Unhurried - A new film by Markus Stitz

We have been associated with bikepacker and adventure cyclist Markus Stitz for quite a few years now and each time he produces a new video it manages to surpass the previous one. Truly inspirational for anyone interested in bikepacking and adventure riding; and even if your cycling interest lies in other areas, it is still worth a watch for the amazing scenery and videography. The video is embedded below or watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/1xCxTXvyKM0 The press release is copied below also with lots of background information and useful links. Then watch the second video where Markus goes into detail about the kit he used https://youtu.be/cbD--_QBTCY

Unhurried - A new film by Markus Stitz

Unhurried - A new film by Markus Stitz

Unhurried - A new film celebrates the experience of bikepacking Scotland coast to coast on the John Muir Way

In his latest film ‘Unhurried’ Edinburgh-based filmmaker and adventurer Markus Stitz documents his trip on the John Muir Way, one of Scotland's Great Trails. The film reveals a unique coast to coast journey through Scotland’s varied landscapes, history and heritage, during which Markus reflects on one of the great advantages of travelling by bike: being able to slow down and connect more fully with your surroundings.

The John Muir Way links Helensburgh in the west with Dunbar, the birthplace of John Muir, in the east. Using a combination of the waymarked walking and cycling routes, Markus has produced a recommended bikepacking version. A GPX is available to download for free on the John Muir Way and Bikepacking Scotland websites. The route passes through Scotland's first national park, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, and provides a journey of contrasts and the chance to connect with nature, taking advantage of the green spaces that link coasts, villages, towns and the capital city, Edinburgh.

Since becoming the first person to circumnavigate the world on one gear in 2015/16, Markus has developed a number of long-distance cycling routes through Bikepacking Scotland, including the Wild About Argyll Trail and the Go East Lothian Trail, which both use sections of the John Muir Way. Bikepacking is a relatively new form of cycle touring, where luggage is carried in bags attached to the saddle, frame and handlebars. To promote his routes and bikepacking as an activity, Markus has gradually moved into filmmaking in recent years. His new film has been created in cooperation with the Green Action Trust, a charity focused on environmental and regeneration outcomes for Scotland, which manages the route. He comments:

“My introduction to bikepacking was by racing the iconic Highland Trail 550 in 2014. As in any race the clock never stops until you reach the finish line, so my early experiences were defined by pausing as little as possible. And while I still love the thrill of races, most recently I finished the Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco on a singlespeed bike, I also think that bikepacking offers a unique opportunity to slow down and reconnect with nature. And that’s exactly the sentiment I want to bring across with the new film. Working together with Gavin Morton from the Green Action Trust I created a film that is deliberately slow and pays attention to the finer details. When selecting the music, I was also inspired by the simplicity of Satie’s GymnopĂ©die, written during John Muir’s lifetime, and think the film is the perfect antidote to my early bikepacking experiences.”

“John Muir made the United States his home away from Scotland and founded the National Parks movement. I moved to Scotland eleven years ago from Germany and hope that through my work I can inspire others to use bikepacking and cycling as an alternative means of discovering the country. In my opinion the John Muir Way offers a great opportunity for first-time and experienced bikepackers alike, as it is a waymarked route well-connected to infrastructure, but still has a bit of wilderness left in it. The John Muir Way perfectly captures Scotland’s very different facets, from bustling urban centres with great architecture to the remoteness of Scotland’s first National Park. And while the contrasts are stark at times, for example when leaving the remoteness of the hills around Helensburgh and then travelling through a bustling place like Balloch, the whole journey reminded me that in the end everything is connected.”
Detailed route descriptions and pictures of the John Muir Way can be found at johmuirway.org and bikepackingscotland.com/johnmuirway.

About the John Muir Way

The John Muir Way is managed by the Green Action Trust, a charity focused on environmental and regeneration outcomes for Scotland. One of Scotland's Great Trails, the John Muir Way offers walkers and cyclists a unique journey through Scotland’s landscapes, history and heritage. Traversing central Scotland coast to coast in 134 miles, it links Helensburgh in the west with Dunbar in the east (birthplace of America's 'father of national parks' John Muir). The route symbolically passes through Scotland's own first national park, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and offers a chance to connect with nature, taking advantage of the green spaces that link our coasts, villages, towns and even the capital city. This is a journey of contrasts, taking in woodlands, beaches and canals, as well as rivers and parks through urban areas. The John Muir Way also offers the opportunity to discover Scotland's ancient Roman history, engineering heritage and several UNESCO World Heritage sites on the way. For both domestic and international visitors this mixture of landscape, culture and history will provide a view of Scotland not seen from any other perspective. Good transport links and plentiful accommodation make it easy to plan a coast to coast expedition, or split the route into sections to be completed over day trips or weekends.
Promotion of the John Muir Way, including this film, has been financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community through the LEADER 2014–2020 Programme and by Local Authorities along the John Muir Way.
www.johnmuirway.org Facebook @thejohnmuirway, Twitter @johnmuirway, Instagram @johnmuirway #johnmuirway

About Bikepacking Scotland

Founded in 2017 by round the world cyclist Markus Stitz Bikepacking Scotland’s vision is to offer sustainable and progressive tourism products to make bikepacking more accessible for everyone. In recent years Bikepacking Scotland has successfully worked with Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative, Visit East Lothian, Scottish Borders Council, Highland Perthshire Cycling and partners in the cycle and outdoor industries to develop a comprehensive network of bikepacking routes in Scotland, downloadable to users for free as GPX files.
www.bikepackingscotland.com, Facebook @bikepackingscot, Twitter @bikepackingscot, Instagram @bikepackingscot #bikepackingscotland

Unhurried - A new film by Markus Stitz
Unhurried - A new film by Markus Stitz
Words: Tim Ward and Markus Stitz | Video and images: Markus Stitz