90% of the enjoyment I get from Netflix is hoarding lots of interesting things in my queue without ever actually watching any of them. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?) As it were, I noticed "Ride the Divide" when going through the sports documentaries category over the summer but never made time to watch it. While my workouts have been going way better than last week, I thought a boost of motivation couldn't hurt.
This documentary follows the story of a diverse group of mountain bikers riding from Banff, Canada, to the US-Mexican border as part of a self-supported race. The route covers over 2700 miles and more than 200,000 feet of elevation gain. Paraphrasing the filmmakers, the route comprises a variety of terrain, ranging from forest roads to abandoned two-tracks.
The film focused on Matthew Lee, who had won the race several times previously and was hoping to do so again; Reuben Kline, Matthew's one true competitor; and Mary Metcalf-Collier, seeking to be the first woman to complete the entire race.
|If I'm ever leading a race, I hope I make the time to moodily eat snacks on a random church porch.|
In this same vein, it didn't appear that the crew had any sort of "pre-planned" narrative. The locals they met along the way seemed to be part of genuine encounters, and the filmmakers often relied on other racers for advice on who they should talk to on any given day. However, they edited everything together in a very cohesive fashion. I cheered for Matt and Mary the whole time and was often in suspense about what would happen. I'm not sure what questions they asked the racers during filming - as only responses were shown - but I always found the racer spots enlightening, and they helped me understand the nature of such a monumental race better.
|Though if someone wanted to interview me while I was trying to sleep, I might suffocate them with my bivvy sack.|
In the end, "Ride the Divide" wasn't as purely motivational as I had expected after watching other films, such as "Spirit of the Marathon." But that's not to say I didn't love the film, because I totally did! I have very little interest in cycling as it's own sport (and let's not pretend it's my favorite part of triathlons either), but I was engaged and intrigued for the duration of the movie. The pacing was great, I felt connected to the racers and filmmakers, and I learned quite a bit about an unfamiliar subject. At 82 minutes, it's doable even for a week night viewing.
The only problem I had was when the racers complained they were alone in these incredible parts of nature for extended periods of time.
|Sounds like an introvert's dream to me!|