The big “Women of Dirt” California premiere is two weeks away, and Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz keeps sweetening the pot. Titus has emerged as the lead sponsor and is offering up a killer bike, the El Guapo, for raffle giveaway. Plus Black Market Bikes is offering 10 percent off in-stock items purchased from its online store. And the general raffle includes “an Intense 5.5 EVP frame donated by our good friends at Trailhead Cyclery, a Fox 36 Talas RC2 donated by Fox Racing Shox, a BlkMrkt Bike Mob frame donated by Black Market Bikes and many, many, many items,” MBOSC says. Tickets are at most area bike shops, grab ’em before they sell out like they did in Seattle Feb. 5th!
Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category
Jacquie Phelan on Sunday’s Dirt Bowl fundraiser in Fairfax.
Banshee Bikes, winner of our Top 10 Bike Names of All Time citation, has a killer new Web site. Unfortunately, someone forgot to renew the bansheebikes.com URL. We’ve messaged them and will alert when back up (unless they’re changing domains, but even then they need pointer).
You’ve felt it, I’ve felt it. You lower the travel on your fork on a long fire road climb and immediately the bike feels more sluggish, like brake drag. RC speculates on its origins but, like every other explanation I’ve seen, doesn’t quite nail it down. Should be a simple matter of physics. Get MIT on the case! Why is this so hard?
Where does your stolen bike go? Trek-Livestrong theft shows up in flea market in Mexico, sans wheels.
Normally when a car runs down a cyclist, it’s by accident. But not always.
BOOKMARK this link: Bike footrests not same as metal knuckles, court finds. For the next time you get stopped for carrying assault weapons on your BMX.
Can the Prime restore Hayes’ disc-brake glory? I rode Hayes, the industry standard, for years till their weight, grabbiness and lack of adjustability drove me to Magura. Plus they really needed to do something about ease of pad replacement. Lots of buzz about Prime, which seems to address most of these issues, but we’ll remain skeptical till we see the things. Strokers just did not turn the trick, and at this point it’ll take a lot to win me back from my Martas and Louises.
Bicycles should have their own freeways? Why, certainly. With a car lane on the right-hand shoulder of course.
“Women of Dirt” is enjoying a much-deserved smash debut, with its worldwide premiere having sold out Friday night in Seattle, forcing addition of a second show opening night. And then came word of a new all-women Beti Bike Bash on June 12 at Lakewood, CO.
But one point needs clarifying. There’s a general perception that this is the first film about women and mountain biking. That’s not true: Nearly a decade ago, there was “HardiHood.”
The title came from a Susan B. Anthony quotation about women being persons — something nomale, no matter how misogynist, would have the “hardihood” to challenge. The quote set a decidedly feminist tone for the movie, which featured what might be called the early suffragists of mountain biking.
These women — Jacquie Phelan, Missy Giove, Cheri Elliott, Elke Brutsaert and others, but especially Phelan — had to endure a lot of second-class treatment in a male-dominated sport. Without them, the generation of younger riders featured in “Women of Dirt” might never have gotten exposed to mountain biking. In many ways, “Women of Dirt” and its cast are the children of “HardiHood.”
“HardiHood” got minimal attention when it was released (there’s not even a mainstream publication quote on the case) and sank like a stone. A Google search turns up a lot of linkrot. I managed to track down a copy on Amazon but had to wait three weeks to get it.
In contrast to most — make that pretty much all — mtb films, “HardiHood” focuses on (as the title quote suggests) the person, not the athlete. The opening sequence shows Phelan philosophizing about breast cancer and life’s meaning. The always voluble Giove is shown chatting and chopping veggies far more than riding her bike. Elliott talks about what it’s like being a mom and caring for a child while on tour.
Although the feminist undertone is there, “HardiHood” isn’t dogmatic. Its director, Nicole Hahn, uses the film as a vehicle to get into the minds and lifestyles of the riders — the whys and wherefores that led them to get involved in such a male milieu in the first place, how they stuck with it, and what it’s meant to them. Phelan, winner of the first three NORBA national women’s titles, especially comes across as ruggedly dedicated. Her cameos teaching women mountain biking in Marin, playing banjo and revealing what it took to beat most of a male field of riders are priceless.
While a lot of mtb DVDs over the past couple of decades have promised this kind of behind-the-scenes look, the fact is that the riding action always dominates. If a male rider has ever discussed cancer, fatherhood, or the rigors of travel on any of them, I missed it. However spectacular their aerial and speed skills are, male riders are like Her Majesty in the Beatles song: Pretty nice guys, but they haven’t got a lot to say. At least, that’s the way they come across in the films.
One problem may be the predictable, formulaic script of mountain biking/freeriding films. You get stunts, stunts and more stunts, accompanied by music soundtracks that range from awful to pretty good. You’re in awe of the action, but like too much of anything, it gets repetitive and humdrum. To some extent the Collective films, especially “The Collective” and “Roam,” step back for a reflective look. And Clay Porter’s perennial series on the World Cup, particularly “The Tipping Point,” captures more culture than most. (Not to neglect either “Klunkerz,” Billy Savage’s superb historical documentary on the roots of the sport, or “Tread,” the first and maybe best mtb film ever, which had women and men.)
But the focus is generally on the riding.
Would it be possible to get into riders’ heads today the way “HardiHood” did? “HardiHood” not only captured women’s perspective in a sport, it captured a moment of time in an ongoing evolution. Mountain biking was something no girl had grown up ever thinking she would compete in. There were no role models, there wasn’t even a sport. Phelan studied medicine; Marla Streb was a biomedical researcher. Streb has even written an autobiography, something few other riders male or female can claim (Phelan is working on one). The “HardiHood” riders had depth, character and life views shaped by a whole set of issues and values that were considered passe by the time their successors came along.
Several upcoming mountain biking DVDs are being promoted with the line that they’ll break the mold and bring us a much-needed alternative perspective. Nothing new there, it’s been promised annually since most of us tired of gap jumps and back flips. Whether the focus is on women or men riders or both, a mountain biking film today that incorporated the sensibilities of “HardiHood,” released way back in 2001, would indeed represent something “new.”
Elly Blue: “My year as a woman in a city of bikes.”
Washington’s “Vulnerable User” legislation is already further along than a similar bill made it last year.
Jonathan Maus at BikePortland.org raises the question of why a local newspaper seems deliberately provocative (one might say antagonistic) on the issue of the city’s 2030 Bicycle Plan:
“Instead of helping to foster civil public discourse about a very important plan for our city’s future, I’m afraid this story will only serve to intensify the “bicyclist” versus “motorist” sensationalism that The Oregonian has admitted to “overplaying” in the past.”
As newspapers (the ones that survive) continue to focus on their natural constituency, that being local communities, our hope is that they’ll show more sensitivity and receptiveness to the bicycling community in the transportation matrix. The perplexing irony in this case is that The Oregonian has on staff one of the nation’s experts on just this subject — Jeff Mapes, author of “Pedaling Revolution.” Maybe he could persuade an editor or two at his newspaper to read his book?!
For your good deed of the day — heck, the whole weekend — take the Bicycle Leadership Conference survey.
We like Ryder Hesjedal for two reasons: First, his mountain bike heritage. Second, his first name. Keep an eye on him in the 2010 season.
Have a great weekend! Hopefully the weather will let you Get out ‘n RIDE!
Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz have finalized plans for their two-day Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival on Feb. 27 and 28, capped with the California premiere of “Women of Dirt” at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the stately Rio Theater in Santa Cruz.
On hand will be riders Lisa Myklak, Emily Johnston, Tammy Donahugh and Kathy Pruitt, as well as filmmaker Mark Brent. A Q&A session will be moderated by Karen Kefauver, a freelance sports and travel journalist who authors the cycling column, Spin City for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and an outdoors blog.
There will also be a group ride at Soquel Demo Forest on Feb. 27 along with a Demo Day at Bike Station Aptos. A pump ‘n jump jam in Aptos will precede the film on the 28th.
(We sure hope the weather has cleared up by then!)
The film’s worldwide premiere is Friday in Seattle. Previous Bike Intelligencer coverage.
Its co-filmmaker calls “Women of Dirt,” which premieres a week from tomorrow, an “experiential lifestyle film” packed with “levity” and “fun.” But it’s not just a film “for and about women,” whether on bikes or off. Instead, says Mark Brent, previewers have been unanimous that the movie has “huge crossover appeal” for any audience — meaning the riding, the relationships and the story take it beyond the usual backflips-and-beer ethos of conventional freeride DVDs.
“Women bring a different aspect to the sport,” Brent said. Their riding has a subtlety and grace to it that “We can all identify with better,” Brent said. “It’s super flowy and style-y.”
We were instantly drawn to Brent’s and co-filmmaker Miles Sullivan’s project by the presence of Seattle native Jill Kintner, whose 2009 season ranked among the best of any mountain biker, male or female. Kintner is featured riding last summer’s Whistler Crankworx (where she won two titles and runner-upped a third), the nationals (she took first) and — get this — the Woodland Park jumps, within shouting distance of our Phinney Ridge home. Modest and understated, Kintner hasn’t gotten her due. Perhaps the movie will remedy that.
Unfortunately, Jill (and most of the pro cycling world) is in Australia, where it’s summertime, training for the 2010 season — which means she can’t be at Northwest Film Forum for the movie’s worldwide premiere Feb. 5 (tickets here). But Katrina Strand, Stephanie Nychka, Cierra Smith, Tammy Donahugh and Leana Gerrard will be in Seattle (be sure to read Martha Hucker’s interview of Leana) for the premiere and Lisa Myklak, Emily Johnston, and Tammy Donahugh in Santa Cruz for the California premiere Feb. 28. The Cali hosts, Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, are making the showing part of a gala two-day festival, including an open ride at Soquel Demo Forest and jump jam sponsored by Epicenter Cycling in Aptos.
At the Seattle premiere Diamondback Bicycles will give away a 2010 Mission 1. And 10 percent of net proceeds from Seattle showings will go to benefit the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, which is doing superlative work to support freeride parks in the region.
Brent says that, after two decades of mostly male mtb films, there’s a lot of pent-up demand for a film featuring women riders. He got the idea for “Women of Dirt” in part from talking with Joy Mutoli, who noticed after race weekends that the guy footage on PinkBike would get a few dozen views while the fem footage shot the needle up to 500 or more.
The “Women of Dirt” teaser has gotten more than 50,000 views. And the film’s Facebook fan page has nearly 1,500 members.
“People have told us, ‘Wow, we didn’t know this story existed’,” Brent said. “They’re blown away by the beauty and courage and comradery of the riders.”
In addition to NWFF’s run and the Santa Cruz premiere, “Women of Dirt” will be hosted by Mudd Bunnies in Vancouver, B.C. And Brent is working with groups and clubs in a variety of locales, including Bellingham, to get the film before local audiences.
“We’re encouraging anyone with a group of any size to host a showing,” he said. (It’s called marketing in the age of the Internet.)
DVDs will go on sale officially the day of the premiere but may be available online earlier, Brent said. Fans also will be able to buy the film directly from the producers at the BonesOverMetal web site. And discs are sure to make their way into select bike shops.
“I hope this opens up the opportunity for a full-length feature documentary,” Brent said. Perhaps something on the women’s World Cup circuit — something along the lines of Clay Porter’s annual series (“F1rst,” “Between the Tape,” “Tipping Point”). In any case, “Women of Dirt” is long overdue as a tribute to women opening the sport and zeitgeist of freeriding to a whole new generation of riders. For an example, be sure to check out Walter Yi’s video link below of Kat Sweet out at Duthie — one of the places where Evergreen is making such a difference.
You’d think someone who grew up in Seattle and has lived there most of his life would be used to a spot of rain, but it’s been ugly for nearly a week here in Palo Alto, where we live in the winter to escape … rain.
Meanwhile, reports are Seattle is enjoying a spate of weather not unlike what it usually gets the second week of July, which is the historic first week of summer, which lasts a minimum of 22 days.
To comfort our suffering soul we hauled out a video we made a few years back when Seattle was in the midst of a record-setting month-long streak of consecutive soggy days. As bad as it’s been in Cali this week, it’s just a literal drop in the bucket compared to the moist jewel of Puget Sound.
The show schedule for “Women of Dirt,” the much-anticipated feature movie on downhill/freeride grrllzz, is starting to round out. The worldwide premiere will be Feb. 5th in Seattle, and Cyclelicio.us broke news that the film’s California premiere will be in Santa Cruz Feb. 28 at the Rio Theater on Soquel (Yokota promises more details, including the time, soon). Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, a great advocacy and ride club, will host. Mark Brent, the film’s producer, promises other showings “around the world,” including Vancouver B.C., Florida, Bend and Edmonton. OK that’s North America. But we can see World Cup showings all over, especially in UK, Australia, France, Italy and elsewhere. Japan seems another likely market.
The trailer is tantalizing indeed, with clips from the Aptos Post Office jump park, Whistler mountain bike park, Tahoe, Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington and elsewhere. It’s cool to see pony-tailed riders in full armor skying launches and doubles. Will we be seeing a She Slopestyle event at Crankworx sometime soon? The way these women are amping the skillz, we wouldn’t be surprised.
The fem freerider is definitely here to stay. We noticed it most dramatically at Galbraith Mountain last summer. Any day of the week you could find fully geared women ripping the trails. Where were they all coming from? The presence of Western Washington U undoubtedly is a contributor, but the mtb culture is so generically ingrained in Bellingham that my sense is no single factor is at work. Women have been a mainstay on the GalbraithMt.com Web site for years. All it takes is a few to spread mtb love and you’ve got a revolution on your hands.
Here’s the showtimes for “Women of Dirt” as it stands now.
Related: MTBChick’s Mountain Biking Tips for Girls
Big bike rally Saturday in Palo Alto to protest the hate-cyclist page on Facebook. Riders will convene at Facebook headquarters near California Avenue and Bowdoin Street. This is a residential area called College Terrace where the locals may well join the protest. Facebook is not well liked. Its employees sucked up all available parking for blocks around the place, forcing College Terrace to adopt “restricted zone” signage. Although that takes care of the Facebookers, it creates hassles for having friends, associates and house guests over. Ah well, life in America…
Streetsblog: The $290,000 speeding ticket. Wonder what they’d do in Palo Alto if speeding tickets were assessed like Switzerland?
Drunkcyclist: Pickup truck driver runs cyclists off the road, pleads guilty to reckless endangerment and felony menacing, and walks free. DC’s big jonny is disgusted, as are we. But this is progress. Not so long ago the case wouldn’t even have reached a judge anywhere. In Washington State, it still wouldn’t reach a judge. More grist for Cascade Bicycle Club’s mill in Olympia this legislative session.
PinkBike has a teaser for “The Next Generation” DVD. There’s a bunch of freeride DVDs in the mill, and we continue to wait breathlessly for some movie maker to break the mold. Hey it’s either that or they’ll all have to shut up about doing it.
Bicycle Retailer has a partial agenda for Bicycle Leadership Conference panels at Sea Otter in April.
News Cycle: Two strikes against bike hatred, new Seattle DOT director, Portland’s commuter drop, Life Cycles DVD, ski-bike & moreIn Bicycle advocacy, Mountain Biking, News Cycle, Obama Bikes, Videos on January 9, 2010 at 2:37 am
The Facebook protest against bike-hate continues to grow. Now there’s a “Help REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclists!” tribe. All instructions included. The outrage targets a Facebook page showing violence against cyclists as an appropriate traffic-management technique.
Speaking of hate: That deranged L.A. physician who doorstopped a group of cyclists with his car last summer has received a five-year sentence. As BikingBis notes, the judge characterized the case as a “wake-up call” to motorists and cyclists. The judge urged more bike lanes, but that (as the Facebook hate page shows) hardly guarantees progress toward equal rights for cycling. Still, there’s something going on with officialdom recognizing the need for more shall we say “infrastructure.” Full historiography of the case at LA Streetsblog.
The full and authorized version of the 2009 Portland bike count has been released, confirming an unexpected drop in ridership. No surprises in the speculative reasons why: Lower gas prices got cyclists back into their cars, and a “saturation” of Portland’s cycling infrastructure. The argument being that Portland has maxed out the number of folks who will ride bikes without more “infrastructure,” e.g., bike lanes, paths and services. BikePortland.org, as usual, has the full discussion.
“Life Cycles” is the name of a forthcoming mountain biking freeride DVD that promises to be something different. One line from producer I liked: “We decided to spend a lot of time instead of a lot of money.” Freeride DVDs have gotten awfully formulaic. How many more gap jumps and back flips can we take, anyway. We’ll see if these guys can truly break the mold.
BikeHacks ran across a bike-n-ski setup that’s a real hoot.
The fact that new Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s pick for the city’s new transportation director, Peter Hahn, doesn’t have an obvious City Hall connection, hold a dogmatic agenda or met any obvious litmus test bothers some folks. To me it’s a plus. A big plus.
Nominations for the 10th annual Bloggies close on Tuesday. Who gets my 3-slot? BikePortland.org, Cyclelicio.us and FatCyclist. BikePortland because Jonathan is relentlessly dedicated and productive, Cyclelicious because Yokota manages to find the interesting stuff and put it in a unique light, and FatCyclist because he endured the ultimate tragedy and then went out and raised a ton of money for a great cause. Best of luck to all, and dial in your votes now!