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 Golden branch of the Jeffco 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.
When my in-laws came in to visits just a week later we watched the movie a couple more times with my father-in-law and it was obvious he was chomping at the bit to get out and do some biking while on vacation in Colorado. He had carried his bike 1200 miles on the off chance we could ride.
We did get to ride and that only grew my desire to Ride the Divide. I know my opportunity is a few years off, especially if I continue working toward doing the Leadville 100 in a couple of years. For now the plan is on hold until we can afford (financially and otherwise) to take the time necessary to do the ride, and to prepare for the endurance aspect of the ride. The kids are young, and so are we, so we have time.
Regardless, the movie is inspiring. It makes me want to ride my bike a lot more. It has made my morning commutes more enjoyable, it has given me something to aspire to in the long run.
I'd give it five stars just for that alone.