Bicycle Dreams: The Race Across America (DVD)

Stephen Auerbach
Friday, Dec 21, 2012

I’ve recently been obsessed with reading about ultra-runners, so I wasn’t surprised to find that running does not hold a monopoly on extremists. Bicycle Dreams documents the 2005 transcontinental Race Across America (World’s Toughest Bicycle Race). Each year, cyclists from around the world gather in California and race to Maryland in less than twelve days. I wasn’t kidding when I said extremists. The race is about 3000 miles and in 27 years there have been less than 200 finishers. Director Stephen Auerbach follows several of the racers, interspersing race footage with interviews of racers and their crew members. The film captures the essence of an endurance sport in a way that I have not seen before. With very little, or no sleep, racers hallucinate, collapse, quit, and some even die. With a solo entrance fee of almost $4000, and a total cost starting at around $20,000, the challenges of the race are not limited to the physical demands of the actual time on the bike. While Bicycle Dreams probably won’t inspire you to grease up the chain on your old Schwinn (in fact, you might just toss it in the next garage sale) it is certainly a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Not just for fans of endurance sports, Bicycle Dreams is for anyone who enjoys watching others challenge themselves, persevere, and overcome.

Written by Helen H.

Fun fact: I adore furry faces.