With Québec as Canada'a worst hit province in the Covid crisis, Giuseppe Marinoni, a seminal figure in Canadian cyclesports, is still out on his bicycle but disappointed that he had to ride alone. Most people 82 years of age would be happy to ride at all but Marinoni, the subject of a charming 2014 documentary, put in 8,000 kms in 2019 and still has big plans.
PEZ at the movies
It is not surprising that during the Great Lockdown Netflix is seeing a massive increase in subscribers. With many new viewers watching a six-part documentary about pro cycling team Movistar's 2019 season, where bizarre antics could not be ruled out as those of us watching races last year did not comprehend what the team was trying to do.
Beryl Burton was one of Britain's greatest athletes and one of the best cyclists ever, a story brought to life and beautifully told in the DVD “Racing is Life - The Beryl Burton Story.”
The British have a great love of the idiosyncratic and this enthusiasm for the oddball has extended to bicycle racing. Before British Cycling conquered track racing and Grand Tours fell to British riders, the British had a warm enthusiasm for time trialling. And one of the biggest fishes in this tiny pond was Alf Engers, “The King.”
Film Review: Bike racing is hard, whether a city crit or a local time trial. Then it gets really hard if you are a pro. Then you have people who like to sit on their bikes for a long time: ultra racers who do it for the challenge. The toughest ultra race is the Race Across America and a new film (with special screenings in Canada on July 15) shows just how tough it can be.
In the new documentary “The Bikes of Wrath” a group of five Australians follow a less celebrated path: that of the fictional Joad Family who followed Route 66 to California, escaping the Dust Bowl in their Oklahoma home. The cyclists get plenty of memories over their 32 days but raise plenty of questions about America today.
You would think that bicycle racing would be the ideal cloth for movies. Oddly, ficionalized cycling cinema has never caught on except for perhaps “Breaking Away” and “American Flyers”. In 2014 Québec filmmakers came up with “La Petite Reine,” and it is a shame it did not get wider notice in the film and cycling worlds.