With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe: Fred, a health worker in Zambia; Bharati, a teenager in India; Mirriam, a disabled woman in Ghana; Carlos, a Guatemalan farmer; and Sharkey, a young Californian for whom the bicycle is a means to sidestep the gang mindset adopted by too many of his peers.
With My Own Two Wheels is the first feature-length documentary by Jacob and Isaac Seigel-Boettner, brothers with long ties to bicycle travel and Adventure Cycling Association (their dad John wrote the classic Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?).
“The inspiration for With My Own Two Wheels is a long story,” Jacob wrote. “It started in 1987 and 1989 when my brother Isaac and I were both brought home from the hospital in bike trailers. Over the following summers, my parents took us across the globe every summer on bike tours with their students. These were not only our family vacations, but almost a form of summer school. The bicycle literally took Isaac and me to places that school never could, introducing us to teachers who had never set foot in front of the blackboard: cooks in Italy, park rangers in Canada, pub owners in Ireland, coffee farmers in Rwanda, and countless others. In 2002 our family, a young filmmaker, and four of Isaac’s and my classmates from Santa Barbara Middle School embarked on a four-month cross-country tour in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark (following Adventure Cycling maps, of course). Some people said we were playing hooky by taking off the first six weeks of school to complete the trip. We pointed out that our trip was just a different type of school. To steal a line from my dad’s book, America was our textbook, and the people that we met along the way were our teachers.”
Since the film’s debut February 2 in the brothers’ hometown of Santa Barbara at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, we received this additional information from Jacob:
“This spring, Hubub Films (myself, my brother Isaac, and Ian Wexler) is teaming up with World Bicycle Relief to organize the With My Own Two Wheels grassroots screening tour. The goal of the tour is to raise awareness about the power of the bicycle and to encourage audiences to take one of two ‘next pedal strokes’: sponsor a bicycle for a student in rural Zambia through World Bicycle Relief, or donate time, resources, and used bikes to a local bicycle kitchen or bike advocacy group.
“We are looking for bike shops, bike clubs, advocacy groups, university departments, student groups, collegiate cycling teams, churches, mosques, and synagogues across the country that are interested in hosting a screening. Folks who understand how two wheels expand horizons, who remember their first spin down the sidewalk. Together, we can fill auditoriums across the country with diverse communities of people — shaved legs, sparkly sneakers, tattooed ankles — a true cross section of the community brought together by the love of two wheels.”
If you would like bring the With My Own Two Wheels grassroots screening tour to your community, contact Jacob at withmyowntwowheels[AT]gmail[DOT]com. He asks that you include the name of your city, university, or organization in the subject heading.
Photos: Courtesy of With My Own Two Wheels
Post courtesy of Michael McCoy, Adventure Cycling’s field editor
Adventure Cycling Association is North America's largest membership cycling organization with nearly 45,000 members. A nonprofit organization, its mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. It produces routes and maps for cycling in North America, organizes more than 45 tours annually, and publishes the award-winning Adventure Cyclist magazine. With 40,699-mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.