Wednesday, February 16, 2005

PURE SWEET HELL


got dirt?, originally uploaded by tommy gun.

StrongArm Marketing Presents:
PURE SWEET HELL, an American cyclocross film.
Saturday, February 19.
St. Anthony Main Theater
12:00 midnight,
$5. No advance sales.
Pre-Movie mixer at One On One Bicycle Studio.
Ride your Cross Bike and get free drinks at the studio.

PRESS RELEASE: Pure Sweet Hell

These days, seeing cyclists of all types on the roads and trails is the norm-commuters with pegged pants and panniers on their way to work, students lugging backpacks, and skinny spandex-clad racers whizzing by on their weekend training rides. In recent years (especially since that brash Texan keeps winning the biggest bike race in the world), bike racing has become more and more a part of the common vernacular.

Many people might be able to tell you what a peloton is and how clipless pedals are used. Mountain biking, a sport that has appealed to the masses since the 1980s for its naturalistic appeal and the comfort of the bikes, is also a well-known niche in the cycling world. Fewer people are familiar with track racing (where riders on gearless, brakeless bikes zoom powerfully around a velodrome), and even fewer are aware of the red-headed stepchild of the bike racing world: cyclocross.

Without having witnessed or better yet, participated in, this initially strange-seeming sport that resembles nothing so well as a muddy ballet, you might wonder why in the world folks would want to subject themselves to a heap of abject misery and anaerobic suffering, taking a perfectly good (and most likely highly expensive) custom bicycle and running around in the mud with it on their shoulders. Sound confusing? This is what cyclocross is all about.

One athlete who delights in both the difficulty and the beauty of cyclocross enough to make a documentary about it is film director Brian Vernor, who along with his colleague in film and racing Willie K. Bullion made the film "PureSweetHell." Filmed over a three-year span at cyclocross races across the country, "PureSweetHell" effectively captures the true essence of cyclocross racing through hand-held Super-8 cinematography, an original soundtrack by Andy Kortman of Oma Yang, and interviews with many of the USA's most renowned professional cyclocross racers.

"PureSweetHell" made its debut at cyclocross nationals in Portland, OR last December, and has consistently sold out California screenings. Due to high demand from the cyclocross and the film scene, will begin its inter-state tour this February. Director Brian Vernor will be on hand at all screenings to wax eloquent on cyclocross, filmmaking, and any other questions the audience might have. Film's website is:
http://cyclocrossfilm.com/
-Ella Lawrence (707) 303-6327

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