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
My First Bike explores the life and work of professional frame builders by going back to the start and looking at the first bike they ever built. Todayâ€™s My First Bike features Todd Ingermanson of Black Cat Bicycles.Â
Give me the short rundown of your first frame: when was it built, where, materials, any special details about it, etc.
This isn’t my very first frame. It is the second or third. I don’t remember exactly. The first one was an attempt at an exact copy of a custom bike that I already owned to see if I could even pull off what I wanted without the variables of my own “design” thrown in. This one is the first bike that I ever designed. It was 10 years ago, right as the 29er thing was getting going and I really wanted one.
There weren’t many folks building them and those who were, were pretty tight lipped about geometry and angles. This one, like the others before it, was just an experiment. This one was to see what geometry I wanted before I built the bike I wanted.Â An experienced frame builder friend, John Cutter, had given me a curved seat tube from Schwinn Paramount tandem stock and I didn’t want to blow it.
Photo via Van Dessel Sports.
Adam McGrath’s story begins like that of the typical professional cyclist. Fast junior with promising natural talent rises to the pro ranks, travels the national racing circuit and makes a few forays into the European scene. From there, however, it takes a sharp turn towards unique. Nomadic travels around the world, the formation of strong philosophies on injustice and inequality, and homesteading on a small piece of property out on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula took precedent over racing. In part 1 of 2, Adam talks about his early exposure to cyclocross growing up in Boulder, CO, his path to professional racing, and his motivation to see the world.
Photographer and Filmmaker (and previous Bicycle Story interviewee) Brian Vernor just released the mini-documentary he made about the Trans-Andes Challenge, a 250-mile stage race across Chile’s Patagonia region. The film was part of the 2011 Bicycle Film Festival, but now that the festival has completed its run of showings across the US, Vernor is releasing his doc in-full online.
Vernor is known for incorporating a surf-film aesthetic into his work and that holds true for this as well in the way he shows the landscapes, the people and places on the region, and the life and culture of the racers between stages.
Trans Andes Challenge, The Film from Team Jamis on Vimeo.
Brian at the Tour d’ Afrique, the subject of his film Where Are You Go? Photo from Good Problem.
Brian Vernor has a cool thing going for himself. The fourth-generation Santa Cruz, CA resident is a photographer, filmmaker, and adventurer who travels the world using his cameras to tell stories (and very frequently, ones about bikes). Sometimes it’s companies like Rapha or Jamis who send him off on a job. Other times its for his own projects like The Cyclocross Meeting and Where Are You Go, films that he shot in Japan and across Africa respectively. I spoke to Brian about his start as a filmmaker and photographer, his love for cyclocross, his adventure on a “rail bike,” the subjects currently catching his eye, and more.
Posted in Art, Cycling Media, Cyclocross, Interviews, Racing
Tagged brian vernor, Cyclocross, professional women's cycling, pure sweet hell, rail bike, rick hunter, the cyclocross meeting, tour d' afrique, where are you go, women and cycling