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.
‘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 Gymnopédie, written during John Muir’s lifetime, and think the film is the perfect antidote to my early bikepacking experiences.’
The John Muir Way links Helensburgh in the west with Dunbar, the birthplace of John Muir, in the east. 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.