Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Ryan Black, Director of Photography for Little 500 cycling documentary

Ryan Black, DoP for ONE DAY IN APRIL

Ryan Black, DoP for ONE DAY IN APRIL

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of One Day in April, from concept to financing.

One Day in April started out in Washington, D.C. on [writer/producer] Peter Stevenson’s basement floor. [Director] Tom was staying there as he worked at the White House. Looking back, it seemed so obvious – why hadn’t there been a film about the Little 500? If you aren’t from Indiana, maybe you’ve never heard of it, but here, it’s a really big deal. When Tom got back from D.C., I joined the team, and a short while later, Peter flew in from D.C. and production began. We didn’t know anything about cycling, but we learned quickly. We got an Indiegogo crowdfunding page set up, and ended up bringing in about $8,000. I was still a student, so balancing school and this suddenly very real film project was insane in the beginning. We worked everyday, shooting, editing, figuring out who and where all our characters were, and everything else that goes along with shooting a documentary. It was very hectic early on. A few months in, we were contacted by Kirsten [Powell], who ended up coming on as a producer, which helped smooth things out. We practiced how we would shoot the actual race during the events leading up to it, and made a 20-camera plan for it. It was intense, but we knew we had to cover it like a real live sporting event on tv. We contacted friends at IU and posted on social media, and ended up putting together a 25 person crew for the 2013 race. It was incredible and it’s still hard to believe everything came together so well.

2Q: Cinequest Film Festival is hosting the World Premiere of One Day in April. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

It is going to be incredible to be at our own world premiere, watching our very first film ever being shown in an actual theater . We’ve put a couple of years into this now, so it will bring a sense of accomplishment to finally let others watch it on such a grand stage. I think they’ll enjoy the excitement of the different race events in the film, as well as the more personal moments with the teams.The Little 500 itself is incredible to see, and I really think we capture the grander of the event, so I definitely think the audience will enjoy that. In the end though, wether people like it or not, I’m incredibly proud of our hard work on One Day in April – it will just be a huge bonus if people like it.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making One Day in April?

As is common in Indiana, the weather was completely unpredictable during principle photography. We would go out in sub-zero temperatures just to get a single shot of the track under a foot of snow, or in torrential downpour just to get the shot of the riders training in the rain. I think we gained the riders’ respect when we would do things like that, which definitely helped us down the road with access to our subjects. The weather was definitely the worst though. The Best moment is easy. Race day. There is nothing like the Little 500, and just as the riders had trained for a year for their moment, it too was ours and we enjoyed every minute of it.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

I think we’re telling a different kind of story than most. We aren’t trying to convince you of anything. One Day in April is a story of self-worth, of hard work, and of what it means to give your all for something that others may find meaningless. From brothers fighting to keep a dynasty alive, to a coach’s obsession with winning, and of simpler things like the struggles of leaving home, One Day in April tells all sorts of stories that are all united by one thing – The Little 500. We joke that it is a ‘choose your own adventure’ film. That is what sets One Day in April apart. We don’t tell you who to root for or what to think, we simply present real human beings doing real things – all for their own reasons.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for One Day in April. Give us your acceptance speech.

Making One Day in April was a privilege for all of us and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our family and friends, our volunteer crew, our subjects and Indiana University. It is important that stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things are made, and in that spirit, we’ve set up the One Day in April Scholarship at Indiana University. Starting this year, our production company Fox Frame Productions will be supplying students with the funds and guidance they need to create their own stories. Without the support we had when we were in school, we wouldn’t have been able to make this film, so thank you to everyone who helped us get to this point and thank you for enjoying our film.

See ONE DAY IN APRIL at Cinequest!
View the trailer!
Follow them on Facebook!
Follow them on Twitter!


Two-wheel tour of San Jose’s Art Boxes

One of the great activities at last month’s Luna Park Chalk Art Festival was a bike tour of 24 of the “art boxes” recently created around San Jose. The art boxes are city-owned utility boxes that have been painted by local artists, each in the artist’s individual style. Decorating the boxes has turned these eyesores into public art, and is also expected to deter graffiti (and in case it doesn’t, each box is triple-coated with an anti-graffiti coating).

The bike ride was led by San Jose Bike Clinic, and was originally planned as a one-time event. But Art Box project leader Tina Morrill has shared the route with us, and it’s now available on Box in two parts: a map with directions and a list of boxes and artists.

The ride is 15 miles long and passes 19 of the project’s 34 or so completed boxes in the Northside, Japantown, the Alameda, and Willow Glen. An optional 8-mile extension covers five additional boxes in the Berryessa area. The directions are given for starting and ending at Backesto Park in the Northside, but it would be easy to start anywhere along the route and complete the loop.

Given San Jose’s flat geography, the ride should be reasonable for most people or families to do in an afternoon, but as always you should keep your personal fitness level in mind when planning to ride. Also be sure to ride safely, wear a helmet, and obey the rules of the road.

San Jose Bike Party “The Luau Ride” August 17, 2012

It is the Friday that the SJBP (San Jose Bike Party) may take its ride through your neighborhood. For non-bikers it is helpful to know their route. The riders have been known to be loud enough to wake sleeping children. Also, when out in a car it is best to avoid the stream of bikes.

Tonight’s ride “The Luau Ride” on August 17, 2012 will hit the streets at 8 p.m. It will start in the SJ County Parking Lot – 1st St. and Hedding.St.

The SJBP site encourages safe, legal and courteous behavior. So, if putting on your Hawaiian style beachwear we are wishing you a fun ride that will be safe for all.

8 p.m. ~ 1st St. & Hedding St.

R The Alameda
At De La Cruz / El Camino fork veer L to go onto El Camino Real R Lafayette St
L Laurelwood Rd
R Thomas Rd – becomes Mission College Blvd – R to stay on MC Blvd

REGROUP 1 – Mission College 7.5 mi

Exit R Mission College Blvd L Burton Dr
L Wyatt Dr
L Bassett St

R Agnew Rd L Lafayette St – becomes Gold St

R Catherine St – becomes State St

R Spreckles Ave
R Grand Blvd

Continue straight onto Disk Dr

REGROUP 2 – L into Jubilee Parking Lot just before Nortech Pkwy

Exit R on Disk Drive – becomes Grand Blvd becomes Los Esteros Rd becomes Zanker Rd becomes Old Bayshore Hwy

Slight right onto N 10th St R San Fernando St
R 5th St

END: SJ City Hall 5th St @ Santa Clara St

San Jose Bike Party ~ The Legs Ride

Tonight “The Legs Ride” will start in the parking lot behind the Asian American Community Center.

When: June 15th at 8 PM

Where: Back lot at 2400 Moorpark Ave., San Jose.

If you don’t want to put on your leg revealing outfit and join the party it is always good to know their route.

Most of the riders try to be safe and courteous, but it can be a frustrating experience for auto traffic.

The Legs Ride – the route:

From behind VMC, down Moorpark, through Santana Row
Winchester to Forest
down Bascom to Union to 85.
then Samaritan to Bascom
up Union and through downtown Campbell
then Saratoga Ave to Payne to Winchester to Moorpark behind VMC

Route information and maps.

San Jose Bike Party their site.

Bike Helmets SAVE LIVES

No one ever wants to get the call that a friend or family member has been in a cycling accident and “the paramedics are on the way”.  Trust me, I know from experience. Just about every cycling friend I know has been to the hospital this year.  Almost none of these accidents have involved cars.  Every single one has involved a helmet secured firmly to a head – which saved their lives.

Another life saved

It can be difficult to believe that a waffle-holed piece of Styrofoam can actually save a life, but it certainly does.  Less than 90 days ago a friend of mine crashed in a bike race, an extraordinary circumstance, but an accident which broke her neck, several ribs, and separated her shoulder.  It also cracked her helmet.  What was not cracked was her skull.  She was back to work in a couple weeks, though still sore and hating her neck brace – but she was alive.  Today another friend was coming out of a downhill turn on a solo ride when a cat ran in front of her.  She hit the cat and does not remember much else, but I have no words for how frightening it is to receive that phone call.  “The paramedics are on the way,” and “They don’t know which hospital they’re taking her to, because of the head trauma.”

My friend, the owner of the pictured helmet, was released from Regional Medical Center today after a four hour stay, with “only” a concussion, road rash on half her body, and bruised and swollen knuckles, thighs, and face.  But do you see her helmet?  Her skull would not have survived that.

Wear a helmet.  Make sure your kids wear a helmet.  Make sure your friends and loved ones wear a helmet, no matter what age.  It’s not just a law.  It’s common sense, and it will save your life.

Youth Bicycle Helmet law: Minors

Make sure you are alerted when a loved one is in an accident: Road ID


Bike improvements around town

New bike lane markings on Empire Street.

I’ve noticed a couple of nice improvements for cyclists around town in the last couple of months. First, a combination of on-street bike lanes and bike routes marked with sharrows was completed on Empire Street near downtown San Jose, from First Street all the way to Twenty-First. This is a nice choice for a bike route because its got relatively low car traffic, but it connects up the Japantown light rail station with two city parks and Empire Gardens Elementary School, not to mention coming within a block of Japantown itself.

The second is pretty much what I consider the other side of town, but over in Santa Clara and Cupertino they’re just striping in bike lanes along Pruneridge Avenue from Wolfe Road to just a couple blocks east of Lawrence Expressway. They cut down four traffic lanes to one vehicle lane and one bike lane in each direction, plus a left-turn lane down the middle. This will connect a bunch of people up with the Cupertino Village shopping center, and of course the future Apple mothership on Pruneridge.


Tour of California to visit San Jose

Cyclists in the 2009 Tour of California

The starting line of 2009's Tour of California stage 3 near downtown San Jose.

Following close in the slipstream of Bike to Work Day, the Amgen Tour of California bike race will once again visit San Jose next week. Wednesday’s stage 4 will be a mountain finish on Sierra Road, technically within San Jose city limits, rather than the downtown location that’s been used for stage starts in a couple of past tours.

Aside from moving the San Jose site outside the core of the city, there are a few other changes for the tour route this year. Instead of an opening day time trial, the tour will start tomorrow with a regular road stage on a mountainous route from South Lake Tahoe, making 1-1/2 laps around the lake and ending at Northstar on the lake’s north shore. Previous northern California stage sites like Davis and Santa Rosa will be bypassed, though the tour will still visit Sacramento, Livermore, and Modesto before hopping south to Seaside to begin its four final days in the southern half of the state. As in years past, the tour will finish in sponsor Amgen’s home city of Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, on Sunday, May 22.

Wednesday’s stage 4 begins just before noon in Livermore and wends through the hills to the east of us before coming to San Jose sometime around 3 pm. The tour includes two major climbs, the hors catagorie backside of Mount Hamilton, and the final class 1 climb up Sierra Road to the finish, 3-1/2 miles at grades topping 9%.

Having a mountain finish in San Jose will add some great excitement to our spot in the tour, although it will also take quite a bit more dedication for spectators to get to a place on the course than it has in the past.

Thursday is Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day 2011 is coming up this Thursday. The weather looks like its going to be perfect. So dust off your two-wheeler and hit the streets.

More information at

San Jose Bike Party is Tonight!

Were you like me this week, too lazy to go to the gym? Or maybe you’re already dreaming of Father’s Day BBQ’s? Well tonight you have the chance to ride with the rest of the city (projected attendance is between 3500 and 5000 cyclists) and get some good exercise.

San Jose Bike Party takes to the streets every third friday of the month, with a different theme every time. This month is all about The World Cup, so come out sportin’ your team spirit, be it in jerseys, face paint or waving your flag on a 26+ mile victory lap around San Jose. SJBP and SJMB likes to remind you to ride safe (helmets, lights, stop at traffic lights) and ride fun (‘bike party!’). You never know who you’ll be riding next to, somebody you’ve never met before or your best friend from high school. Come out with families and get together with friends! And you don’t have to worry about going hungry, there will be vendors at the pit stops and of course, before the ride starts. Just make sure you recycle and throw away your waste!

The excitement started a bit ago at 6pm, downtown at Shorty Fatz for an open house, followed by the first ever Hooligan Havoc Fixed Gear Trick Comp.

You still have time to make it to the ride ’cause the wheels don’t hit the street until 8pm!

San Jose Bike Party – World Cup Ride

The ride starts at 401 E.Taylor Street and ends at the fountain at SJSU, but you can always break off with your own groups. Like it on Facebook and let everybody know what’s up!

Music Madness: Bike Pre-Party photos


Bikers preparing to start tonight's San Jose Bike Party

Wild bikes are part of the fun.

Doctor Nurse started things off with some tunes.

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