Thursday, October 05, 2006
"Pleasure and pain, glory and defeat, mud and…more mud,
PURESWEETHELL tells the story of cyclocross, a sport
that has emerged as bike racing’s punk rock cousin.
Told from an insider’s perspective, the filmmakers traveled to
‘cross competitions throughout north America, dug up
vintage photos and film footage, and followed ‘cross luminaries
Justin Robinson, Gina Hall, Barry Wicks and Rick Hunter.
Shot entirely on Super 8 and supported by experimental
rock music, PURESWEETHELL surfaces both the strong
community behind the solitary sport and the grace that
arises amidst all of its grit."
I remember my dad taking me to some obscure bike races when I was young, very young, so all I have are these blurred snapshots in my memories of these events. Some of are sunny warm days in the park for road criteriums, but the ones that stir up strong emotions and desire to ride a bike are those of a muddy cold day in a small park in Burlington, Iowa. It was a 'cross race held on a moist, cold mid-west fall day, and all I rember was some riders dressed in black and white team kits, churning through the mud, and the awe of the people watching, my father included, of the effort and suffering going on.
It would be many years for me to find my way back to cyclo-cross, but since my own personal discovery of the sport, I am forever hooked. "Pure Sweet Hell" not only chronicles the current and past heros of the sport, and the sport itself, but does justice to why those who have choosen to part take in this sport, do so. The pure pain, agnoy and suffering of the sport, is the sport, and what makes us want more. Masochastic as it may be, there is an inner peace that lies within that suffering.
Not too mention the social aspect and the beautiful bikes, Mike Ferrentino says it best, "It's the most beautiful form of bike racing, far and away."
PSH is well put together, and the editing and soundtrack bring out much of what I love of cyclo-cross. It is the soundtrack for the sport. If you have not seen it, do. It is timeless, and will be one of those videos you pull out time and time again, each time as good as the last. www.cyclocrossfilm.com
Brian Vernor has kindly hooked us up with a few copies which we are giving away at this weekends Gunni-cross, along with some other great prizes. The forecast is cyclo-cross weather - rainy saturday in the 50's, and sunny sunday in the 60's.