Freewheel Burning includes first inverted loop 

Downhiller Steve Pete, Richie Schley featured in new bike film

What: Freewheel Burning

Where: Millennium Place

When: Oct. 12, 7 & 9 p.m.

One helluva Hawaii Five-O comes to town this weekend in the new action-packed mountain bike film, Freewheel Burning, dubbed "the Canadian premiere of the industry’s biggest film."

"The film is an insight into the world’s best mountain bikers… and shows the progression of mountain biking (as a sport)," says producer and director at Nelson-based Freeride Productions, Derek Westerlund.

Westerlund says this is no ordinary mountain bike film. Footage includes the first ever inverted loop on film (similar to a roller-coaster twist), performed by athlete John Calan.

He also mentions a second highlight, footage of a bike ride in the Interior of B.C. near Kamloops, but stays mum on those details.

Other regions covered include Deer Pass in the Chilcotins area as well as Squamish, and Vancouver. Additional highlights from the film include footage from World Cup events in France and Scotland.

"Some might call it one of those ‘extreme porn videos’," laughs Westerlund, whose company also produced the sports-centred flicks New World Disorder, and Fat Tire II.

Local star athletes like Wade Simmons and the number one world mountain bike downwhiller Steve Pete (of the U.K.) are featured in the new movie.

Cedric Gracia, Timo Pritzel, Anne-Caroline Chausson, Jeff Lenosky, Ryan Leech, Greg Minaar, Joe Schwartz and Richie Schley are also featured in the 16-mm film.

Whistler-based Schley is shown in the opening segments, shot in Whistler and Kamloops, where he jumps a "really big road gap, about 35 feet across."

Having mentioned the shot, Schley desribes how the sport’s vision has changed in recent years.

"A lot of people were seriously injured this year riding, so let’s focus on having fun on our bikes and not how big we go," he says.

There’s no doubt in his mind that the local region is prime terrain for riding.

"I ride all over the world, and nothing compares.

"Here people build trails specific for biking, whereas in Europe or elsewhere people tour more on old roads," adds Schley, who cites Pemberton’s Copkiller trail and of course, the personally-designed Slayer as top picks.

Schley will be attending the U.S. premiere of the film in Virgin, Utah at the second annual Redbull Rampage event this weekend.

Freewheel Burning is being promoted by local mountain biker Paddy Kaye.

Co-owner of Joyride Productions, Kaye, who works with the Whistler Mountain Bike Park and the Joyride BikerCross, believes Whistler and Pemberton have some of the best terrain and facilities, through their well-maintained network of trails.

Promoting the film is a natural progression for him as the goal of his company is to promote the sport of mountain biking, "part of the lifestyle in Whistler."

As part of the premiere the Harvest Huckfest takes place Oct. 12-13, which will also be the last weekend of operation for the mountain bike park this season.

Harvest Huckfest includes the Junk Bike wars, which take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 12, where teams of four from local bike shops make functional mountain bikes from boxes of assorted broken parts and paraphernalia.

Two screenings follow that evening, at 7 and 9 p.m.

"If life is getting you down, go for a ride. It always makes me feel alive," says Schley, in a profile posted at his sponsor’s Web site.

For more information about Harvest Huckfest call Whistler-Blackcomb at 1-800-766-0449.

Tickets for the film are $9.99 through Ticketmaster or the Millennium Place box office at 604-935-8418.

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