L and I went to the movie "Race Across The Sky " last night at the Harbor theater. It's about this year's Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado. It's been a cult classic event since 1994, but now guys like Lance Armstrong are riding it and bring more wide spread notariaty to the race. This will probably make it harder to get in in the coming years, seeing that they limit it to @1400 entrants via a lottery system. Too bad for some, but at least being a "name" doesn't mean you will get in. 6 time champ David Wiens, a long time top mtb pro, didn't get i the first couple of years he tried. Only Tour De France winners are automatics.
The movie started with a panel discussion featuring Lance, Travis Brown, David Wiens, Chris Carmicheal, Matt Shriver, Ken Choulber (who organizes the event) and moderator Dave Towle. It did add a little back ground and gave Lance a chance to explain why he was doing the race and what it meant to him. He said he was more nervous at the start of Leadville than at the Tour De France.
The movie itself featured a lot of Lance, some human interest stories, fantastic camera work, and good narration by Bob Roll. With 14,000 feet of climbing, all of it from above 9000 feet of elevation, it's one epic challenge. The biggest challenge Lance faced was a flat tire with about 7 miles to go. He couldn't figure out how to fix it, being a tubeless and all, so he road it to the finish flat. Lucky it was on the back. He held off Wiens and won in record time. He said one of the reasons he rode so hard was to stay warm, as it was very cold. Many of the slower riders had to tough it out in rain and sleet. They were suffering, but all looked to really enjoy the pain. I felt bad for those that missed the first time cut, such as a guy who had 2 new knees and trained very hard, but just missed it. That would suck. One strange thing was Travis Brown's bike - a 26er with drop bars, ala John Tomac.
All and all, I really enjoyed the show, as did L. She just started to ride a bike again, and was fascinated with the movie. It showed the human side of bike racing from all types of riders.