With My Own Two Wheels

Reader Contribution by Winona Bateman
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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), info@adventurecycling.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org
.