Ride on down to this film fest

By Chris ‘Doc’ Pedersen

Sometimes being a hardcore freeride biker ends up conflicting with the law — cops tend to discourage bikers by ripping down the trails they worked so hard to build. If breaking the law isn’t your style, the Calgary Freeride Mountain Bike Film Festival running June 10­-11 shows four films from around the world full of amazing stories of people involved in the sport.

“We decided to bring four films in this year of all the latest freeride mountain bike films that are coming out and bring them together over two evenings to get people stoked to ride and get more awareness of the sport out there,” says festival organizer Andrel Reid.

The event, along with showcasing some awesome biking, is designed to create a sense of community amongst riders in Calgary. The festival looks to excite people enough to rescue their bikes from the shed and get ripping.

“Any rider [can] come and watch this — roadies [road cyclists] or cross country riders,” explains Reid. “A lot of these films show some pretty amazing riding and footage that, honestly, I think could get anyone stoked to just get out and ride.”

The festival features four films depicting the lifestyles, struggles and excitement associated with freeriding. The bikers in the films hail from all over the globe, from B.C.’s, Norway’s and America’s jump-riddled forest trails to paths through the green hills of Ireland.

The first night of the festival premieres two films — Break the Cycle and Bjorn Aunet’s Barred for Life, filmed in Norway, Utah and Canada.

“[Break the Cycle is] about a bunch of Irish downhillers,” says Reid. “It depicts their regular day life and their downhill racing side of life and lots of footage of Ireland and a great soundtrack. It won’t be the final, finished production film, so they are going to send me a good chunk of it.”

On the second evening the core of freeriding is explored in The Freedom Riders. The movie depicts the struggle between authority figures and American freeriders.

“For Thursday night I have The Freedom Riders, which is about a group of people down in the Tetons who used to build their trails at night under the cover of darkness so they wouldn’t get caught building them,” explains Reid. “The Forestry Services would fight and cut the trails up and destroy them. A couple of years ago the Forestry Services stepped [in] and said let’s work together.”

Reid says Thursday night will also feature a glimpse of the competitive, publicized side of freeride biking.

“[The film] is called the Tipping Point by Clay Porter,” he offers. “He does films all about the World Cup downhill circuit. This one is basically the entire 2008 circuit and highlights of it [offer] a little insight into the athletes.”

With the lineup of films, the festival will allow riders of every skill-set to experience the thrill of freeride biking, learn about the culture bikers live in and the struggles they undergo. Audiences will get all this without the possibility of breaking a leg.

Leave a comment