Wednesday, 20 June 2012

My bicycle

For the past six days I have been glued to the edit suite, bringing together the feature film of my cycle, with my friend Pauline, across the USA last year. But as I cut and assembled interviews with characters we met, put in place my pieces-to-camera and linked it all with great scenery and shots of us cycling, I marvelled at one constant. My bicycle.

Like most of my friends, I am still amazed that I managed to cycle from Boston to Seattle, not without a few moans, groans and tantrums, as Pauline could confirm. I am also amazed at how this fairly simple piece if engineering design, powered only by the motion of our legs, took us easily all the way to the west coast.

Since 1885, when John Kemp Stanley came up with a diamond shape frame design, the bicycle hasn't really changed. Certainly it has evolved, with pneumatic tyres instead of hard wooden wheels, and the derailleur as we know it today being added in 1905, but overall it has remained unchanged.

My cycle across the USA pales in comparison to Pauline's adventure. She's now been on the road for almost two years and is close to completing the circle, all the way round the world on her bicycle. I'm very proud of her. Pauline has done one other thing I haven't: she's named her bike. It's called Shirley, named after a character in one of her favourite films, Shirley Valentine.

The bike I used across America is still packed away and my occasional cycle now is on an older bicycle. I'm hoping I'll have a reason to assemble my Trans America bike again in the not too distant future. I have been keeping a hold of hope since returning last October, to return to the US and cycle from south to north and into Canada, following what is known as the Underground Railroad. As time goes by that's looking less and less likely sadly. But who knows.

Today I completed a sequence in the edit that travels through Glacier National Park in western Montana, cut to music. It still makes my heart soar every time I watch it. A stunning highlight. Most days in the edit suite I'm treated to many fantastic memories of that epic journey. I'm very lucky to have such a visual keepsake.

I have a deadline of the end of July to finish cutting the film, and then the polishing will begin to hopefully have a completed film at the beginning of September. It's first test as a film will be entry into the Sundance Film festival, which is held in January. I hope it will be good enough to be accepted.

I'll never forget the journey I did with Pauline. The greatest adventure I've ever had. And all on my bicycle.

I love my bike.


Jess said...

I hope someday to have the opportunity to make a trip like that. I do a fair bit of bicycle touring now, but it's rarely over 100 miles, and almost always local. I just can't seem to find the time for anything longer.

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