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Why did the Chicagoan venture up to Milwaukee and bike UP this hill?
hill vertical

To go see the bike film Ride the Divide!
me at film

And I wasn’t the only one riding; movie-goers had to get creative with the parking.
ride the divide bike parking

Gary, promoter of Ride the Divide movie, was on-hand for the Milwaukee screening and has been on tour with this film as its traveled from city to city since last July. Last Tuesday the film was in the Chicago area, on Wednesday in Milwaukee and on Thursday in Madison, WI. After days of back-to-back screenings, the film resumes its tour this week with a stop in Ohio. More upcoming tour dates are online.
Rosebud Cinema

Before the movie began, we saw a few short films from Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Milwaukee, Hayes Bicycle Group, and IMBA – which screened its movie Bring the Riding to the People about the construction of municipal mountain bike parks in NYC, Seattle and Golden, CO.

As noted on its website, Ride the Divide tells the story of the underground mountain bike race noted to be…

“the world’s toughest mountain bike race, which traverses over 2700 miles along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The film weaves the story of three characters’ experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.”

The route goes from Banff to the Mexico border and is 2,745 miles. Adventure Cycling wrote of the ride that “competitors will climb nearly 200,000 vertical feet from start to finish. In classic touring tradition, racers carry everything they need — food, water, shelter — on their bikes and backs, with refueling stops in small-town stores along the way.”

Matthew Lee is a 6-time winner of this race and his challenges and successes are fully documented in Ride the Divide. This documentary was filmed in 2008, when 16 riders set out from Banff and only 9 crossed the finish line (the borderline) of Mexico. On June 9, 2011, over 100 endurance cyclists will start the race. You can follow the participants’ progress online at tourdivide.org via the leaderboard.

After the film, Metro Mountain Bikers raffled off several prizes and Gary answered questions from the audience about the film and the Ride as it exists today as it grows in popularity. This year’s race begins one month from today on June 9, 2011.
Ride the Divide Q&A

On such a beautiful spring evening, I was happy to have tackled that looming hill on the way to the movie rather than sit in traffic.
gas prices

What goes up, must come down … and I fully enjoyed coasting back from this film light-hearted and with a deep respect for those endurance cyclists. My hill must be just a bump on the divide.