Visual diary of a solo cycling journey
playing around with different fonts and colors. do I want the clean look or more a digital inside into my diary?
freewheeling / proxima nova
freewheeling / bad dog regular
freewheeling / mr eaves sans bold
freewheeling / balloon URW Drop
route / map animation
- video footage of the journey (mainly the surroundings)
- video footage of Renée cycling
- animated route on the map
- archive footage of first time cycling
- archive footage of nature ice skating in winter '21
The film is a visual diary of a young woman, cycling solo for two weeks. The voice-over is the main character expressing her thoughts and learnings during the journey. It is an intimate and personal look inside her head.
The main structure of the film is the journey from Amsterdam to Valloire, France. Per day the film shows an animated route and video footage. But these are the main questions answered in the film; why did I want to go? how did I start cycling? what did this trip teach me? These are stories, woven into the main structure of the journey.
Why did I want to leave?
I felt the urge to leave everything behind for a while. Temporarily escaping from structures, regularity and the pattern of everyday life. My mental space felt heavy and cluttered. So when my parents said they would go on vacation to France, I thought; oh, I can cycle there.
After 15 years I had opened a chapter of my life, that had long been hidden. I wanted to distance myself from it for a while. "Little boys don't die" is a documentary in the making about the death of my little brother. In this documentary I ask myself if I really cycled through it, like I was told. In my bikepacking journey I wanted to reflect on the process of this project.
How did I start cycling?
My dad taught me how to cycle when I was five years old, but this wasn't the cycling I do now (archive footage of Renée cycling "la la la"). Cycling as a sport is part of my Belgian family. My grandfather passed it on to my mother and she eventually passed it on to me. But this last passing happened recently, because prior I was never interested and played other sports like football and ice skating.
(Sound ice skating, footage natural ice skating)
After years of mild winters, February of 2021 brought us the long desired natural ice. It brought a sense of solace in the dark winter months. As a kid I had grown up with ice skating on the natural icerink in the village, but the chance of the ice freezing enough became rares as the temperatures rose. So during the week of ice in February I was outside for most of the day. I revived from the joy I got out of the tiny adventures I went on. I flourished and knew I wanted to continue adventuring and being outside. After the ice had melted I hopped on the old bike of my mom and never stopped.
What did this trip teach me?
I: the importance of nature for our mental health
Taking care of our planet is taking care of our minds.
II: representing female cyclists
Keywords: longing, connect, empowerment
I want to tell this story to represent women on the bike. I want to show how you can travel sustainably, if you're able-bodied. I want to show the importance of presence and nature for mental health. I want to encourage other people to explore.