The Dairy in Boulder had an exhibition devoted to bike art, including a showing of Bicycle Dreams. Some of the art work was pretty conventional but there were a number of pieces that were really inspirational and obviously took a lot of creativity and hard work to create. I was mightily impressed and would have happily purchased and walked out with several pieces. As it was I walked out with some pretty intense memories from a movie that made me rethink adventure, extremes and hardship. I don’t want to give away any of the key moments of the movie but I think explaining the overall message I left with won’t betray too much of the story.
I can’t imagine sleeping as little as these cyclists did in order to finish in the allotted time. There’s the whole physical and mental stress of riding long miles but add to it a lack of sleep and I’m not sure how the people who finished held onto their sanity. I don’t think I can ever fully appreciate the depths and breadths their psyche traveled during this event. What they experienced must have been transcendent and hellish.
Staggeringly beauty of the natural of the world. I think most countries can boast of dramatic scenery and breathtaking vistas. I also think the US as large as it is provides tremendous a rich and varied landscape. But can you imagine being exposed to them all so nakedly and so intensely?
Riding outside your comfort zone. I wonder what’s it like to keep riding. I go out for a ride and know that my final destination is really my back patio with a glass of beer at the end of a day on the bike. These guys/gals mounted up each day to take them farther and farther into their journey and their ultimate destination was measured in miles not location. How do you prepare mentally and physically for ongoing discomfort and an end that is more of a concept that an actuality?
This is a great movie to see. It doesn’t romanticize adventure; it very much exposes the toll it takes both on the participants and supporters. It does a good job of honestly conveying both the extreme risks and delights of doing something extraordinary.