Saturday, October 24, 2009

Race Across the Sky

Thursday night, despite having the schedule from hell lately, we were bound and determined to go see Race Across the Sky. For those of you living under a rock, Race Across the Sky is a documentary filmed at the Leadville 100 this year. Remarkably, they showed it in two different locations in Lansing (as well as other places around the country). And just so you don't have to wonder any longer, no we weren't in the movie, even though there were some crowd shots when racers were finishing.

Though I was looking forward to the movie, it ended up being much better than I expected. I'm not going to review the movie here, though, I just want to talk a bit about some of the things I took away from my viewing.
  • Dave Wiens is an incredibly nice guy. This is something I pretty much already knew, but it is obvious when you watch the movie and see the panel discussion before and after. Due to the fact that we  were in Colorado during Leadville and right after it, we heard about Dave Wiens a lot. He's a local boy, which is one of the reasons why they love him so much. But it's not just that—it's also how down to earth and unassuming he seems, even with all the success he's experienced. Now, don't get me wrong, I love, love, love Lance Armstrong, but I don't think anyone could ever call him unassuming or down to earth. I've been reading Dave's blog since we returned from Crested Butte. He lives in Gunnison, so it offered a good way to get a glimpse of that area. But I've found out from reading it (as much as you can from reading something and not actually meeting a person), that he is a really good guy. That was apparent in many parts of the movie, but never as much as when he thanks the volunteers when riding away from an aid station, getting ready to go back to chasing Lance. The race founder, Ken Chlouber, calls this part out specifically in the panel discussion after the movie, but it had already resonated with me, even before that.
  • Leadville is even harder than I'd imagined. I've heard it described on numerous Web sites, including that of Fat Cyclist, who has raced it nearly every year it has been in existence. Even so, the magnitude of gnarly is amplified by seeing the movie and watching people struggle through the course. I imagine in person it's even more so, particularly if you are the one racing. It's an incredibly nasty, tough race. Of course it would have to be for Lance Armstrong to call this the race that made him want to return to racing.
  • There are things that are much, much more disheartening than my last Kisscross experience, like having two knee replacement surgeries then training hard all year for one race, only to be turned away by one of your good friends (who also happens to be the race founder) four hours into it because you didn't make the cut off. It was really interesting to hear the back stories of some of the racers and to hear some of the motivation of those who weren't leading the race.
  • Even I am probably better at changing a tire than Lance Armstrong. I remembered hearing during the race that he had ridden the last bit of the race on a flat, but I had forgotten about it until I watched the movie. After Lance gets a flat with about seven miles left to go, he tries to put air in the tire with a CO2 cartridge (without doing anything else with the tire) and when that doesn't work, not knowing how far back Dave is, and not trusting his tire-changing skills, decides to ride the rest of the way on the flat. That being said, during the panel discussion after the movie, the other guys were ribbing him about it, saying he was looking for the team car to help him, and he took it in a very good natured way. But what was happening with his hair in that movie, anyway? It was crazy looking!
  • I really, really want to move to Colorado even more now, especially after hearing about some of the new races they're trying to organize. 
  • "You're better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can." Ken Chlouber 
If you haven't seen it, I would definitely recommend catching it on the DVD or the encore event on Nov. 12.


Sean said...

That movie was pretty cool...and the stories were more interesting than the outome!

Can you tell me what the address for Dave Weins's blog?

Andrea said...

Sean--Dave's blog address is Sorry this took so long. I have been kind of scarce, as you may have noticed.