“Sometimes reality arrives and it just doesn’t fit with our expectations. You have to keep an open mind and accept what comes, to not be a prisoner in the present time of a ‘future’ you imagined in the past.

Around every corner of the new filmed-by-bike feature length documentary, Vidaje, you’ll find bits of wisdom like this. They’ll hit you right in the feels with their vulnerability and authenticity. Words that just resonate so deep, you find yourself declaring to your screen and anyone within ear shot “Yes! I feel that but never knew how to SAY that!”

Check out the trailer here:

The author of these words, Albert Sans, has compiled a small fraction of his priceless experiences trekking South America on his Xtracycle FreeRadical converted bike, lovingly named Ona. His poignant words are accentuated by scenes of beauty and heart ache, all the while music performed by the filmmaker himself plays in the background, pulling at your heart strings. I was stunned at the quality and sheer quantity of Albert’s footage and as an artist myself, I was blown away with the time, attention and care he poured into sharing this story from the day he first set out.

I think what really struck me most about this film was the care Albert took in really connecting with the people in the places he visited. Sometimes tourists take pictures and share stories that make the people and places seem like props in the rider’s stories. But Albert makes it clear: he is merely a passerby in the the lives and stories of these people. His appreciation and empathy for them is unmistakable and unwavering. This quote really sums it up:

“As travelers, if rather than jumping from one side to another tasting the sweet nectar of hospitality, or rather than just stopping in some branches to have a rest as a migrant bird, we would just slow down the rhythm and take a look at the root of the places, diving in the depths of those people, for good and for bad. Some of them will become soul mates, others, disappointments or surprises, but they’ll all be more real.”

Vidaje might be just the kick in the proverbial padded bike shorts you need to get the gears turning on those summer adventure plans. Be it a ride through rugged and remote mountain-scapes or a sub-24 hour bike camp trip to the state park outside of town, Vidaje has something for riders of every type.

You can rent the full feature length documentary On Demand for $6 through Vimeo here.

Albert’s Instagram account fills us with joy on a frequent basis. Follow his adventures here.

You can also support this artist’s work through a direct donation here.