One of the best bicycling films I have had the pleasure of viewing is “Ride the Divide,” a documentary that captures the action and competitors in the grueling 2,700-mile Tour Divide mountain bike race.
Now that production team, including Mike Dion and Hunter Weeks, is getting together to film the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race, which takes off from Astoria, OR, on June 7.
This film — entitled Inspired to Ride — could be truly epic, and that’s not a word I toss around lightly.
Consider that more than 100 men and women from the US and abroad have signed up for this completely unsupported bike-packing Trans Am Bike Race. As the poster says, “No Outside Support, No Drafting, No Entry Fee, No Prize Money.”
The route follows the Adventure Cycling Association’s Trans America Bike Route for 4,233 miles to Yorktown, VA. It was originally mapped out for the 1976 Bikecentennial ride to celebrate the nation’s 200th birthday.
The bicyclists will cross the Cascades, the Rockies, the Ozarks and the Appalachians, with numerous smaller mountain ranges in between. They will doubtless be buffeted by winds in Kansas and likely get drenched in showers and thunderstorms.
The filmmakers will choose three men and three women to follow through the race. Organizers estimate that winners will probably finish in 15 to 40 days.
Even 40 days means covering more than 100 miles a day. But as you can see from the example at right [posted on Inspire to Ride Facebook page], many riders won’t be lugging overstuffed panniers.
Their “Ride the Divide” film won the “Best Adventure Film” award at the 2010 Vail Film Festival. If you’re into long-distance bike touring and endurance challenges, it’s worth a look.