Yesterday evening The Wife and I had the chance to attend a screening of the documentary Ride the Divide in a small opera house in Geneva, NY. The film follows, or attempts to follow, the journey of three endurance mountain bikers as they race along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains, from Canada to Mexico. To get the stats out of the way: the whole race is over 2700 miles, the total elevation gain across the course is 200,000 vertical feet (which is often compared to climbing from sea level to the top of Mount Everest 7 times), there have been less than 100 individuals that have attempted the feat, less than 40 have been successful.
Despite some technical difficulties with the actual projection of the film, the evening was quite enjoyable. The screening was arranged by the Geneva Bicycle Center, (where I purchased my Fisher 29er a few years ago), and a raffle was held to distribute prizes ranging from energy bars, to waived race registration fees, and ultimately a full bike frame and set of racing rims provided by various sponsors. The atmosphere was informal and resembled closely the attitude of the local mountain biking culture here in the Finger Lakes.
As for the film itself, personally I think its biggest advantage was that it didn’t take itself too seriously. The film makers were acutely aware of their audience and designed the film to cater specifically to dirt riding enthusiasts. By that I mean they didn’t shy away from including elements in the film which may, if screened by a more critical audience, give the impression the creators are a bit less than professional. One example occurs during the early part of the film when the film crew was caught in traffic in the starting city and actually missed the start of the race. It took the crew a few days to catch up with the leaders, but along the way the discovered some interesting places and interesting people, which ultimately strengthened the film.
Of course, as movies like this have a tendency to do, I felt the spark of adventure calling me to some epic cross-country endurance rides. While I don’t quite feel the tug to subject my body to such a grueling trial of the human spirit, I would very much love to travel out west and tour around for several days observing natures beauty with a few good friends. I have such friends. My brother lives in Park City, Utah and another is attending graduate school in Tuscon, Arizona. And although I have yet to scrap together the necessary resources and timing to visit either of them, there will be such a time when the journey is possible and we will complete some epic rides. But definitely not climb Mount Everest 7 times!
If you are interested in finding a screening or purchasing the film you can visit the Ride the Divide website HERE.
Filed under Bikes, Movies
This isn’t a recommendation list, this is just a list of films and shows I happened to watch during the first few weeks of 2011. Some, like True Grit, were deliberately chosen, some, like Mall Cops: Mall of America, are a result of a search for a half hour “filler” show from the Netflix instant play list to occupy brief periods of time during the evenings. Some of these are re-watches, but most are first time watches.
My moving viewing has been down this month thanks largely to the relentless XP Grind for Goldeneye Wii which only recently gained reprieve with the abrupt purchase of my first smart phone, the Samsung Captivate. The distraction seems significant since each night since I have had it I have spent time on forums attempting to customize and more significantly, to correct bugs or errors. (I don’t know which yet) The biggest problem seems to be that the wireless settings embedded within the phone are “unable to start Wi-Fi” but I am also running into issues connecting with various e-mail accounts but I plan to address some of those issues tonight.
What sort of movies have you started off this new year with?
We did it!
This weekend my wife and I took our inaugural 5k run together. She had participated in a 5 mile race a number of weeks ago, and I have run more 5k’s than I can count during high school. But this weekend was the first race we have run together and officially marks the beginning of our running career.
After the race at the "George Bailey" Bridge
We competed in the 2nd annual “It’s a Wonderful Run” 5k that was hosted in Seneca Falls, NY, alleged inspiration for the fictitious town of Bedford Falls in the 1946 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. We raced, we dinned, then we went home and watched the movie, (a delightful new color version.)
Despite being a bitterly cold and wind-swept end of the week Saturday night turned out to be a fantastic night for a foot race. The air was cool but above freezing and the wind was essentially nonexistent.
Cold winter day
The race was held at evening and the final stretch to the finish line ran through downtown Seneca Falls with the businesses all light up and the town reminiscent of the 1940 scene from the film. The race was even started by the recitation of an iconic movie line by Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey, more typically known as the cute little girl at the end of the movie. There were over 900 racers that participated in this weekends race. Racers came from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and all over the Finger Lakes to get in a last contest before the dominating winter fully takes hold of the area.
The starting mob on the bridge from Bedford Falls
Us in the starting mob
This is us on the homestretch, (trust me)
The finish chute
The post race carbo load
And for those of you familiar with the movie, as part of the race packet pickup, each racer was given a bell to tie to their shoe lace. There were a lot of angels getting their wings Saturday!
Filed under Movies, Running