I remember being so proud of myself on the day when me, my sister and my cousin rode our bikes from Toronto to Darlington Provincial Park. It was about a 38 kilometer bike ride, (that’s about 24 miles) and it took us just about 4 hours. It was a phenomenal feat of human endurance. A great story that I tell to this day as one of my greatest accomplishments in life. And it was a great accomplishment! Those were the times when biking a few blocks felt like an epic journey to Mount Doom. But after learning about the sport of cycling, I came to realize that 38 kilometers is child’s play for some of these athletes. My cousin who took up the sport of Cycling asked me to drive him to one of his runs. I was shocked when I found out how far he had to bike. From Toronto, I drove him up north to Barrie where he would power himself back to Toronto with his bike. That’s about 113 kilometers or 70 miles. That’s about 3 times longer than my bike ride to Darlington – and I remember not wanting to be on a bike after that ordeal.
Inspired to Ride (2015) directed by Mike Dion takes us on one of the most gruelling races in the sport of cycling. Everyone has heard of the Tour De France which consists of 21 day long segments that covers 3500 kilometres or 2200 miles, but the Trans Am Bike Race seems to be unknown to the general public, even though that race can arguably be more difficult than the Tour de France. The Trans Am Bike Race is a 6800 kilometre (4200 miles) self supported bike race which starts in Astoria Oregon and ends in Yorkshire Virginia. Not only is it longer, but there are no support vans that help out the cyclists. You can bike it as fast or as slow as you want. There are no checkpoints – it’s pretty much every man/woman for themselves.
Dion’s Inspired to Ride (2015) was definitely a cool way to see how a documentary was made. Unlike many documentaries where the filmmaker tries to hide the fact that it was a film, Dion made it blatantly obvious that he was behind the camera – the filmmakers were a huge part of the narrative. It wasn’t as if the filmmakers were purely their to document the race, they were also accompanying the riders in their journey. It was interesting to see the people they’d bump into while travelling through the Trans Am Bike trail. You get a little glimpse of the lifestyle of people that live in the many different towns across the United States.
Going on this journey with the cyclists, you begin to understand what truly motivates people. Some of the riders did the Trans Am for the competition, while others did it as a means to escape. No matter what the reason was, the finish line ended up being the same for everyone. There was no one waiting for the winner with a trophy and a bottle of champagne. The glory came from within. It came from the knowledge that you accomplished something you set out to do. So the next time you feel like giving up, just remember how great it will feel when you finally achieve your dreams.
Inspired to Ride (2015) a GOOD watch that takes you across the United States. If you take my advice and watch the film or have already watched it, let me know! Please comment below.
Watch the Trailer here: