Video and Photo Epic: Gettin' High on Bikes

Jan 14, 2014 at 6:59
by Peter Lengyel  
Gettin' High on Bikes
words by Zuzana Triebusnikova

GetHigh video cover



One and a half year ago I did not know almost anything about mountain biking. Now I can say that I know more about it and have seen more videos than a regular rider. Peter Lengyel has infected me with his passion and showed me that it is possible to do what you like.

He had this video in mind for a long time. Thus, when he was ready to make it I wanted to take part. Even though it is a short movie, it took a lot of work, effort and planning. It is an almost no budget movie. No budget, because we had only family support (borrowed cars and some equipment) and a borrowed bike for two weeks which Peter have not ridden before. However, without the priceless help of our friends, the video would be impossible. The biggest thanks goes to Juraj Lovás and Michal (Sakso) Stiksa who filmed the entire video.

So we had two weeks to film it. As you will see from the pictures, the weather was not always pleasing us. Rain, snow, fog, drizzle, wind, sun, we had all kinds of weather…

from the making of Get High video

Two cameramen - Juraj Lovás and Michal Stiksa, Peter, bike, rake and me were the core crew of our trips to mountains. As I already said, the weather was not very favourable to us but when we caught sight of the sun, the action began. The first thing was to arrange an available car, pick up all the guys and to decide which part of our mountains might be sunny and rideable. We had little time and it often happen that we were in the mountains a whole day with almost no food. However, by the end of the day, everybody was happy and satisfied. Even, if we did not get the best shots some days, we had a lot of fun, good times and gained unforgettable memories.

from the making of Get High video

The video was shot in the beginning of September, so we did not expect the temperature to go as low as it went sometimes. There were evenings, when we were descending from the spots with no light and very few warm clothes. One evening, Peter rode his bike in the dark. Juraj, with his fast legs and camera equipment ran after him and Sakso followed them alone in the dark, some meters behind, only with the light from his phone.

from the making of Get High video

The log cabin was very tiny but Peter Zelinka, Sakso and Peter fitt just fine in there. The night we spent there started kind of unusually. When the day gets darker, everybody goes home from the mountains. Unsurprisingly, not us. The time we had was short. So, when the weather forecast for the next morning was fairly good, we arranged and organized everything in the evening and I drove guys to the valley from where they climbed up to the log cabin. They wanted to get some sunrise shots and did not expect ground frost and snow.

from the making of Get High video
There are some good first shots. However, some of them had to be taken few times. It was not easy to synchronize rider, cameraman, sunlight and unruly freezing hands. Nonetheless, Peter said that he did not have time to be cold. The rest of the crew was usually freezing but as long as they got a good shot, they did not mind the weather.

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

We had to visit some spots several times to get satisfactory shots, and the same people couldn't join us every day. Most of the time I spent with guys. However, we are also very thankful for the women on the crew, especially to photographer Zuzana Stromková and Daša Devečková.

Photographer and freeskier Zuzana Stromkova - http zuzanastromkova.sk from the making of Get High video
Photographer and freeskier Zuzana Stromkova

from the making of Get High video

Since the video was uploaded a couple of days ago, we already have some feedback. We appreciate it very much. Nevertheless, some people who saw the video complain that Peter damages the nature with his bike. The picture above captures the only moment when the guys seriously built something in the mountains. Otherwise, they used only their hands and rakes to clean the tracks from branches and rocks. We appreciate our mountains very much. Therefore we try to protect it and keep it clean.

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

Cameraman Juraj Lovas - http jurajlovas.com from the making of Get High video
Cameraman Juraj Lovas

from the making of Get High video

We had three days to finish the movie and we still did not have enough material for it. So, in the morning, when the sun came out we packed the tent, sleeping bags, foam mats, the food, camera equipment and everything else we needed. Peter’s dad drove us to the starting point and we started the ascent. It took us about 5 hours to climb to the target place. In the beginning, it was sunny. As we went higher, it started to rain and the fog veiled our view. With every climbed meter, we were getting more tired. On the way up, I was picking mushrooms and in the middle of the ascent each of us loaded own backpack with some logs. During the way up, we were imagining ourselves, sitting around small campfire, grilling mushrooms, topped with some bacon from grandma.

from the making of Get High video

As you can see from the next picture, our imagination was very disappointed. By the time we got somewhere close to our destination, our limbs were almost frozen and I did not feel my shoulders from carrying the heavy backpack. It took us another half an hour to spot the lakes in the dense fog. Guys put down backpacks and bike around me and left me alone. They went to find the place where the wind was not so strong and where we could build the tent. Heavy fog and terrible wind were pulling out the tears from my eyes. I did not cry, even though, I must admit, I was very close…

After a while, they showed up again and I was happy to see them. They found the lakes. We moved our stuff to that spot. The wind was not helping us to build the tent and since my hands were freezing I did not help much either. After around 30 min we were sitting in the tent. The wind also caused that the top of our tent was dancing above our heads. In addition, our single layer tent did not deal very well with the humidity. I was fine. I slept in the middle but Juraj and Peter were quite wet from the drops running down the walls. Our feet were still freezing. Thus, we put them together inside one sleeping bag, to warm them up.

Cameraman Juraj Lovas - http jurajlovas.com from the making of Get High video

While we were making ourselves at least a bit comfortable, the second half of the crew started their ascent. Since there was no phone connection, we did not know whether they would show up or turn around somewhere on the way and go back home. None of us expected their arrival. In the period of one hour we had two rounds of food and then we fell asleep. Around half past nine, Peter and Juraj heard some voices and ran out of the tent. To our surprise, Johny Smitka, Sakso and Peter Zelinka finally arrived. They also carried heavy backpacks with them and brought many logs which we, in the end, left there unused. We still could not believe that they made it to the top in those terrible weather conditions. I greeted them from the tent, while laying in my sleeping bag and the guys helped them to build their tent next to the second lake.


In the morning, we woke up around 7:30 am. We were disappointed and frustrated that the whole trip was worthless. I went to visit the other guys into their tent. They were playing cards and trying to stay warm by sipping from the flask. I sat down with them and we were chatting for a while. Suddenly, we started to feel something warm on our backs. We ran out of the tent and the whole sky was brightly blue.

from the making of Get High video
Mother Nature rewarded us for our suffering. We left the tent where we build it and started climbing to the top to get some shots done.

from the making of Get High video

Cameraman Juraj Lovas - http jurajlovas.com from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video
Only Juraj and Peter went to the very top of the mountain. The rest of us stayed there, from where this picture is taken. Since, clouds were moving fast, they had to hurry.

from the making of Get High video
While we were waiting for them, these visitors were making our company. We saw 15 mountain goats that day and the beautiful scenery which you can see from the following pictures.

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video
Johny Smitka and Peter Zelinka are enjoying the mountains.

cameraman Michal Stiksa https www.facebook.com saksoproduction from the making of Get High video
Sakso, taking a selfie picture with the stunning view.

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video
Peter and Juraj on the top of the highest peak.

from the making of Get High video

photographer Zuzana Triebusnikova https www.facebook.com zuzana.triebusnikova from the making of Get High video
Needless to say, the riding in the video could be much more better. However, Peter has never ridden before on these trails and he was on the full suspension bike after a long time on hardtail.

cameraman Michal Stiksa https www.facebook.com saksoproduction from the making of Get High video

cameraman Michal Stiksa https www.facebook.com saksoproduction from the making of Get High video
Cameraman Michal Stiksa

photographer Zuzana Triebusnikova https www.facebook.com zuzana.triebusnikova from the making of Get High video

photographer Zuzana Triebusnikova https www.facebook.com zuzana.triebusnikova from the making of Get High video

photographer Zuzana Triebusnikova https www.facebook.com zuzana.triebusnikova from the making of Get High video
Photographer Zuzana Triebusnikova

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video
Our tent from above.

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video
Saying goodbye to our “Giants”.

from the making of Get High video
On the way home we were exhausted. Nevertheless, guys did one more shot. After that Peter was not able to ride the bike down and he pushed it for the rest of the way down.

from the making of Get High video
This was the last day of the shooting. Martin Vyskočáni and Adam Žiaran joined us. As you can see from the last part of the video, Peter rode with them. It was trail of Adam and Martin and they rode it together for the first time. Since, Sakso was not able to come with us early in the morning that day, it was the first day when I did some shooting. Sakso and Oliver Dvorský joined us later that day.

from the making of Get High video

from the making of Get High video
We ended the shooting with the camp fire. It was truly relieving feeling just to sit there for two hours and watch the wood burning.

Peter had never edited video before but he was strongly determined to make the best of it. Thus, when we came back to our current “base camp” in Prague, he started right away. However, later on he realized that it was not going to be as easy as he expected. Therefore, he decided to do two more one minute videos ( Misty Morning and Fall ) via which he learned how to use the editing program. It took him, with some breaks and riding in between, around 3 months. I think he did quite well. But it is up to you to decide.

photos by:

Juraj Lovas
Michal Stiksa
Zuzana Stromkova
Zuzana Triebusnikova

concept, riding and video editing by Peter Lengyel
check out my website


50 Comments

  • 60 4
 Humm,Zuzana Stromkova!
  • 1 9
flag hollowing2000 (Jan 25, 2014 at 20:15) (Below Threshold)
 Exactly, no?
  • 1 0
 jaká holka!
  • 4 0
 Awesome pics ,
  • 23 1
 It's always great to see mountain biking on real mountains. Especially in Winter! Thanks for freezing your ***s off to bring us that!
  • 17 3
 i got faded reading this article
  • 11 0
 Pretty sick for 'no budget amateur edit'! Bloddy well done!
  • 5 0
 Thanks for that. Its nice to see something a little different. It would have been great to see a video telling the whole story of the adventure as well as the riding. So we could get to know the people behind it. It was also nice to see some coverage going to eastern europe. It looks to hold some amazing terrain.
  • 8 0
 This is now a bucket list trip.
  • 5 2
 Love the video and terrain, but I think he brought too much bike for the trails. Like shooting a deer with a cannon. An AM bike would have been just as much fun on the way down, and he could have ridden up! (important for us in the older impending beer belly crowd).
  • 6 0
 Another classic PB title. Gettin "high" on bikes.
  • 5 0
 No SUV, no uplift. Perfect.
  • 4 0
 Adventure plus - oh, if only I lived closer to Europe! Great video production + pics...
  • 4 0
 Cool! It was Bystra peak? In Polish Tatras we can't ride a bike or put up a tent.
  • 1 2
 In Slovak Tatras too!
  • 3 0
 Beautiful trip and photostory. Where exactly are these ridges at? I've been in Slovakian Tatras once, but I don't recognize this area.
  • 5 1
 We're glad you like it. Video and photos has been shot on several locations in West Tatras area.
  • 2 0
 Peter could you describe in more detail where it was? It wasn't restricted area of TANAP? I like very much Slovakias part of Tatras - I saw yellow and black tourist trail on the video, right? Whenever I'm in the mountains on foot I wish this would go on bike trail Smile
  • 3 0
 DIfferent ! Which means is damn goood ! dif perspective ,pfuu it was beautiful
  • 2 1
 I am almost 100% sure that this is part of Tatra national park and biking, sleeping and setting up fire is strictly prohibited in this area. I moved away 15 years ago and things might have changed since then. I love those mountains and would love to bring my bike there, but I honestly think it's part of TANAP. Peter, any chance you would share the locations where exactly can you ride in Western Tatras?
  • 4 2
 Justa25 you're absolutely right. Camping/bivouac and biking is in almost every location from this pictures strictly prohibited. Protection of nature and wild animals has its justification, but this guys, they just want COOL pictures.
  • 3 1
 Justa, look at this cyklisticke.trasy.sk/liptov
For the record, fire was set up at challet area near Bobrovec and night picture of the tent in the video is motion graphic I made in AfterEffects. Biking on Bystra peak is prohibited. If you have any other questions please send me a PM, thank you very much!
  • 2 2
 How do you feel about sharing your work on social media? I'd like to, but since it's not entirely legal...
  • 4 2
 to peterlengyel: cyklisticke.trasy.sk/liptov is not official site and many trails there are illegal!
Look at official park rules: www.tanap.org/national-park-rules
  • 5 1
 FREAKING AWESOME! Apocalyptica and Elliott Brood, two of my favourites and a wicked video!
  • 5 0
 I would love to live in that log cabin
  • 3 1
 Hehe... finally some cool edit from riders at my home-land. well done. Viva High Tatras

Dufam ze ked pridem domov na dovolenky tak si to uzijem ako Vy a ze nedostanem pokutu Wink dik za edit
  • 2 0
 stunning photos and colours, video was too short and would have benefitted from a longer upper mountain section. maybe delineate two sections between upper elevation into lower terrain 2c. cool story
  • 5 0
 Fucking sick!
  • 4 0
 Guys, your pics qre just incredibly AMAZING. Great job !!!!!
  • 6 6
 I don't follow and I don't like this idea = making "cool" pictures from biking in national park, where it is prohibited. In Slovakia, there are many other places, where you can make great pictures and ride a bike. We have a lot of other mountains and trails. But probably it will not be as cool as riding in Tatras.
And why I dont like this idea? Because it is a message for young people: Do you want to be cool? Go to national park, the higher the better, dig and make some jumps, take few pictures and you will be facebook heroes. This will attract many people to do something similar in Tatras. This is the reason why I do not like this idea: making a public thing from this.
Next time, think about consequences.
(Sorry for my english)
  • 4 0
 ohh my god ! so beautiful !
  • 4 0
 Such a raw video man. This is what MTB is all about.
  • 3 0
 is it legal to ride slovakian tatras? or do you risk some fine?
  • 3 1
 some areas are legal in West Tatras area
  • 3 0
 The photography is as great as the cinematography! Amazing work.
  • 3 0
 awesome cinematography!! kudos to the videographers and photographers.
  • 3 0
 The video is ok, but the pics are amazing! Looked hard work.
  • 4 1
 Great pictures! Wink
  • 3 0
 tatras king i like!!
  • 3 1
 went riding on the snow today, it doesn't do it for me, sorry
  • 1 0
 yea yea i know good place, but who's that chick ??? she is painfully beautiful!
  • 3 1
 Props for the crew! Beautiful scenes, sick ride.
  • 4 1
 That's MTB!
  • 3 2
 great stuff guys and respect for the effort, but I have to agree with Zdochliak
  • 1 0
 Home sweet home,i miss our mountains so badly!
  • 1 1
 Terrible way of placing bike...but I can foget about it because of Zuzana.
  • 1 0
 Pozdro iz Bulgarii !!!
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