Film: Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights

Borrowing the title of a classic bothy book for this attractive short film, 'micro-adventurer' Alastair Humphreys escapes the frenetic pace of city life for the simple pleasures of a bike and a bothy... or rather several bothies, in classic locations from Fisherfield and Skye to the Cairngorms.

Via a series of spectacular self-filmed bike rides to some of the most picturesque of Scotland's bothies, Humphreys introduces bothying culture, its open free-to-all ethos and its 'austere simplicity'.

His voiceover strays once or twice towards the cheesy, and the whole thing smacks a little of self promotion (he is after all a 'motivational speaker'), but he still manages to keep an authentic feel, and his unfeigned delight in the locations is infectious.

But why does he pretend that bothy locations are still secrets only passed on through word of mouth, when grid references for every Mountain Bothies Association-maintained hut are now just a mouse click away? Presumably the fiction helps lend romance to the film, with the added benefit that it lets you play name that bothy while you're watching it too.

Though this film has no official connection to them, there's a good mention for the Mountain Bothies Association, the charity that looks after scores of the best huts, and without whose work Scottish bothying would be far poorer.

  • For more on what Alastair Humphreys gets up to see his website


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