Given By Mountains
In the summer of 2016, four of us pedaled across Kyrgyzstan from Lake Issyk Kul to Bishkek. Our several weeks in the Tian Shan—the celestial mountains— gave us much. This movie is about inspiration and the hope of returning the sustenance we receive from a place by putting beauty back into the world.
All three of my travel companions are artists and makers: Joel Caldwell is a professional adventure and conservation photographer whose writing and photos have done so much good in addition to being beautiful. Logan Watts is a graphic designer and is incredible in his own right behind the camera. He is also a writer, and the loveliness and functionality of bikepacking.com, is an expression of his vision as a publisher and editor. And Lucas Winzenburg is a storyteller, Leica film photographer, and cartographer; many of you will know him as the publisher and creative director of the cycling journal Bunyan Velo.
I had a chance to see Joel, Logan, and Lucas draw in Kyrgyzstan and its people and I know that they’ll boomerang those soaring heights in their work.
Travel on bicycle is, in my view, a catalyst for inspiration. The pace, the exhaustion, the vulnerability, and the cyclical cadence extended over time open us to creativity. We connect to sublime landscapes and the kindness of others in order to be refracting lenses for beauty itself.