One of the criticisms we sometimes hear at road.cc is that it's all doom and gloom - cyclist deaths, poor infrastructure and potholes. And although that is one side of being a bike rider, sometimes we all need to reconnect with of the simplicity, pleasure and adventure offered by the humble bicycle.
The new film in Janapar, out on DVD on Tuesday November 27th, offers plenty of beauty and romance as it follows 23-year-old Tom Allen setting off on his overladen touring bike without a map or guidebook, to discover 32 countries over four years.
By the end of his journey, he has not only conquered mountain ranges and 13,000 miles, but has fallen in love with a beautiful Armenian-Iranian girl and persuaded her to get on a bike too.
But it doesn't all go smoothly - she doesn't take easily to life on the road, and when Tom and Tenny arrive on their bikes for a surprise visit to her parents in Tehran. It doesn’t go well, her parents failing to be enamoured at the prospect of this strange, unshaven Englishman pedaling off into the sunset with their daughter.
Here's a sneak preview of what he got up to:
Producer/ Director James Newman said: "The footage spanned four years and three continents. Far beyond a simple journey, it depicted entire chapters of its subject’s life.
"Wrestling with the film’s structure, it soon became clear that the story was theatrical in scope. It possessed the power to inspire and to change the way people thought about life. It deserved more than to be told in simple chronological sequence.
"Thankfully, the feature-length format provided the creative freedom to do the story justice.
"Janapar has universal themes. It was beautifully filmed by Tom with an unusual level of honesty. He invested a great deal of trust in the lens, and we hope that this is reflected in the finished film."
The DVD would make a great present to yourself, or another cycling enthusiast, and if you get in quick and register your interest here, you'll get a special discount code to use once it's released on Tuesday.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.