The World’s First Mountain Bike Film (Probably)

Canadian filmmaker Wolf Ruck made Freewheelin’ in 1985. The short film highlights early mountain bike footage set to a decidedly-80s soundtrack. According to Brian Vernor (read The Bicycle Story’s 2011 interview with him), it is likely the first purpose-made mountain bike film in history. Vernor writes:

“In early 2010 I showed this film to multiple cycling media outlets in an effort to re-release the film, or even do an in depth profile on the man that as far as I know has made the first mountain bike film. the FIRST. This is a film. It is not a bunch of scrappy footage. Wolf Ruck made something beautiful and important, and then he moved on and made other films about other subjects. He was very humble when I approached him about his film FREEWHEELIN. He was even surprised anybody cared. What a shock to see this film for me. Besides the historical importance, the great vibe he transmits from the scene as it was back then, jamming soundtrack he co-ordinated, Wolf Ruck can likely be credited with the first urban POV shot in all of cycling. Plenty of people have made names for themselves simply from that shot alone. As a filmmaker this whole film inspires me.”

4 Responses to The World’s First Mountain Bike Film (Probably)

  1. I’ve never seen a cycling video from the old age like this one. And I must say this video is awesome! I agreed with you about the great vibe in this video. Totally love it!

  2. Great to see the Toronto footage (with all the old downtown landmarks and streetcars and buses) at the start. I was trying to figure out what local trails the rest of it was shot on until I saw the cactus.

    Wish I’d seen this at the time then maybe I wouldn’t have wasted my teenage years on road bikes.

  3. What city were the urban shots from? Back in the day some of those mountain biking shots would have taken an age to set up and edit, i found this interesting from a film student perspective rather than a cycling/mountain bike but never the less it’s great this is in the public domain, shared on twitter, great find guys!

  4. That is great video. I am interest in this video. Thank for sharing.

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