Bicycle Dreams: A Cycling Film [DVD]
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Top Customer Reviews
Auerbach's movie gives an up-close and personal view of what drives the cyclists who pedal across deserts, mountain ranges and plains coast-to-coast in the Race Across America.
You feel their pain and personal struggles, you cry over their tragedies and you share their exhilaration when they finish. You hear in their own words what makes them push themselves beyond normal human limits.
By the end, you'll know the answer to the question: What do you call the last cyclist to cross the RAAM finish line?
"At the end of your life if people say you were kind, that is enough." - Dr. Bob Breedlove
"I have reason to believe the grass might be a little greener
on the other side" - Bob Schneider
The film follows the trials of a handful of riders from start to finish. It focuses more on the personal, and almost disconnects from the topic, questioning the abilities and decisions only indirectly and subtly. This film, however, needs a few additional things: narration, increased production value (most of the shots were done with a poor-quality SD camera), and details about not only the riders but also the race. I wanted to know how they prepare for it, the things they eat, statistics, ways they stay focused, engaged, etc. Besides, the film could have been made to be much more gut-wrenching, with the right music director and better editing.
It's unfortunate to hear about Jure Robic, as well. He was the icon in this film.
This is a first class film and will be of interest to cyclists, extreme athletes of any sport, students of the human psyche, and those who would like to personally see where the limits of human endurance are found.
However, I only give "Bicycle Dreams" four stars (wish it could be four-and-a-half) for a few reasons:
1. I would have liked to set the context a little better. For obvious reasons, Auerbach focuses on just a few cyclists in the race. But other than an establishing shot at the beginning, we have no idea how many people are actually riding. I know in the first RAAM in 1982 (back when it was the Great American Bike Race), there were just four competitors. It is mentioned that 288 people had ridden RAAM in the 24 years between that first race and when the movie was made. That averages to 12 per year. Yet we only meet half a dozen riders. It would have been nice to have ALL the competitors briefly introduced at the beginning, and then see their status at the end. (Also, that 288 number apparently applies only to the solo race category. There are 20 different categories, including eight-man teams, so that figure isn't quite accurate.)
2. Like so many documentaries, this one follows the sequence of set-up, exposition, interview, repeat. It is an effective storytelling device. But after a while, I started to lose track of who was who, or the relationship they had to one another. There was one trainer shown at the beginning (and a few times in the middle), who I didn't realize was actually participating in the race until near the end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anyone who rides will appreciate Bicycle Dreams. This well-made documentary about the Race Across America was filmed during a year the race suffered a gut-wrenching loss. Read morePublished 1 month ago by genna
Again, disappointed to mention of those who went before. . .like VVAPublished 3 months ago by Karol Johnson
GREAT shots of videos but drag is that it's not closed Captioned!!!Published 4 months ago by Cameron R. House
A gripping and dramatic documentary on the Race Across America, one of the toughest bike races in the world.Published 5 months ago by Paul Ahart
Excellent documentary,any cyclist would enjoy watching this film several times.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Although I am not an extreme distance cyclist or racer, I enjoyed humanized stories behind the competitors. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Steven Goodridge