Monday, March 3, 2008

Grand Rapids Bicycle Film Festival :: A Review

First and foremost this event was put on by the Western Chapter of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association, the Rapid Wheelmen and the West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition. Which was incredibly stellar for the first year of the event, plus it's hard to argue that when you walk in the door you get a Founders beer and the event raised around $1000. All said made for a great Sunday afternoon.

Here is just a short review of the films/previews that were shown during the festival. [in order of appearance.]

Team Rwanda. This is the story of the formation of the Rwandan national bicycling team. This looks to be an amazing story from a country that in 1994 went through a horrible genocide in which they are still healing from. We were told that this film has been put on the shelf as of right now but it sounds like we can all support this great cause by purchasing a calendar from a few local shops in which ALL the money goes to the team. I really hope that a full length film is put together very soon.

Mashers Media Presents: BMX Crashes. This is exactly as the title states, BMX crashes. Granted this is the crashes from BMX racing and not from the freestyle/vert/dirt scene. Although some of the crashes did get a response from the crowd, I guess growing up the the post-Jack@$$ world, unless it's big and painful it's hard to really enjoy. Yes, I've grown numb.

Singletrack Minds. Now this was a personal favorite of the festival. Which is a documentary of Marin county, California and the fight over trails between mountain bikers, hikers, and horse riders. Although approached from the side of the riders, this film does show seem to approach the issue with balance. Overall, it shows how tragic it is when people want what they want and won't work for a middle ground.

Masher Media presents: Tailwinds Cyclocross Series. This was a short film/review of the Tailwinds Cyclocross Series in the Eastern side of Michigan [which did draw playful boo's from the loyal Kisscross riders]. Nothing particularly stood out about this film, although a good highlight film if you were a rider who participated in the event.

24 Solo. This would definitely be the headliner at the film festival. And if there were any doubt, yes, it is still AMAZING! See my thoughts here from when I first watched the film. I highly recommend this film, although I knew the outcome I was still hoping Eatough would pull through.

Intermission... more Founders!

Pedal. A documentary on the lives of NYC Messengers. Now, I think anyone who has a itch they can't always scratch with cycling has somewhere down deep a desire to be a messenger. Most never follow these dreams as we have often made it more of a fairy tale than what the life of a messenger can really be. 'Pedal' shows that, sure, there is still some romanticizing of it but overall this film does a great job in showing the love that these riders have for doing just that, riding. But also what the job really puts them through. I do think it's safe to say that judging by the video, all but about two of the messengers believe that they are the best in New York and when you hear them say it, trust me, I don't know if I'd challenge them.

Masher Media presents: Iceman Bike Race. This was another short highlight film of last years Iceman Cometh race. No Geoff shown in this, although if you were wondering the picture posted of him is from the race, SS category of course, he did good [too bad for the cramps]. This did get me wishing I'd man up and sign up, but that'll have to wait for next year since this years field for the November race is full.

Once again, for the first year of the event it was a great turn out [not enough seats of to hold us all!] and hopefully this marks the beginning of a great event to look forward to in late winter as we all are chomping at the bit to get out and ride!

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