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Ride the Divide 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars (99) IMDb 7.2/10

An award-winning feature film about the world's toughest mountain bike race, which traverses over 2700 miles along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The film weaves the story of three characters' experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.

Starring:
Mike Dion, Michael 'Mac' McCoy
Runtime:
1 hour, 20 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Chaney on January 13, 2011
Format: DVD
Since I tried my hand at reviewing Race Across the Sky 2010 I think I should go back for a moment and review the movie that got me going on this mountain bike racing kick in the first place: Ride the Divide.

My wife texted me to tell me about a movie her father had called in giddy pallor to tell her about, indicating that we would really like it. He had watched it on the Documentary Channel and couldn't stop thinking about it.

I got online and found that they had two copies at the public library, so I stopped on my way home and checked it out.

It took us a couple of nights to find the time to sit through it but we were both amazed and thought it was a fine specimen of a cycling film. The soundtrack is stunning and works seamlessly with the rest of the film.

The human story revealed is not as heart wrenching as that displayed in RATS 2010, but you get caught up in the trials of the racers. And toward the end as Matthew Lee races for the border you find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat. You know he's going to make it, but you begin straining forward, reaching into the future to grasp the finish with both hands.

The first thing I said about the film to my wife was, "I want to do the Tour Divide!"

She suggested in a couple of years that we should both do it. I was struck dumb. My wife is not an avid mountain biker. In fact, she gave her mountain bike away a few months ago.

The music played constantly in my head from that day forward and I kept seeing the striking scenes of mountain bikes racing past the camera along dirt roads and trails with the awe-inspiring scenery of the Rocky Mountains splashed behind as the background. I started jonesing for a mountain bike.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I was sure I'd love this film and watch it repeatedly. I was expecting it to showcase the awesome scenery and challenging terrain of the Great Divide route along with some fantastic mountain biking footage. It did deliver some of that, maybe 20% of the content. There was a stunning shot of the Tetons rising above Jackson Lake. A clever interview with a "typical Montanan" out cuttin fire wood. An excellent sequence covering Matthew Lee as he bivies up for the night and then makes it to town the next morning for a real breakfast. Lee also contributes the best interview material as someone who is a repeat rider on the Great Divide, obviously appreciates and respects the route and has something worthwhile to say. Finally, there is a very short bonus feature on mountain bike gear for racing the Great Divide.

Unfortunately the bulk of the film (80%) plays out like bad reality TV. Too much whining: about hills, and snow, and bears, in the middle of nowhere, without email, and no one to talk to, I wanna go home! Too many scenes wasted on people talking on cell phones. Why?

I think this is a story that is still waiting to be filmed. Right now, Jill Homer's blog offers the best panorama of the Great Divide.
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Format: DVD
This is a great documentary of a very hard to cover race. I've been following the race for the last few years over video call ins and SPOT tracking, and this documentary helps take it one step further in seeing what the racers experience. And it does an excellent job doing it. I watched it a second time with my wife, who sat down thinking "Oh god, he's making me watch another bike movie." She was near tears at parts of it and was surprised at the end that "it was good!".

The sound track is extremely well down too. Very suiting to the shots and really adds to the environment.

Really well done, loved it!
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Format: DVD
I enjoyed the film. It was a bit simplistic (no Hollywood special effects or big-name actors), but it doesn't need them. I understand the intent / genre of this film is that of a documentary. I was drawn in by the three people the film maker targeted, especially Mike Dion, as I too am a parent of young children. I could see myself experiencing similar emotions if away from my family for so long. I found myself pulling for each one of the racers.

While I agree with some of the reviewers that Mary bitched and complained perhaps more than others, she was just being herself. That is the human condition. Who cares? In the end, this event reveals one's true character and we all have our flaws and strengths - adversity exposes attitude. Even though Mary seemed somewhat negative at times, in my opinion, she made the biggest comeback in my eyes... good for her - I respect her for it. Well done, Mary!

Matthew Lee was a self-aware machine; well-suited for riding for long, isolated periods. He didn't seem to get flustered at all - he was calm, cool and appeared laid back like a Zen Master; whereas almost all of the others seem to cling to anyone else (speed up; slow down, etc.) to avoid that isolation - either consciously or unconsciously. His interviews and interactions really showed me what the race is about (a positive mental attitude) and revealed just how important previous experience is! (I heard he took 30+ days to complete the race his first time; then came back to win it the next few times in 17-18 days)! Neat to hear his wife was pregnant and due just after the race; I wonder how that has changed his perspective now? As someone who comes across so introspective, this would be good fodder for a follow-up project - perhaps an annual recording of the event?
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