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“From the Doorstep” – An Exclusive Premiere of an Urban Bikerafting Adventure Tale

Alpacka Raft Partners With Pursuit Films to Launch an Urban Bikerafting Adventure Tale, “From The Doorstep,” Online, July 13th

In partnership with Pursuit Films, we premiered “From the Doorstep,” an urban bike and packrafting tale featuring adventurer Brian Donnelly, at the Mancos Valley River Film Festival on Saturday, June 30th. And, we launched it online on Friday, July 13th! Watch the film above, and get a look at the behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film in this blog post.

From the Doorstep, by Pursuit Films. An Urban bikerafting adventure tale.
After hearing Brian Donnelly’s tales of bikerafting and camping in and around the city, his friends Steven Mortinson and Bryson Steele decided they wanted to make a film featuring Donnelly’s urban adventures. Mortinson, the director, and Steele, the cinematographer, followed Donnelly around for two days as he rode and rafted through snow, hail, rain, and some sunshine in Portland, Ore. (and they recorded him playing the violin for the film). The trio started at Donnelly’s home one snowy morning, rode to the Sandy River, floated to the Columbia River, and camped on Government Island (a public island that feels remote, says Steele, but is just across the river from the city).
From the Doorstep, by Pursuit Films - An urban bikerafting adventure tale.
For Mortinson and Steele, making the film gave them the opportunity to explore a new subject, exploration of their urban environment. “It was different in that it was this outdoor adventure, but our homes were just 20 minutes away,” Steele explains. “It was unique and cool to experience something that Brian has done regularly. He does lots of these human-powered type trips, combining bikes, rafts, and running, all from his house.”
From the Doorstep, an urban bikerafting adventure tale.
“Most of us have areas around us that we don’t really consider as places to go have an adventure,” Donnelly explains. “Maybe you’ve driven that bridge over that river by your house countless times, but what does it look like from below? Having a solid and minimal boat just opens up all these new ways of seeing things that we often take for granted. Having access to waterways opens up all these possibilities, and I especially like the bike-boat-bike thing because it adds different dimensions to a trip. It adds a lot of richness to even a simple adventure.”
On the day they were to start filming it snowed. This, says Steele, doesn’t happen often in Portland. “And Brian lives up on Skyline Road, which is another 400 feet above the city,” Steele adds. “So he had even more snow. It was cool for certain shots, but difficult for others. We ended up filming in snow, hail, and rain, but in the evening the weather settled down, and we had a nice sunset and were able to get to Government Island. We used a fishing boat to carry the camping and camera gear. We did luck out on the water conditions. The water was flat and smooth. The Columbia River is pretty large, and can get pretty choppy with swells when the wind picks up.”
From the Doorstep, an urban bikerafting adventure tale.
All in all, the experience was awesome, the three men agree. “We were wanting to do a side project, and Brian’s always down to film whatever creative project we pitch to him,” Steele explains. “We thought this would be the perfect story–Brian leaves his house and never uses any motorized transportation to explore the city. We really just enjoyed being outside and living the adventure with the talent.”
From The Doorstep, by Pursuit Films
“I think I’m like a lot of other people when I say I have a chronic case of wanderlust,” Donnelly adds. “I feel like I always have some adventure idea spinning in the back of my mind. I also have a family, career, house, all that life stuff that seems in opposition to big and endless adventures. But there’s something about going human powered from my doorstep that really scratches the wanderlust itch. That’s what I love about combining a bike, a boat, and keeping it local.”