Last weekend we went to see the movie "Wired to Win" at OMSI with a gaggle of our friends. It's a cycling movie, and we're all at least somewhat interested in cycling - it was the group that went to France in 1999 to chase the Tour, plus my friend Toni. When Toni lived with us for part of a summer a couple years ago we infected her with the cycling virus - so much so that she still gets up early on weekends in July to come over and watch live coverage of the Tour de France with us. She's crazy. I mean, I get up early, but I just have to walk downstairs in my PJs, not get in my car and drive somewhere...
Anyway, the seven of us met first at Carafe, a lovely Parisian bistro near Keller Auditorium, for a light dinner before heading over to OMSI and the movie. I can't remember the last time I went to a movie in that theater, but as soon as I walked in I remembered the sensation - the stairs are so steep I feel compelled to lean forward so as not to feel like I'm falling backward, and the seating is so steeply inclined that I feel compelled to lean backward in my seat during the entire time I'm sitting so as not to feel like I'm going to go careening over the edge. Several of us got a little dizzy during the movie, and a couple even walked out feeling queasy. A movie experience there isn't for the faint of stomach.
"Wired to Win" is about how the brain functions, and to illustrate various aspects of the brain the filmmakers chose to follow a few cyclists in the Tour de France - arguably the world's most difficult sporting event. The problem is that the cyclist the filmmakers originally planned to focus on, Tyler Hamilton, was later sidelined by a cheating scandal, so the filmmakers decided that they should probably focus on someone else instead. Tyler is still in quite a bit of the coverage, the filmmakers had to fill in what would have been blank spots with scenes they clearly filmed long after the Tour, and it's still barely over an hour long. I imagine there's a ton of Tyler footage that just got left on the cutting room floor.
(Digression Alert: I am still a fan of Tyler Hamilton, however disappointed I am that it appears he cheated. I still want to believe he didn't do it, that the tests were bad. He'll be able to come back to racing - after serving out his suspension - in September of this year, and I look forward to his return. Seeing all that footage of him was, to say the least, sad.)
As a movie, "Wired to Win" isn't particularly fabulous. It's not going to convert anyone to being a fan of cycling who wasn't already leaning that way. But to a cycling fan like this one, it was exceptionally cool. Everyone in my group agreed that if OMSI were to show every stage of the Tour de France in the evenings, we'd go often. To see such a majestic and grand race on such a huge screen was breath-taking. And to say that it made me want to go chase the Tour around again is a massive understatement.