a 100 lb trailer with all of my camera gear and survival gear. I need some help! What should I plan for? How should I train? I need to talk to some people that have done something like this. Here is a link to my blog so you can read a little more about it and see exactly what I'm doing.
Show your support and offer me any advice and follow my blog!!
http://burningtorchproductions.wordpress.com/
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Old 07-11-11, 11:07 AM   #2
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Do we get listed in film credits ?
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Old 07-11-11, 11:11 AM   #3
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Err, ok.....

Why are you doing this?

Why do you think you need 100 pounds of gear? Are you taking a bunch of Arri lights or something?

Do you have any experience with bike touring? If not, then why are you making a documentary about it, especially for something that (to us at least) is actually rather routine?
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Old 07-11-11, 11:16 AM   #4
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Good luck.
One question: How are you going to get good long distance panoramic shots of you riding in the mountains?
Or should i read the blog first?.......another question.
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Old 07-11-11, 11:43 AM   #5
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I'm confused why professional gear is still so heavy. Why not use a Canon EOS 5D or XM2 at about 1-2kg weight.
For power-hungry cameras you will need a solar charger and a front dynamo hub. The best is German-made SON. Shimano ones are almost as good. Most round-the-world speed riders use dynamo hubs.

If you cut down you equipment load to sensible amounts, you really don't need special training, you will get fit on the tour. You need some saddle-time to condition your butt and to make sure the bike fits well.

I suggest that you fill your bag with some equivalent weight of sandbags and take a weekend shakedown tour so you can rely on your bike and camping kit. Unless you want to film that famous scene: "A storm is approaching fast, it's getting dark, Ive never put my tent up before, things are getting tense, look, really tense, will I survive the night...come back after the add break to find out"
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Old 07-11-11, 12:09 PM   #6
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Typing 100 pounds on a keyboard and pushing it (either by pedal or foot) up a hill are two very different things.

If you can't cut down the weight (get a partner to share the load? Get a friend to drive the gear? Hire a Grip?), then you will have to make concessions to it.

Ray
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Old 07-11-11, 04:08 PM   #7
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Load crap on bike and trailer,point in direction of travel,turn crank.Prepare to suffer for a few days.Don't overdo it the first few days.Have fun!

That's alot of weight....Take your time the first few days,if your not used to this,you have a surprise coming.

Last edited by Booger1; 07-11-11 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 07-11-11, 04:10 PM   #8
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Good luck and enjoy it, I think you will be fine, except the 100 lbs sounds a bit more then I'd go with, but that is ok also.
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Old 07-11-11, 05:14 PM   #9
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Don't set out on your 700 mile trip till you have done a weekend say 75-100 miles.
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Old 07-11-11, 11:51 PM   #10
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Don't set out on your 700 mile trip till you have done a weekend say 75-100 miles.
+1 - and I'll add also do a long trip in Rain/Wind/junk to make sure your gear (and you) can stand up to that also. I guess as far as video shots, you can do a survivorman trick and do stuff twice (once to set up the camera, then go back and do it again).
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Old 07-19-11, 09:23 AM   #11
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Pro films take pro gear and it adds up

I am doing this because it is a pretty sizable journey given the circumstances. I will be traveling through one of the most remote deserts in the US where temps are going to live around 105. The gear includes 2 cameras, sound equipment, mics, cables, one light, tripod, camera mounts to my bike and trailer, wireless kit, 3 lenses, sleeping bag, tent, food, WATER, water filter, batteries, batteries, batteries, solar array, pelican cases, food, tools, and a few other odds and ins. Most people don't realize that amount of gear it takes to make a professional film. You need much more than just a DLSR. This is why I will have so much weight. You may think it is rather routine but you are part of a niche group. I am not a part of this group. I am a film producer and for someone like me to leave my phone and email for 3 weeks, it is absolutely unheard of. I respond to about 100 emails a day on anywhere from 1 to 5 different films being made at the same time. It isn't the journey that is meaningful, it's the perspective in which you have going into the journey.


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Err, ok.....

Why are you doing this?

Why do you think you need 100 pounds of gear? Are you taking a bunch of Arri lights or something?

Do you have any experience with bike touring? If not, then why are you making a documentary about it, especially for something that (to us at least) is actually rather routine?
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Old 07-19-11, 11:00 AM   #12
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Are you entirely certain you can survive such a trip?

Pulling a 100 pound trailer through 700 miles of 105 degree heat seems extreme to me.

Just curious, do you have a back up plan if you get in trouble?

I see no reason why you have to haul the movie gear. Carry your own gear and have someone else carry the movie gear.

What is the point of doing this on your own?

Ray
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Old 07-19-11, 11:36 AM   #13
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Well that's only about 35 miles a day with a couple rest days.That's doable,even for a beginner.If your not used to this,the first few days are going to be tough.

Take your time at first,drink before your thirsty,eat before your hungry,get LOTS of fluids so you don't cramp up,eat some salty things and some bananas if you can.Wear a hat and sunscreen,light colored clothing,the sun will suck the energy right out of you.Your going to be really hungry,so plan on eating alot more than your used to.

Have fun,be careful,bad things can happen in that much heat if your not prepared for it.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:53 AM   #14
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Two words: Bad idea.

No touring experience, carrying about twice to three times the weight most would carry, through mountains and heat. Is this a joke?

If not, then you are setting yourself up for trouble. What kind of shape are you in? If you are answering 100 e-mails a day, it doesn't sound like you've got much time for physical activities. Even if you are in decent shape, attempting that could result in blown knees, or much worse. You're asking how to train, yet you say the ride is this month. There is no time left to train for a trip like that. My advice - do the trip on a motorcycle. Or do the trip as planned, but do it next year after you've trained, and trained, and trained.... Or, go ahead and just do it. Maybe you'll prove me wrong.
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Old 07-19-11, 12:20 PM   #15
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Water, food, energy to run solo for 21 days in excruciating heat with no prior experience? Load up your bike with 100 pounds and trial it around for a week doing 35 miles a day and see how it feels, now shave off some speed to deal with heat, exhaustion, and unaccounted for issues ( like doubling back for the shot ). What is your plans in an emergency? If you get a hole in your water supply you could be dry in a matter of hours somewhere you didn't expect.

Get a touring partner who has done this before and maybe they can keep you alive (or talk you out of it).
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Old 07-19-11, 12:36 PM   #16
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Get a touring partner who has done this before and maybe they can keep you alive (or talk you out of it).
Probably the best advice yet. Splitting the load two or better yet three ways would help a lot. Maybe consider hiring someone if you have to.

That said it is definitely possible to do this by yourself, but it will be hard and possibly dangerous. Take all reasonable precautions; stay hydrated, stay fueled, and so on...
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Old 07-19-11, 12:44 PM   #17
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Really, you come here and seek advice when the trip is planned for July 24th?

Calculate the largest time you will be out of water contact and then realize that each hour of riding is probably 1.5-2 pounds of water at that temperature. 35 miles/day would easily be 4 hours in the saddle with that kind of load or 8 pounds of water per day you are out of contact, probably more to be on the safe side. 2 days water supply will cost you at least 20 pounds.

How do you intend on repairing the bike when you get a flat, a sidewall puncture, chain, or shifter? What if you have a mechanical problem with the burley trailer?
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Old 07-19-11, 01:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BurningTorchPro View Post
You may think it is rather routine but you are part of a niche group. I am not a part of this group. I am a film producer and for someone like me to leave my phone and email for 3 weeks, it is absolutely unheard of. I respond to about 100 emails a day on anywhere from 1 to 5 different films being made at the same time. It isn't the journey that is meaningful, it's the perspective in which you have going into the journey.
Translation:

I am taking my bike and camera gear into the desert without the necessary training and preparation to put myself in compromising positions and capture it all on film. After all, a good film needs to have conflict, hardships, someone dying or on the verge of it, and a love story. By not preparing I am actually making my film better, but I don't expect you to realize this.





Personally I can't wait to see how he manages to weave in the love story.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:00 PM   #19
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So plan for and train are the questions, sorta sounds too late for either, but never fear.

- Load crap on bike and trailer,point in direction of travel,turn crank.Prepare to suffer for a few days.Don't overdo it the first few days.Have fun!

That is pretty much it if you are in reasonable health, and have a body with some cycling ability, possibly left over from decades ago. But he key points are to have a bike that will allow you to maintain a constant effort level, and to not overdo it the first few days. Read lots of gears that you know how to use, and no psycho schedule. Even then there is an equasion around hill size, heat, load, and gearing that would kill anyone.

With what you are saying, I would suggest that you put a huge effort into getting the brakes on your bike right. They need to be powerful, have at least 3 sets, and I would personally move heaven and earth to get a brake for the trailer. Either manual, or auto. WIth 100 pounds behind a newbie you have a real risk of the trailer taking over for you, and anyway, it is light person weight, and needs it`s own brake.

Too bad you can`t get this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9x1Jkl_680

Last edited by MassiveD; 07-19-11 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:42 PM   #20
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Go for It!

Totally do-able ride. Even with 100lbs of gear. The only challenge will be the mountain assents. Speed is not your objective so make sure your gear ratios are designed for climbing and the bike,tires and gears are proven brands for long distance touring. I rode a fully loaded mountain bike 4000 kl through South America having not touched a bicycle in 20 years, so you won't have any insurmountable problems. You and your load is 250 lbs not counting the bike itself; there is nothing impossible about your trip.
Have fun and I wish I were there to join you.
cheers!
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Old 07-19-11, 10:02 PM   #21
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I live in the desert southwest (Arizona) and have ridden in temps of 100+ for over 33 summers.
Highest temp: 117; humidity 2 %. Brutal! . . . and that was commuting to/from work and NOT hauling 100 lbs of stuff.
You are being (take your pick): unrealistic/inexperienced riding and touring/foolhardy or just plain stupid.
Cut down the load to 30 lbs and it would be do-able.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:48 PM   #22
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Just read on your blog where your bike has rear (and front) shocks. Those shocks will suck the energy right out of you on a road, especially when climbing a hill. If you can do it, ditch the rear shock at least.

I think you'll be fine (you can mountain climb) as mental attitude is 90 percent of touring and 10 percent of touring is equipment. The worse thing is you give up the tour but it would still be very interesting to see the film regardless.
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Old 07-20-11, 02:24 PM   #23
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Here's your answer

My girlfriend just decided to ride three days of the journey right before I go into the most dangerous part of the ride, The Red Desert.


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Translation:

I am taking my bike and camera gear into the desert without the necessary training and preparation to put myself in compromising positions and capture it all on film. After all, a good film needs to have conflict, hardships, someone dying or on the verge of it, and a love story. By not preparing I am actually making my film better, but I don't expect you to realize this.

Personally I can't wait to see how he manages to weave in the love story.
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Old 07-20-11, 02:26 PM   #24
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I plan to carry at least one gallon of water for each day. This is why my trailer will be so heavy. I have been working on bikes for my whole life. I have plenty at spare parts and some tricks up my sleeve to improvise. The longest I will go without a town or anything is 3.5 days
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Old 07-20-11, 02:31 PM   #25
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I guess it all makes for a good story then! If you doubt me, keep following my blog to see if I make it. Here's a link that gives you a little more info about who I am and the film. http://burningtorchproductions.wordpress.com/ The reason I can't get my load down to 30 lbs is because I have more than that in camera gear. The idea of doing without a support vehicle is making the journey seem more dramatic. The distance isn't that impressive but the fact that I will be pulling this load through the mountains and desert makes it a lot more impressive. Can I do it? I don't know. Am I going to try? Yes. I leave in four days.

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I live in the desert southwest (Arizona) and have ridden in temps of 100+ for over 33 summers.
Highest temp: 117; humidity 2 %. Brutal! . . . and that was commuting to/from work and NOT hauling 100 lbs of stuff.
You are being (take your pick): unrealistic/inexperienced riding and touring/foolhardy or just plain stupid.
Cut down the load to 30 lbs and it would be do-able.
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