What is the most grueling and intense bicycle race in the world? Most people would probably immediately think of the Tour de France, in which riders cover 3600 km (2200 miles) over the course of three weeks. Child’s play: the annual Race Across America (RAAM) requires its participants to bike from the west coast to the east coast – 3000 miles – over the course of only ten days.
The race is intense. The course involves diverse extreme conditions, including the scorching heat of the Mojave Desert and the treacherous mountain roads of the Rockies and Appalachians. Participants have to ride an average of 300 miles per day to reach the goal on time, and many drop out of the race before even finishing.
Tonight Village 8 Theater presents a special one-time screening of the documentary “Bicycle Dreams” which follows the 2005 Race Across America. Filmmaker Stephen Auerbach reportedly went for long stretches without sleep – up to 36 hours, matching the marathons of the participants – in order to realize and appreciate a semblance of what the riders must go through to reach the goal.
Eighteen cameras were employed to capture the race, many of which were included in individual riders’ crews in order to obtain a more intimate and personal view of the ordeal. The result was 450 hours of raw footage which was cut down to 104 minutes. The result has achieved great acclaim, winning the Best Documentary Feature award in no less than eight film festivals.
“Bicycle Dreams” plays tonight at Village 8 Theater at 7:00. Tickets for the film are $11.00 and can be purchased in advance here, or at the theater box office on the night of the show. Village 8 is located at 4014 Dutchmans Lane.
More information about the documentary can be found at the film’s website.
Image: Internet Movie Database.