The first Mountain Bike film ever made!

Well…that’s what Brian Vernor believes, so that is what I believe!

Here’s what Brian has to say about the film…

Hi friends, This has been a long time coming. I have held this secret for a long time and at this point I think there is no way to share this radical film other than to simply let it fly on the internet. In early 2010 I showed this film to multiple cycling media outlets in an effort to re-release the film, or to do an in depth profile on the man that as far as I know has made the first mountain bike film. the FIRST. This is a film. It is not a bunch of scrappy footage. Wolf Ruck made something beautiful and important, and then he moved on and made other films about other subjects. He was very humble when I approached him about his film FREEWHEELIN. He was even surprised anybody cared. What a shock to see this film for me. Besides the historical importance, the great vibe he transmits from the scene as it was back then, jamming soundtrack he co-ordinated, Wolf Ruck can likely be credited with the first urban POV shot in all of cycling. Plenty of people have made names for themselves simply from that shot alone. As a filmmaker I am greatly inspired by this whole film. Freewheelin is free. Please share.


If you wanna know where Keo got his moves in Macaframa, watch this!

3 Replies to “The first Mountain Bike film ever made!”

    1. I put an email out to some friends calling this “the first” because i wanted people to think about film vs. documentation. This is the earliest composed film about mountain biking I have found. It aims to inspire people through the camera style, and the full composition of the film, sound, color, location, you know FILMMAKING. Not to discredit important images created prior to Freewheelin’ (of which I happily acknowledge there are many), I see this film as the first in it’s intent to use filmmaking to translate the feeling of riding a mountain bike.

      As someone who is inspired to celebrate bike riding through photography, films, and occasionally writing, I see Freewheelin’ as a monument of creativity. It was aimed at an audience outside the experience of mountain biking while showing a truthful, celebratory version of the core riders at the time. Most of our media, whether printed or in films, succumbs to selling the products of the sport to the audience that is already committed. In my interview with Wolf Ruck, an Olympic athlete in an era of much lesser commercialization of the Olympics, he expressed dismay at corporate representations in sport. He was concerned with using film to translate the beauty of sport and its culture. For myself, that is what matters and I would like to see that matter to everyone else. Supporting the industry of cycling with our creativity is fine, but when our art and our commerce are indistinguishable I think there is a problem. Wolf Ruck’s Freewheelin’ inspires me with its pureness of intent. I hope discussions of this beautiful film will center on the intentions of its maker…And of course, socks, mustaches, fanny packs, chainstay length, riser bars, ders, trail poaching, toe straps, and high heels.

      1. Brian, thanks for taking the time to eloquently respond. I agree with exactly what you’re saying. Loved your Pure Sweet Hell film and told all of my friends that it was the best visual representation of what cross looks and feels like, rather than a how-to to invest in gear and train for racing. In turn, they started riding their bikes for the fun of it rather than the prestige of middling podiums. I understand this is your aim with your filmmaking and generally what you’re inspired by with others’ work and for this I’m happy to support what you’re about!

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