By Bill Plock
Be sure to check out the upcoming movie, SHARED TERRITORY, filmed and produced by local cyclist and creative expert, Justin Balog. It’s about an adventure across Iceland, making 457 river crossings, conquering Europe’s second largest glacier, navigating volcanoes and meeting some incredible people. The movie will be shown at the Oriental Theater on Thursday March 14th. The doors open at 7pm and the movie starts at 8pm. There will be some live Q&A and raffle prizes including a Moots Baxter bike.
Here is a trailer for the movie to give you a preview of this amazing, epic journey.
I asked Justin three questions about the experience and having ridden with Justin a few times up Lookout Mountain, his favorite local ride, I know how strong he is and how much he loves the outdoors, so I wasn’t surprised at his answers.
1) What did you learn about Iceland you were most surprised about?
Riding through the highlands of Iceland provided an incredible amount of opportunities for surprise and wonder. However, learning about just how volcanic Iceland is, was a bit of surprise. About 15 minutes into the film, we meet with Iceland Search and Rescue, and they tell us our route goes through 3 active volcanoes that could erupt and any moment. That was ’surprising’. I don’t normally plan routes near volcanoes.
2) How did that experience change your outlook on cycling and adventure?
I’ve been a cyclist my entire life, and I’m definitely a different cyclist and person upon returning from this expedition. Re-discovering an ancient passage through the Icelandic Highlands, one of the most remote places in the world, will surely change not only your perspective on cycling, but it will have a significant impact on your life. I’m still coming to terms with what we found out there. In regards to cycling, I will say Prior to this, I had never bike packed before. After 457 river crossings, navigating Europe’s 2nd largest glacier and 3 active volcanoes, I’m pretty confident saying I’m a 100% certified bike packer now.
3) Who was the most interesting person you met and why?
Iceland is filled with nothing but interesting people. We met the president of Iceland (who is really good human being), documentary film makers, musicians, heroes and legends. As for the most interesting, that’s a tough one. I will say Aðalheiður, a professor of Medieval studies at the University of Iceland who appears in the film, is as interesting as they get. For her PhD she translated a newly discovered Icelandic Saga, that was later turned into a play which won the Icelandic version of a Tony Award. I think that’s pretty interesting and cool.
Tickets available in advance here: https://www.sharedterritory.co/tickets