#bikeschool: Ride the Divide Movie Review


My cycling librarian friend, Krissy is here today to talk about a cycling movie called Ride the Divide.  This is the first one she’s reviewing for us and Krissy will be back again in the future to let us know her opinion on other cycling movies as wel`l.  Krissy is a Library Director who has a strong passion for cycling, and is pretty much an all-around super nice person.  Check out what she has to say about Ride the Divide.

Oh, and also ENTER TO WIN your own copy of Ride the Divide….See bottom of post.

Ride the Divide Movie Review

By Krissy Nelson

Ernest Hemingway once said, “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”  There is nothing like watching a quote come to life the way this one does in the documentary, Ride the DivideRide the Divide sheds light on a race that many people know little or nothing about.  Considered to be an “underground race,” the Tour Divide begins in Banff, AB, Canada and spans 2,700 miles crossing the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains down to Antelope Wells, NM, USA at the Mexican border.  It is a completely self-supported race.


Ride the Divide begins with some introductions to the cast of “everyday people” who have signed up to race the epic route and right away I was sucked into the personal stories of each.  Mike Dion, a husband and father of two, seems to be on a quest to find himself, Mary Metcalf-Collier is the first woman to attempt to complete the entire race, and Matthew Lee, a five time veteran to the race, has a baby on the way.  The three along with many others are tested with over 200,000 feet of total climbing, the harsh elements of snow and insane terrain, physical injuries, grizzly bears, and the true meaning of being alone.

In all honesty, I first wanted to see this film because I am a cyclist and my interest in the sport always compels me to want to see movies and documentaries about something I am passionate about.  That being said, within the first half hour of the film, I didn’t care much about the riding aspect anymore; I was lost in the stories and courage of each of these riders, and I think that is exactly what the makers of Ride the Divide wanted to depict.  The scenery is beautiful, and the small towns that the route passes through are full of their own characters too, but it was the experience of each of the individuals that pulled me into the documentary.

Ride the Divide is a film that has something for everyone.  It will pull at your heart strings, make you laugh, inspire you, and keep you on the edge of your seat as you get a roadside view of what it takes to be part of the most challenging race anyone could ever put themselves through.  This is a film that you will want to watch again and again…..and you’ll want to tell everyone you know to see it too!

I give this cycling movie 4.5 wheels:




*Special thanks need to go out to Mike Dion, Executive Producer of Ride the Divide as well as participant in the Tour Divide.  Mike was kind enough to send me the movie to watch and several other Ride the Divide goodies.  Thank you for creating this film and for being an inspiration to me.  Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future…

Ride the Divide Movie Website: http://www.ridethedividemovie.com

Twitter: @RidetheDivide

For more information on the Tour Divide: http://tourdivide.org

Enter to WIN:

The good folks at Ride the Divide are giving away 3 copies of their DVD to our readers.  Please leave a comment telling us why you should be the one who gets a copy.  Entries accepted until Thursday at Noon EST.

The Contest is now Closed.  Congratulations to JDKIMPLE, STACYBEARD, and REDDDESIGN who each receive a copy of the Ride the Divide DVD. Enjoy.

Enjoy Your Ride

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32 Responses to “ #bikeschool: Ride the Divide Movie Review ”

  1. Travis Caffey on September 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I would like to win a copy to (in part) test my luck. I have entered dozens of legitimate contests online and have not won a single prize that I can remember. The last time I won at a game of chance was at the Spring 2011 Texas Mountain Bike Racing Asscociation’s Pace Bend Race. I won a bike lock in the CAT 3 raffle. The only other raffle I had won was 10 years before when I was stationed in Naples, Italy with the Navy where I won a CD/Tape/Radio player (may it RIP). 

    For the other part, I have this urge to do something epic and I am seeking inspiration. Whether it is riding to all the national parks, circumriding the contiguous US, riding the great divide, or exploring all the larger mountain ranges (Alaska, Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Rockies, and Appalachia)… Where am I (soon-to-be-college-graduate Philosopher/Geographer) going to get the $$$$$? Probably donations/sponsorships to ride for the spirit of (and to inspire) fellow veterans, past/present/future, active/reserve/retired, and able/wounded/missing/killed.  I would probably adventure with my friend in California who may ride for all the police folks 🙂

  2. Susan M. on September 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I’d like to get a copy of this movie.  I’ve been faciniated by these long races like the Race Accross America.  These very long endurance races where the distance covered in a day is not controlled facinate me as they remind me of medieval religious pilgramages and many of the reasons given for participating in these races are the same.  They are long rides where you are alone with your thoughts and they are physical challenges.  So they are a test of your endurance, ability, and will to finish.  The lonliness gives you time to discover yourself and examine your relationship with your environment.  I hadn’t heard about the Ride the Divide, but is sounds like a modern pilgramage.  I’m deeply curious and would love to explore the DVD.

  3. Ben on September 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I’d really love a copy of this movie. Long indoor rides on the trainer while watching E news or the kardashians (because my wife is hogging the TV) are a punishment that I should be rewarded for by getting a copy of Riding the Divide. In our new place we’re moving into this weekend, we’ll have a 2nd TV, and I’m putting it in the “pain cave” to watch cycling movies on while I ride.

  4. Jdkimple on August 31, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Why should I win a copy of this movie? Because I am hoping to get my butt in gear and try the race in 2013. Because if I *do* indeed get to toe the line I would use my good fortune to raise money for the Leathernecks Memorial Fund (providing to Veterans in need in Central Ohio). Because if I were to toe the start line In Banff, it would also be in memory of our son, LCpl. James Kimple. Because “Ride the Divide” would be great motivation to get to the start.

    • Krissy Nelson on August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Wow.  That is a great reply.  It sounds like you have all the right things motivating you to give it your all if you do the Tour Divide.  Honoring those who have given so much is extremely commendable.  I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your son.  I’m thankful for his service and bravery.  Thanks for reading the review and best wishes to you as you train for the ride.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on September 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Hi @eb337a21cbd0f6a6791a1aa8d4d84d15:disqus you are one of the winners in our Ride the Divide DVD giveaway.  Please send your mailing address to [email protected].  Thanks….and Congratulations.

    • Craig Clark on September 2, 2011 at 2:30 am

      See you in Banff in 2013.

  5. Nancy Giovannini on August 31, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Ever since I saw the movie in Santa Rosa this year I’ve been meaning to buy it. But apparently I’m too lazy. So how about I save myself the trouble? Winning it it the prefect plan!

    • Krissy Nelson on August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      I lilke how you think Nancy!  Nothing better than winning a cycling related prize!  And this is one that you’ll want to see again and again, so it’s best to own it.  Good luck!

  6. Al on August 31, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Pick me because I can have a showing in Chapel Hill.  Home of Matthew Lee.  (if you do not know who he is, watch the movie)

    • Krissy Nelson on August 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Wow!  The cherry ontop would be inviting Matthew Lee to attend!  Although, it sounds like he’s busy with several other projects coming soon from the folks who made “Ride the Divide.” 

  7. Stacybeard on August 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Pick me so I can throw a backyard viewing party for all of my friends!

    • Krissy Nelson on August 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      Now that sounds like a good time!!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on September 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Congratulations, @Stacybeard….you are the winner of one of our Ride the Divide DVD’s.  Please send you contact information to [email protected] so we can get your copy out to you.

  8. Darryl is Loving the Bike on August 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for posting this fantastic review for us @twitter-14132931:disqus .  It’s so nice to have this movie reviewed on the site and I’m looking forward to you reviewing more movies and books on Loving the Bike (and our #bikeschool features) in the future.  Who better than a cycling librarian to do that, right?

    Like Myrna, I also know someone who just did the Ride the Divide this June.  He lives here in Austin and maybe you can meet him when you come.  He loved it so much he want’s to do it again next year.

    Well Done, Krissy.


    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks Darryl!  I’m very excited about doing more in the future with the Loving the Bike site.  I appreciate you asking me to contribute 🙂

  9. Myrna CG Mibus on August 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I love this movie and already own it (so I don’t need to be in the running for a free copy). In heard about the ride before the film because a local cyclist, Ben Oney, decided to do the Tour Divide this year. We followed him on his quest and he ended up placing 13th out of a field of around 80!

    Our bicycling community had a showing of the movie and had Ben show some pictures, give a little talk and answer questions. The event was great fun.

    I decided I had to own the movie so bought it from my LBS. It makes me cry each time I watch it.

    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      How neat that you got to meet someone who did this race!  That had to be really neat to get to listen to him answer questions about his adventure.  I too have seen the movie a great many times….and I still cry when I watch it too.  I think you just feel so strongly for each of the riders and want them to do well that it makes it hard to see them struggle.   

      • Myrna CG Mibus on August 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm

        I was so excited to shake Ben’s hand when I saw him in person 🙂 Anyone who rides the ride, even if they don’t finish it, is an inspiration. It takes guts to give it a go.

        I’m looking forward to reading more movie reviews – what a fun addition to Loving The Bike!

  10. PedalmanTO on August 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Great review Krissy! This movie has done what few are able to and put you in the seat alongside the riders. It’s a race for us, the everyday cyclist.
    Why should I get a copy of this? It reminds the viewer that anything is possible and to always ‘Keep the Rubber Side Down’. 
    Well done Krissy.

    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks Ian 🙂  This movie definitely puts you in the saddle and takes you along for the ride too.  Being an just a regular person who enjoys riding, I always find it interesting to watch other “ordinary” people do extraordinary things.  I think that’s why this film pulls at me the way it does, and why I time and time again pop it into my DVD player.  It’s just an inspiring film that even the non cyclist can take something away from.

  11. Ryan M. Williams on August 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I love the movie and keep telling folks to track down a copy to watch. Like so many other cyclists, this movie has changed my life already. It’s gotten me up off a recumbent trike and onto a 29er MTB. I’m building up miles and thinking about tackling the divide myself in a couple years!

    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Wow!  That’s awesome Ryan!  Best of luck to you in your training!  Who knows, maybe we’ll see you in a future Ride the Divide film…. 🙂

  12. Anonymous on August 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Awesome review. I do believe this looks like an amazing challenge and would be quite uplifting to see how people react in these conditions. Why send me a copy?? Why not?!? I am thinking I will start looking in LBS’s for a copy anyhow…

    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks buddy!  It is certainly an uplifting film that will inspire even those who don’t ride a bike.  If your LBS doesn’t have it (non of mine did) request that they get some copies!  It’s sure to be a film that others will want to see too.

  13. Anonymous on August 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the review! I would love to get my hands on a copy. Even though I don’t MTB, I’ve seen Race Across the Sky in theater, and have watched as many of the classic cycling movies (and even some non classic ones) as I can.

    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      To be honest with you, I don’t mountain bike really either.  I’ve always ridden a road bike, but Ride the Divide kind of inspired me to get my old (and I mean old) mountain bike cleaned up and I’ve been enjoying some minor off roading, nothing too hardcore though.  If you enjoyed Race Across the Sky, you will love Ride the Divide.  Like you, I don’t really care what kind of cycling a film is documenting, if it’s bikes, I want to see it! 

      • Anonymous on August 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm

        I hear ya. My bf and I went MTBing for the first time in June. I had fun but he broke his ankle. No MTBing for awhile 😉

        Oh! There’s another reason for me to get the DVD…we need something to watch since he’s still not allowed to ride 🙁

        • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm

          Oh my!  I’m sorry to hear about his ankle, but you’re right, a movie like this is the perfect way to pass the time while your boy heals up! 

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on September 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

      You’re one of the winners in our Ride the Divide giveaway.  Congratulations, @redddesign:disqus .  Please e-mails your mailing address to [email protected]

  14. Dave Boyd on August 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Nice review Krissy. I’m looking forward to watching. I just learned about the race during a stop into a LBS this spring. I didn’t even know there was a movie. It’s definitely on my Must-See list now. Thanks!

    • Krissy Nelson on August 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks Dave 🙂 Like you I didn’t know about this race until I overheard talk about this movie at my LBS last year. After that I just had to check it out and have seen it a countless number of times now!  Glad you have added this great film to your “Must See” list.


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