Growth5 Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bicycle Nightmares

In the world of ultra-distance cycling, the ultimate challenge is RAAM -- The Race Across America. The race is happening now. Competitors are striving to cover more than 3,000 miles in less than 10 days, with some sleeping just an hour or so a day.

A new movie, "Bicycle Dreams" is an attempt to capture the super-human effort the race demands and the suffering -- and even death -- that comes with it. The movie has garnered several awards, including winning the Breckenridge Film Festival, but you're not likely to see it at the local theater. You can see a trailer here, also embedded below.

The movie, which some might suggest would be more appropriately named "Bicycle Nightmares," is an amazing study in energy management. The competitors very consciously (and sometimes literally unconsciously) tap every energy source: physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.

It is both brutally inspirational and startlingly instructive. On one hand, it makes the challenges that we mere mortals face seem almost trivial by comparison. On the other hand, as we watch the competitors barter their sanity, money, health and even lives for an insignificant prize, it forces us to ask ourselves the same question the producers repeatedly ask the racers: "Why?"

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