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'Why We Ride' - Movie Review

The cinematography is gorgeous and 'Why We Ride' is insightful, humorous, touching and inspiring

By Gary Koz Mraz

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Screening at the Petersen Museum Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
This movie made itself.  Born from the inspiration of documenting the legacy of Ed Kretz it took on a life of its own.  Why We Ride wasn’t funded by a conglomeration of sponsors all vying for product placement screen time.  It was funded by a group of private investors. The Director and camera crew literally started day one shooting at the Sturgis motorcycle rally with no prior contacts or scripts. Soon, the project had its own momentum, its own direction.  The cast of interviewees is a who’s who of two wheels and the scope of this film spans decades of motorcycle history from Americas first motorcycles, minibikes to motocross. In the end, the movie is self distributed; it’s not controlled by a big studio and can’t be shelved for the next zombie or vampire fad.
Yes, Producer Bryan H. Carroll has film credits that range from Predator, Die Hard, Collateral, Titanic to name just a few. Yes, he had a dynamic production and editorial team.  Yes, the cinematography is gorgeous and Why We Ride is insightful, humorous, touching and inspiring so I guess those guys get some credit. It embraces all things two wheels and captures the spirit through compelling cinematography and deep personal insight.
The screening at the Petersen museum was apropos. Steeped in automotive history the Petersen collection stirs the soul. Personal transportation means personal freedom and that’s why we ride. My advice is when you see this film, bring a friend, a non riding friend. No sense in preaching to the choir, let someone else experience what you already know. The power of cinema allows viewers to experience a world unknown, to break down preconceptions and to inspire. You ride; you get it, share the passion and let Why We Ride inspire others to join our family. 
Alonzo Bodden -Why We Ride cast, Nancy Foote (Streetmasters School), Producer Bryan Carroll and Walt Fulton (Streetmasters) .Walt’s father, won the very first Catalina Grand Prix race in 1951
Alonzo Bodden -Why We Ride cast, Nancy Foote (Streetmasters School), Producer Bryan Carroll and Walt Fulton (Streetmasters) .Walt’s father, won the very first Catalina Grand Prix race in 1951

The film closes interviewing Dave Barr. He may not be the person you'd picture as an avid motorcyclist, but he certainly is that. In 1981, Dave lost both of his legs in a landmine explosion while serving in Angola. Since that time, Barr has become an inspiration to people facing physical challenges as well as those who are not. He's ridden around the world, across Russia in the dead of the Siberian winter, and to the four farthest points of Australia. He couldn’t traverse the Russian terrain during summer, because of the mud so winter was his only option. In riding 9000 miles through Russia for the Guinness World book Barr learned how to ride ice roads.
“By pulling in the clutch and revving the engine the spinning centrifugal force of the big Harley knucklehead engine helped keep the bike upright while all traction is lost.” stated Barr.
He's written books, produced documentaries, earned two Guinness World Records and established Patriot Express, a foundation that supports Fisher House in its mission to assist military servicemen and their families during hospitalization and unexpected injury or illness. Inducted into Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2012 David is an inspirational speaker. Go to his website and if he is speaking anywhere, go see him.
I really loved his closing lines in the film.
“I remember my daughter telling me not long ago ‘dad I’ve got to ride the motorcycle with you, so when you get old I can ride with you on the back’. I took her for her first ride, maybe she takes me for my last.”
“The one thing I can tell you having lived the life I have is that ‘tomorrow my friend, is promised to no one.”  Dave Barr.
Click for the Why We Ride Facebook page
Click for the Why We Ride Facebook page


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