What is Robohorse TV?
Robohorse TV is Pia Leong and myself, Jimmy Purtill. We are a team of bicycle travelling film-makers, who use our bikes as tools to bring us to out-of-the-way places. We search for interesting experiences, people and landscapes to capture in our films, to entertain the people who subscribe to this website.
In 2012 I decided to cycle from Germany to India, and document the experience in a Video-Blog. I wanted to show people in real time, that the world is a safe place, inhabited by friendly people, and maybe motivate some other nutters out there to do something memorable.
Robohorse TV was born.
I was taken in by so many wonderful, hospitable people, and had so many epic experiences, many of which I captured in short films, which can be found on this website.
When I returned to Europe, I found a partner in crime, Pia Leong, and together we came up with an idea for a new journey, and a new series of films.
We looked over the footage from my first journey, and came up with a video-format that we thought would best capture the magic of a bicycle tour.
We decided to focus on our two favourite aspects of bicycle travel. The experience of traveling through and living in breathtaking landscapes, and the warm encounters with locals, inherent to travelling through remote places on a bicycle. We would capture both of these elements in short films, which we decided to call Remote Encounters.
We picked a route through South America, which would lead us through some of ths most epic and remote landscapes on earth, and spent the next seven months on an unforgetable filmmaking mission. We were taken in by so many incredibly hospitable locals, many of whom we captured in a unique series of character portraits.
During this same journey, another format of pure adventure films was born. I had been following the development of a new phenomenon from the U.S. called Bikepacking. The basic idea is touring with a mountain-bike, along tracks that would normally only be traversible on foot. In order to do this, you have to leave two thirds of your bicycle touring luggage behind, so you can push and carry your bike for prolonged stretches. The advantages of this sort of bicycle travel are that you get further in to nature, further away from traffic, and the riding becomes TOTALLY GNARLY DUDE!!!!
I had thought the challenges and wild nature inherent in such a journey would automatically make for interesting films, so we downloaded a couple of gps routes from bikepacking websites, and incorporated them in to our route across South America. We bit off more than we could chew.. We were on touring bikes, and the extra luggage proved to be a huge problem. Nonetheless!! The films that we made during these stretches "Huilo Huilo - Bikepacking for beginners" and "Monkey Puzzle" have given our filmmaking a whole new direction. This led to a third film in this format called "Altiplano" which we filmed during a bicycle journey across the arid high altitude plains of South West Bolivia. It is our biggest filmmaking achievement yet. We are in the process of sending it to film-festivals, and it will be available on this website when the time is right!
There are also a new series of Remote Encounters films in the works, which will be available shortly. On seeing the original series, one of our sponsors commisioned us to make another four films, during a journey from Berlin, Germany to Venice, Italy. They will also be airing here soon.