Many years ago, my first foray into reality television was working on a show called The Great Biker Build Off.
The concept was simple, find two motorcycle builders, give them thirty days to build a bike from scratch and have them ride the finished bike to a motorcycle show and let the fans vote on which one they liked better. I’m not a motorcycle guy, but even I loved this format. We worked literally, clinically insane hours, and we flew every four days when we were shooting builders who were far apart. It was challenge to keep up with.
BUT, as luck would have it one of the jobs that fell to me for three episodes (all in the same year) was to work to figure out which bike show would be the best one to for our two builders to take their bikes to given the date we figured we’d be done shooting, draw about a 300-400 mile radius circle around that show location, and map out a motorcycle ride that we thought would be the most beautiful *and* still offer an opportunity for us to get a helicopter into a particularly beautiful portion of the ride for our aerial shots.
The best part was that after we mapped it out, I would get to take 3 or 4 days to fly to the starting point, jump in a car with my camera, and drive the route; stopping to take pictures of places I thought were really great and assessing things like fuel availability, places to stop with cast and crew for the night, and a place for the aforementioned helicopter to land, pick up our cameraman and producer or myself, get our shots, and get out – hopefully without having to bring in an avgas fuel tanker.
This was almost a decade ago now, and for years I’ve been meaning to share a Google Maps route of the rides we took that year, and one ride we mapped, but didn’t get to take.
Finally, I’ve gotten around to making KML files of the rides for my episodes and wanted to share them with the broader world. If you loved these shows, or if you’re looking for a good 2-3 day ride in some fun parts of the states, stay tuned, here’s the map from the first episode I ever worked on that took us from Fort Lauderdale, across Alligator Alley, up across the Sunshine Skyway bridge (where we did this episodes helicopter shots – great fun chasing seagulls between takes!) through St. Petersburg and up through Atlanta to Norcross, GA to the Great American Motorcycle Show.
Below is an embed of that route on a Google map; and I’ll be posting a couple of more from New Mexico, through Monument Valley to Tombstone, Arizona for Matt Hotch vs. The Martin Bros; and the route never traveled but mapped out for Mike Brown and Billy Lane
Without further ado, I give you the Great Biker Build Off, Episode 7 Ride Map.