Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Motorcycle Movies - Part II

A few years ago, I blogged about a few good motorcycle movies, and asked suggestions from my fellow cyberbikers. Must have to do with the long winters up here on the Canadian east coast, but I like to stock-up on motorcycle-related entertainment to get me through the long months of hibernation. There were the obvious choices like Easy Rider and On Any Sunday, and a few more obscure ones like Dust to Glory and Cycles South.

Well, my movie library has grown since then (thanks to Whitehorse), but there’s one movie I just wanted to single out from all the others since I found myself so interested by it. It’s called Riding Solo to the Top of the World, and it’s the work of Indian documentary videographer Gaurav Jani.

Now, I loved all the Boorman/MacGregor series and I appreciate what they’ve done for motorcycle adventure touring the world over. One of the sales reps at the local BMW dealership even told me that some people walk-in asking for the “Long Way Round” bike. But for all their bitching and whining, these two guys weren’t exactly roughing it as much as they’d want us to think. Something breaks down? The accompanying trucks will have the spare parts. Problems with the GS? Phone a tech at BMW on your satellite phone... Perks like that aren’t exactly available to mere mortals like me.

That’s where Jani shines. He goes from Jaipur to the top of the world, Changthang Plateau in Northern Tibet (altitude: 16,000 feet)... and he does it alone... on a 350cc Royal Enfield! Now, that’s courage. He documented the whole journey with a Panasonic DVX-100 camcorder that he only started using a few days before he left. 70 days later, he returned to Mumbai with over 40 hours of material which was eventually edited down to a 94 minute documentary.

It is, in my opinion, one of the best motorcycle documentaries available. Everything from the music to the scenery to the journey itself transports you. Oh, and it was completely self-financed. No big producers! In fact, the DVD release was funded by 60kph, a motorcycle touring club in India, and Jani’s brother.

I highly recommend it.

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." - G. K. Chesterton

4 comments:

Giest said...

That movie has quickly jumped to my must see list. Thanks Lucky!

LumpyCam said...

I've never heard of this one - will definitely check it out now.

John Ashford said...

I've got to get it!

Ride on,
Torch

irondad said...

I agree there's a huge difference between a real adventurer and some pampered movie stars.

Thanks for the heads up.