This is my first film review, ever, so if I botch it up, I’ll try to do better on the next, if there is one.
Last Sunday I spent part of what would have been an otherwise cold, wet, and dreary afternoon in an activity that was almost as good as riding a motorcycle. Sitting in a dry, warm, and fully packed movie theatre, I was watching “Why We Ride,” the latest documentary about motorcycles. You may have heard about it before, or this is your first, either way, I’m sure that with the following it’s gathering it won’t be the last.
This film may become as well known as “On Any Sunday,” the quintessential motorcycle documentary everyone loves. The difference between them is instead of focusing on motorcycle competition, this film is about the motorcycle rider, the rider’s relationship to the machine, other riders, and the experience that is being a motorcycle rider.
This is the film’s synopsis quoted from the “Why We Ride” website.
Why We Ride is a story about who we are. Individuals with a desire to dream, discover and explore. Seeking a life outside our daily confinements and sharing those moments together. It’s a story about the journey, not the destination. Motorcycles represent the milestones of our lives. From a kid’s dream come true, to a retiree’s return to freedom. From a family riding together on the sand dunes, to hundreds of choppers carving through the canyons – the bond is the same. It’s about the passion of the riders and the soul of their machines. Your senses will heighten as the world rushes in, your heart will beat to the pulse of the engine, your mind will race and set you free. Once you let a motorcycle into your life, it will change you forever.
I think they pretty much nailed it right there, and the movie more than delivers on that promise. You can feel the enthusiasm from every interviewee as they describe their motorcycle experience, how it has affected their lives, what riding means to them. They’re a mix of the famous, and non-famous, from all walks of life, each with a passion for the machine. We have a saying at The Biker’s Garage, “We eat, sleep, breathe, motorcycles.” In every interview you get that it’s the same with them, a love for something that is beyond the understanding of a non-rider.
Why We Ride is much more than “talking heads.” Blended with the interviews is some of the most stunning motorcycle cinematography you will ever see. Sure, there is racing footage, and it’s exciting, but the best of it for me is the off track segments. I loved seeing motorcyclists out riding with their friends and family enjoying some beautiful scenery. These were shot all over the U.S., including “Biker Mecca” locations like Sturgis, and Bonneville. There is one bit in particular I liked, a couple riding, her arms are around his waist, she pulls him closer, says something, and both grin ear to ear. It took me right back to the days of riding two up with a cute girl, not just the remembering of it, I felt the connection. You get connection again in the interviews with couples and families, you can feel the bond between them and their mutual love for motorcycles.
Connections and feelings, that is the strength of this film, it does not just show you things, it makes you FEEL them. You feel your first time seeing or riding a motorcycle, the excitement of it, the rush, and feeling of freedom we all have riding, and that connection with others who share your passion. Yes, you will feel it, even if you are sitting in theatre on a cold, wet, and dreary Sunday afternoon in the middle of winter.
Enough of me talking about how much I love “Why We Ride,” here’s the trailer. Just after I’ll tell you where to buy the film, or bring it to the big screen in your town. A helpful tip if you attend a screening: Keep your butt in the seats for the credits, it’s worth it, all of the interviewees are identified at that time. One more thing, do stand up and applaud the end like we did, it’s only fitting.
You can get the movie shown in your area, or attend an existing showing by going to Tugg Events. If it’s not showing in your city you can arrange to have it shown with no risk to your wallet.
Why We Ride has just been released on DVD, it is currently available at some motorcycle shops, and other moto-centric locations. You can also find “Why We Ride” on Amazon.
Review By: Terry Cavender
Video Clip By: Why We Ride Film
Images Supplied By: Why We Ride Film
Synopsis Quotation: Why We Ride Film