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.”
Posted in Cycling Media, Everything Else, History, Mountain Biking
Tagged brian vernor, brian vernor interview, canadian mountain biking eh, cycling films, freewheelin, mountain bike films, mountain bike history, the first mountain bike film, wolf ruck
For a limited time only, Cycling Sojourner ships free to U.S. customers!
Cycling Sojourner Washington is an in-depth guide to self-supported bicycle touring in Washington State. It features 9 distinct tours throughout Washington with all the info you need to set out for an adventure on two wheels. I wrote two chapters of the book and have copies available for purchase through The Bicycle Story’s store. Get a copy for yourself or give the gift of bike touring this holiday season!
It’s sad that our earliest Thanksgiving traditions have long since faded away. Here’s to an old fashioned holiday filled with family, friends, food, and turkey-drawn carriage rides!
Frank The Welder. Photo by Bear Cieri.
Frank Wadelton, aka Frank The Welder, is a legendary figure in American frame building. He’s worked at Yeti, Spooky, Mongoose, and many others and had a tremendous influence on mountain bike design. These days he builds under his own name, Frank The Welder. This short film from Jake Goss provides a great glimpse into Frank’s life and career history.
Posted in Art, Cyclocross, Everything Else, Frame Builders
Tagged cycling documentary, frame builder history, frank the welder, frank wadelton, ftw inc, mongoose, mountain bike history, new england frame builders, spooky, turner, yeti
This past Saturday, The Bicycle Story hit it’s four year anniversary. The project launched on November 1, 2010 with the Stevil Kinevil interview. I didn’t have much plan for the site when it kicked off. I just knew the best part about cycling is the interesting people involved and I was pretty sure there were readers out there who agreed. It turns out I was right on both counts. The project has continued to grow beyond my expectations (I never would’ve guessed I’d some day be chatting about the intersection of cycling and women’s rights in Afghanistan). And the audience–you great people–has grown right along with it.
Over the years, The Bicycle Story has become a platform for elevating unique voices and insider insight. The interviews have delved into critical social justice and equity issues with people such as Adonia Lugo and Ed Ewing. They’ve served as an oral history of cycling culture with Jacquie Phelan and Steve Garro. They’ve gone deep into the lives of cycling’s best athletes such as Jeremy Powers, Mo Bruno Roy, Barry Wicks, Ted King, and Elle Anderson. They’ve looked at the important work of advocates such as Aaron Naparstek, Nelle Pierson, and Noah Budnick. Many great adventurers have shared their epics including Nicholas Carman, Mike Curiak, and Jill Homer. Artists such as Brian Vernor and Emily Maye have shed light on their process and creative eye to the world. And the list goes on and on.
So thank you for reading and sharing and appreciating and supporting this work. It means a lot and provides the motivation necessary to keep the project rolling. If you want to lend some financial support and look great doing it, buy one of The Bicycle’s Story’s brand new t shirts. In the meantime, I’ll still be seeking out and chatting up the best, most fascinating, raddest people the cycling world has to offer.