The award winning documentary Bicycle Dreams will be showing at the Big Dog Theater in Cleveland Heights on Thursday, January 26th at 7 p.m. According to USA Today, “Bicycle Dreams is a beautiful film that probes deeply into the sport’s heart of darkness, offering an inspiring glimpse at the high price of glory.” The “glory” that USA Today is referring to is the completion of the Race Across America, or RAAM.
The Race Across America is an epic, 3000-mile bicycle race from the Pacific to the Atlantic. First held in 1982, RAAM is considered the most challenging sporting event in the world. Top riders finish in under 10 days, riding over 300 miles per day and sleeping only a few hours per night. Amid the sleepless grind, riders must endure the searing heat of the Mojave Desert, the agonizing climbs and descents of the Rockies, the driving winds of the Great Plains, and the twisting switchbacks of the Appalachians before the final sprint to the finish line in Atlantic City. With little prize money at stake, the fundamental goal of the race is simply to finish, a challenge half of all riders fail to meet.
Filmmaker Stephen Auerbach and his crew worked around the clock to capture the highs and lows of the Race Across America. With 18 cameras in the field, the team found innovative ways to document this massive event. To uncover the inner workings of the race, embedded camera operators traveled inside the riders’ crew vehicles, gaining unprecedented access to the cyclists and their teams. Their footage captured emotional and physical breakdowns, late-night strategy sessions, and great moments of personal triumph, all in intimate detail. Auerbach then took on the enormous task of editing hundreds of hours of material into a powerful, inspiring look inside the most difficult race on Earth. Watch the trailer here.
Local RAAM participants Jim Karlovec and Sara Harper will participate in a Q & A session after the event and will share stories of their respective experiences with this grueling event. Jim rides for Team Give a Wave, who campaigns to overcome negative issues and stereotypes by encouraging cyclists to act responsibly and to thank drives that do the same. Sara rides for The Team Hope, which is a passionate group of endurance athletes going the distance to inspire help for those without safe drinking water.
Advance sale tickets are $10 (plus $1 processing fee) and can be purchased here. Be sure to choose the Cleveland screening. Day of Event tickets will be $15. All attendees will receive one free raffle ticket and a chance to win prizes donated by local businesses. Additional raffle tickets will be sold for $1. This event is sponsored by HubBub Custom Bicycles. Proceeds will benefit the youth programs of the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition and Bike Cleveland.
The Big Dog Theater is located at 2781 Euclid Heights Boulevard in the Coventry Village district of Cleveland Heights.