The story behind our virtual cycling routes

Cycling. Almost all of us have done this at least once or twice. The average person will say that cycling is not that complicated at all, but our Route filmers think otherwise. After a day of filming, they return to the office with the most beautiful recordings and stories. You know the recordings, but not the stories. Time to change that.

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Dunseverick Falls, Northern Ireland

We spoke to Vanity, our youngest, but also one of the longest-serving employees at Bike Labyrinth. As Video Editor, you'll find Vanity either in town with her camera in hand or at our office: headphones on, editing software open and preferably with a boba tea in hand. During the past 4 years, she has filmed quite a few routes, including the routes through Ireland. In addition, she has edited almost all routes, and therefore enjoyed all of her colleagues' bloopers.

I think you are the expert when it comes to our cycling routes. What was the best route to film?*

I don't have to think about that for a long time. The trip through Ireland was definitely the most beautiful, with Dunseverick Waterfall as the highlight. Together with another colleague, we walked towards a waterfall overlooking a beautiful cliff. Which is kind of strange by the way, because when you film together you can't talk to each other the whole route! So you walk in silence together enjoying the view and paying attention to whether you capture the most beautiful shots.

Enviable! What's involved in filming a route like this?

It sounds easy, but there are still a few things involved. First you have to load up the van with all the equipment and the bike and then drive to the location and unload it again. Anything can go wrong: you forget a crucial part, there is a delay and the sun is already starting to set, a flat tire, unexpected renovations on location, it suddenly starts raining, and so on. Or worst of all; you find out at the end of a day of cycling that the camera settings are wrong and you can start all over again. There are now 700+ routes on Bike Labyrinth, but I think we've filmed more than 1000 of them. But that footage won’t see the light of day!

We won't ask about the footage, but we are secretly curious about the stories. What is the most exciting thing you experienced while filming?**

The most exciting moment was on the return journey after filming a route in the Netherlands. Everything had worked out and we thought we could sit back during the trip home, but nothing was further from the truth. For this route, we had hired a car and mounted a bike rack on it. This seemed to work fine on the way there, but on the way back, as we drove, we saw the bikes sink a little more and more towards the road! I don't think I have ever been so tense in a car. Now, fortunately, we use vans where the bikes just fit in.

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Oops. Were there any moments you can laugh about afterwards?

From the trip to Ireland, I especially remember wet feet. In the back of our car, there was a permanent line of wet socks and shoes drying. While filming, you're mainly focused on the route and the camera, so you don't realise it when you step in a puddle of water. Or even worse: when a whole wave of water comes over you and you also ruin the footage by screaming. Fortunately, I edit the routes myself and was able to cut the sound...

As a video editor, you naturally see a lot of footage. Do you have a favourite route that you didn't film yourself?

Definitely. The first route I edited four years ago: Mont-Saint-Michel in France. It's like looking at a Disney castle! It's a small village surrounded by water. Highly recommended for cycling with Bike Labyrinth.

By now, do you recognise all our 750+ routes?

Routes are really starting to look alike after so much editing. I can recognise cities or countries faster now though because I see so many routes. You start to recognise styles and architecture a bit. And it can also get you excited; I never used to be a fan of France, but after seeing our footage, I want to discover more of it.

First impression of Bike Labyrinth? Great!

Vanity, Bike Labyrinth Video Editor