Friday, August 14, 2015

A History of France and Bikes

I had a chance to go by the Denver Film Society last night for a special interest film.  I had been there once before to watch a poker movie and it was a really small crowd.  This was nearly a full house to watch two short films in French with English subtitles.

The first was La Reine Bicyclette – A History of France and Bikes.  It was cute and well done with a history of bicycles from humble beginnings, the battle with automobiles, use during the war, resurgences during times of petrol shortages, and finally the joy of bicycle camping and racing.

The second was a 2003 Film, The Tour de France.  This one chronicled the history of the race from Eddy Merckx to Lance Armstrong in terms of media, finance and of course the Festina affair.  Given the date of the film, it unfortunately hails Lance Armstrong as the great racer to bring purity and pride back to bicycle racing.

Jonathan Vaughters was on hand for a Q&A session after the films.  He spoke of starting the Slipstream Sports team with six 14 year old developmental riders funded via free ad space in 5280 magazine and part of commissions from his real estate business.  Three of those six riders went on to compete in either the Tour de France or the Olympics.  He also talked about the challenges in women’s cycling and the vicious circle of sponsors pushing for results when they commit funds and then withdrawing from sponsorship when controversy presents itself.  As we were filing out, I congratulated him on the Tour of Utah and shook his hand.

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