240 Miles: How far is that?
Before Mark Beaumont headed around the World to attempt to break the round the World cycle record, we filmed his very final 240 mile training ride across Scotland for Visit Scotland, who funded the whole project. The route was from Tayinloan in Argyll in the SW of Scotland to Aberdeen in the NE of Scotland. The route went through two National Parks: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and Cairngorm. We went through some of Scotland's most beautiful countryside, everything from coastal vistas to big mountain scenery. The route wasn't flat either. There were several big punchy climbs in there, including the Rest and Be Thankful, the road out of Pitlochry, and up to Glenshee Ski Centre. The route was selected to show off the diversity of landscape across Scotland, which it does with aplomb.
We wanted to film this final training ride to help put into context just how extreme, challenging and relentless Mark's around the world attempt is. Mark is planning to ride 240 miles, or 16 hours a day every day for 80 days to break the round the world cycle record, but we think it's quite difficult to comprehend just how far 240 miles is. Hopefully this video helps to shed some light on it as well as showing the amazing diversity of Scotland and just what a wonderful cycling destination it is.
As a film crew (myself, Kieran Duncan and Sam Short) we wanted a challenge. This was a day of one-take shooting. Mark wasn't going to stop and re-do the shot, so we had to be set-up and switched on, which was chellenging as there was a lot of waiting involved as well. It didn't always work out like that. I got set up for a great shot in Inveraray only for a car and two lorries to ruin the shot - not the only shot, that day, spoiled by lorries and traffic. Sometimes Mark came through quicker than we anticipated and we only just got the shot set up. As all the filming was conducted from the roadside there was a real challenge with finding places to park - some amazing shots were missed because we just couldn't get close enough to park. However, with three ground-based cameras and a drone, I think we pretty much had it covered and got some pretty sweet shots.
We had to be up at 3:00 AM to start filming all the preparation for the start of the ride at 4 AM. The day we chose for the ride was summer solstice and turned out to be amazing from a weather perspective. We were up before sunrise, so we managed to capture Mark riding through sunrise, which was a massive highlight of the day and we captured some stunning shots. The rest of the day involved driving and scouting out vistas that would look good as backdrops to Mark riding through the landscape. Our day didn't finish until 10:30 PM when we captured the sunset in Aberdeen, overlooking the city. It was a great day!
It's the first time in my life I have driven that far across Scotland in a single day and it really did highlight how diverse our landscapes are and how quickly they change across the country. For such a small country we really do deliver on diversity!
We are producing two edits from this project, the one above, which has more of the focus on Scotland with it's diverse and stunning landscapes, and a much longer edit that will focus more on the round the world attempt and how Mark plans to deal with it. Thanks to Carron Tobin of Rural Dimensions for sorting out all the logistics, and to Mark for pedalling his way across Scotland.
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