Across the California Desert in 30 Hours

Filmmaker Brian Vernor captures a beautiful and brutal bike trip spanning 192 miles and 24k vertical feet of desert terrain on 16mm and Super 8 film


Just about a year ago we spent six days bikepacking across Oregon, covering 364 miles over six days with 14,000 feet of elevation gain in every type of weather. It was brutal. And beautiful. Now nearly double the required climbing, replace rain with triple digit heat, and cut the time to just 30 hours and you’ve got something akin to the route ridden by three friends in Hi Lo Cali, a new film by Brian Vernor.

The concept seems simple—bike from California’s lowest bike-accessible point to the highest bike-accessible point. The trip would be unsupported, with three caches of food and water strategically placed throughout the route to hydrate, replenish, and lift spirits. Riders Kenny Rule, Izzy Cohan, and Brian Vernor, on Cannondale bikes, would film themselves (in accordance with the whole “unsupported” concept).


In the moment, the original idea remained simple, though never easy. At the end 192 miles and 24k vertical feet were covered in just 30 hours, with 70 degree temperature swings throughout to top it off. From Badwater Basin to White Mt. Peak the trip was a success. And created one hell of a riveting short.

Related articles
Q&A: How a Self-Taught Woodworker Built a DIY Cabin in 55 Days
How a Self-Taught Woodworker Built a Cabin During Lockdown for Under $13,000

Filmmaker Graeme Jenvey discusses his $13k backyard cabin build, shares advice for fellow builders, and reflects on lessons learned

In Australia, Three Shipping Containers Form an Off-Grid Holiday Home
In Australia, Three Shipping Containers Combine to Form a Modern Holiday Home

The subject of a new film series by Shelter streaming service, this clever private getaway pushes design constraints to the limits in coastal Victoria

How to Hop Trains to Montana During a Pandemic, on Super 8 Film
Video: A Super 8 Film of Train Hopping Across the American West

Three friends, unemployed because of COVID-19, embrace the Great Depression-era practice of illegally riding rails in search of adventure

Q&A: District Vision Co-Founder Max Vallot on Running & Meditation
District Vision Founder Max Vallot on Running, Mindfulness & Social Media

An inspiring conversation with the fashion exec turned mindful athlete on how to stay centered and balanced amid a culture of noise

4 Animated Series (and 1 Manga) that Celebrate the Great Outdoors
Find Adventure At Home With These 5 Animated Series that Celebrate the Great Outdoors

Escape to other worlds of illustrated adventure offering wit, heart, and sprawling landscapes, in under 30 min

Go.Go.Go: Skiing, Surfing, a Super 8 Camera, and Micro RV in Japan
Video: Super 8 Film Documents an Epic Ski & Surf Road Trip Through Japan by RV

Pro skiers Callum Pettit & Mike Henitiuk roam the South Island in a micro RV to ski, surf, and explore in new short film

More articles
Across the California Desert in 30 Hours

Gallery Mode


TF Editors

Back to article
☮️ Welcome to Field Mag

Get the best new gear, dreamy cabins, and epic adventure photography delivered to your inbox each week with Field Mag newsletters

Click Here to Subscribe
☮️  Welcome to Field Mag