When Bethany and Caleb Harding were walking along China Beach on Vancouver Island in 2016, the last thing they expected to find was a message in a bottle. It said, “Biker Bob. If you find me, turn me loose.”
Also in the bottle: Bob’s ashes.
On the back of the message, another note was scribbled in newer ink: “It seems like Bob was the type of guy who enjoyed a drink. I took him out for a beer, you should do the same.”
Throughout 2016, the bottle washed ashore three times. Each time, a different person took Bob out for for a celebratory pint, then tossed him back to sea. But who was Biker Bob? And how did he end up travelling the West Coast in a bottle?
Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure follows the bizarre mystery of Biker Bob and his afterlife visits across Vancouver Island. It’s a truly remarkable story – with twists and turns – about a man on a motorcycle, a group of strangers who became friends and the enduring power of love.
Director: Cat Mills
Producer: Joella Cabalu
I first came across Biker Bob’s story when I was researching for a different project on messages in bottles. I fell in love with it instantly. The thought that someone might put a loved one’s ashes in a bottle so they could travel the world was such a strange and beautiful idea.
It was also a mystery that captivated Vancouver Island in spring of 2016. Over the course of 2018 I managed to track down all the people who participated in this strange little story and we spoke in depth. It was clear Bob’s bottle had a profound impact on their lives. I was also privy to the news that one of these people knew a secret about Bob.
There is a lot of bad news in the world and depression and loneliness seem to be on the rise. We are spending more time in front of computer screens and less time meeting face to face. My films focuses on stories about people who are finding community, kindness and friendship in the least expected places.
Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure is a film about a group of strangers brought together by a man in a bottle. It is also a love story from beyond the grave. I hope it warms your heart.
About Cat Mills
Cat Mills is an award-winning filmmaker with a passion for the unconventional.
She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, holding a BFA in film production, and is a fellow of the CFTPA Producers Internships program, the documentary Channel Doc Accelerator program and the DOC Breakthrough program.
She has a web series where she explores weird festivals and competitions. She has toe wrestled, crab raced and worm charmed her way across the globe.
Cat’s 2016 film about the Toronto Repair Cafe, Fixed!, won first place in the 2016 Hot Docs Short Film Pitch competition and has been winning awards on the festival circuit. Her 2017 film Big Men, Small Dogs for CBC Short Docs went viral with over a million views in the first few weeks of release.
Cat is currently working on her first feature about the world’s oldest air guitarist and his dream to compete in Finland on his 75th birthday. She is drawn to stories of kindness and community, and uses humour to challenge our perceptions of the world.