The Bike Pirate

The Bike Pirate

Driving at highway speed in a crew cab loaded with gear, four filmmakers, and two pro mountain bikers and their two bikes outside the town of Kamloops, B.C., Canada, we were headed to the first shoot for our new action-sports film Follow Me. Unfortunately, we were only 15 minutes into our drive that morning when one of the bikes flew out of the truck and landed in the middle of the highway.

The driver hit the brakes and attempted to pull over, but we were on a divided highway with no shoulder. We continued to the next available crossing and made our way back to the bike. It was no longer there. Instead, a green pickup truck was stopped on the side of the road with what looked like a bike in the back of it. As we got closer, a puff of black exhaust smoke exited the tailpipe of the pickup as it accelerated back onto the highway.

We caught up to the truck, and I signaled to the driver that he had our bike and to pull over. The response I received was the driver rubbing his thumb and fingers together, yelling back to me, “How much are you going to pay me for it?” After an instant of disbelief, I replied that we wouldn’t pay anything for “our” bike. With a smirk and a grin, the now freshly dubbed “Bike Pirate” hit the gas and carried on down the road.

This guy had picked the wrong crew to mess with. Not only was he outnumbered, but we were a truck full of cinematographers! I started taking photos of the Bike Pirate’s truck with a clear view of the license plate number and the bike. We phoned the police and relayed a play-by-play as we followed in hot pursuit. It didn’t take long for the Bike Pirate to realize he was in over his head. The Bike Pirate pulled off of the highway into the back corner of a truck-stop parking lot.

We requested the bike back as the police were going to be there any minute. In a last desperate attempt to validate his actions, the Bike Pirate demanded, “Show me a bill of sale that proves this bike is yours.” A blow of irony was dealt instead when I informed him that the bike he attempted to abduct was a factory prototype and had the pro rider’s name printed on it. This was definitely a different take on Follow Me.

Jonathan Schramm is a filmmaker based in Pemberton, B.C., Canada. You can check out Schramm’s website at

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Everyone who has spent time in video and film production has a funny tale or two about this life. Odd and quirky things happen to us and our colleagues that we all like to talk about after the shoot.

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