Ride the Divide

I like bicycling movies especially those about races as much as the average motorist likes to watch NASCAR movies such as Talladega Nights. Actually since it grossed almost 150 million, which is double the budget, I probably like biking movies a bit less.

I do like to see bicycles on film, but mainly in a normal context like on Flight of the Conchords.

However, I do recommend Ride the Divide.

One of the treats I got when watching this movie was it was one of the first times I had ever driven through Hillcrest.

I was happy to get there in comfort, ease, and speed.

Then I realized that a lot of the speed increase got wiped out when we rode around looking for parking. Hint for a city, San Diego has way abundant parking in many people’s opinion there is so much that it detracts from a decent experience. Yet there was still trouble finding it due to a well known phenomenon that I call “chasing one’s tail.”

Once we found parking, we rushed over to buy tickets. I literally bought the 3rd to last ticket from my friend Special K.

Then there was an announcement by a guy who looked like a steel haired rock star about mountain biking. It was nice.

When the movie started, at first I was disappointed that it was about racing.

The thing I usually don’t like about racing is that it creates an attachment to an outcome. What I mean is that the people rode through the most gorgeous spots, and they had a big chance for self-fulfillment. In this particular race, the people seemed to take advantage of it to an extent.

Another thing that struck me is that this type of touring was almost an experiment in solitary confinement. The people complained about being lonely, missing loved ones etc. I can totally see the feeling, and the thought of such an adventure fills me with dread so I will probably not do it.

Also, the physical exhaustion really hurts one’s judgement. It makes people meaner and pettier. In this movie, the people seemed to stay at a fairly even keel which shows how strong they all were. The main thing that kept cropping up is that people quit, but they didn’t give reasons which were conguent w/ that decision. They mainly said that they were lonely, and that it is beautiful, but it’s more of the same everyday and they all ready overcame a lot so what’s the point.

What’s the point? To finish the race that they dreamed about all their lives. Otherwise, why bother at all?

I say this as someone who really does not see the point, but if I decide to commit to this, I’m going to want to finish. This is what makes me realize how tough this race is. These are really tough people, and they wanted to quit. I can’t imagine what strain they were under.

To give one an idea of how strong they were, many rides were 100+ miles per day. The terrain was up and down, seven times Everest in all.

For me, on regular roads with few hills and a light headwind, I could do about 50 miles on a daily basis. Sixty is pushing it. The most I ever did was eighty and I left at midnight and rode all day. I could not sustain this pace.

Yet the winner, one year did 165 miles on the average per day. These people are totally amazing riders.


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