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Review: A Ride With George

A Ride With George

A Ride With George

I do not know George Hincapie.  I say this because sometimes in conversations with people they assume that because of this blog I have some sort of access to people.  Not so.  I’ve only ridden with him in large groups and have never had a conversation with him beyond a couple of sentences.

So, I didn’t get an advance copy of the DVD.  I put down my cash for it just like everyone else.  The image I have of the man is the one filtered by the television screen and descriptions by fans.

Now I think I can now say I know much more about George Hincapie.  After watching “A Ride With George” I really feel as though I do know him.  This documentary by Plan A Films does a good job of placing George in his element – on the bike – and then getting him to open up with some good questions.  I take that back… some of the most telling responses to the questions are the ones that “Big George” answers with silence.

Another interesting tactic of the film makers was to ask questions of friends and cycling personalities and then having George watch them.  The camera closes in on his face as he sees the responses for the first time.  This exercise offered a couple of telling glimpses into the mind of the quiet rider.

At other times it isn’t interviews he watches but clips of his past exploits — and heart breaks — on the bike.  By this time you have learned enough about him to pick up the shades of emotion that move across his features.  Before the movie is over, you feel those emotions yourself — at least you will if you have had any experience on the bike.

Was there anything about the presentation that I did not like?  Well, I didn’t really see the need to have the f-bombs dropping here and there.  I’d like to have my children watch it.  I guess the intention was to give the film some edge.  I really do think it stood just fine on its content without the need of that language.

At a couple of points, the video seems a little less than high quality.  Part of that is due to the fact that they are filming George watching a clips on a big screen.  However, there are some other sections that seem a little grainy.  Don’t worry about it.  Before long you don’t notice those things as you sit there with the interviewer trying to pry open Hincapie’s mind.

I don’t know George, but I do know people who are close enough to him to give a fair assessment as to whether this film captures his true personality.  Each one of them gives the basic response, “That is George.”  If it is, then I’m more willing than ever to say I’m a fan of my fellow Greenvillian.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there is one instance I have to share.  Near the end of the movie many people, including Lance Armstrong, are asked what title they would give to George.  As they started this segment I said out loud to myself, “America’s Cycling Ambassador.”  I have called George that before.  Well, what do you know, a few moments later that is the exact title bestowed on Hincapie by Paul Sherwin.

The movie ends with George giving his own idea of what his title should be.  You’ll have to watch it to find out what he says.  You won’t be disappointed.

Getting into the head of George Hincapie

The documentary that many of us have been waiting for is now available.  The new Web site for the DVD “A Ride With George” is now live.  You can see a trailer for the movie and order your own copy right on the site.  See it at aridewithgeorge.com. You can read my review here.

I have not seen it yet, but some people who have – and who know George – say it is spot on.  It is going to be interesting to see how the filmmakers get the professional rider to talk!  This is the result.

Here is the official release sent out by Hincapie Sportswear last evening.

Greenville, SC —Hincapie™ Sportswear, Inc. (Hincapie), manufacturer and marketer of distinctive clothing for the performance cyclist, will release “35 Years, 677,000 Kilometers, 81 Minutes: A Ride with George Hincapie,” a documentary film on the life of one of America’s greatest cyclists.  The official movie trailer for this feature-length documentary can be viewed at www.aridewithgeorge.com.

“We are super excited about this new film,” said George Hincapie, Tour de France Stage Winner and co-owner of Hincapie Sportswear.  “I think it will give people a really unique look at what my life is like racing and training all over the world.  Chusy’s really talented and this is not like any documentary you’ve seen before.”

Directed by Anthony “Chusy” Haney-Jardine, whose last film “Anywhere, USA” won a Special Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, “35 Years, 677,000 Kilometers, 81 Minutes: A Ride With George Hincapie” features a unique look into the private life of professional cyclist George Hincapie.  The film captures the emotion behind the athlete and explores what motivates one of the world’s greatest cyclists.  Lance Armstrong, Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and many other top level professionals and cycling personalities share candid stories and insights about Hincapie and his incredible journey to the highest level of the sport.

“In this era of me-me-me, George’s message of teamwork and selflessness is truly inspirational,” says Chusy. “I hope other people will find inspiration from his example.”

“35 Years, 677,000 Kilometers, 81 Minutes: A Ride with George Hincapie” is available now on DVD.  Hincapie will distribute the DVD through Hincapie Bicycle Dealers and sell it directly on the website, www.Hincapie.com.  Additional public screenings of the movie may be scheduled in major cities across the country this summer.

For more than 50 years, the Hincapies have dedicated themselves to excellence in the sport of cycling.  Through Hincapie Sportswear, they are combining the lessons they have learned on the road with excellence in customer service, quality craftsmanship and stylish designs, to create the most comfortable, functional and stylish cycling apparel in the world.

I’ll let you know what I think when I see it.  Update: See my review of the movie here.