Why We Ride: The Movie We Need

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Why We Ride is a new independent documentary film that explores exactly what the title says. It will be opening soon in various cities around the country, and this is something we should all be excited about.

This is not a “biker” film. In fact, it seems to dispense with the whole biker costume drama and focuses on trying to capture the real experience of riding. That alone differentiates Why We Ride from other motorcycle films, which tend to build their premise around the otherness of bikers as a subversive subculture. Even classics like The Wild One and Easy Rider work to propagate subversion because of the cultural tension between the bikers and square society.

Instead, Why We Ride promises to show a common, relatable human experience. Rather than stereotypes, this film uses real stories and terrific images to create a three-dimensional portrait of the characters and machines that make up riding culture. Riders sometimes say, “If I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand,” and this film aims to take us along, take us inside, rather than over-explain.

People have already started to compare Why We Ride to the beloved 1971 documentary On Any Sunday. What make this film different though, and more important, is that it attempts to cover the totality of the riding experience, from Sturgis to the race track to dirtbikes. This reflects a view of unity among riders that should be promoted. There is more that unites than divides us, and we gain more by sharing experiences than denigrating those who ride different style bikes in different contexts. Riding is about living fully and passionately, and that is something everyone with a bike can understand.

Focusing on the experience and the camaraderie, rather than venerating a hollow outlaw-biker image, is exactly what we need. New riders, and young riders will be drawn into this wonderful madness and away from their iThings by an engaging, thrilling personal experience that cannot be simulated. They won’t be drawn in by outdated quasi-outlaw fantasies.

While the film will show history and heritage, viewers will see that riding is something awesome that is alive and happening now. You can go and learn to do it right now. Riding embraces all types. You don’t have to fit a mold – this is a ticket out of a mold.

Take some friends and see this film. Bring some non-riding friends; you may convert them. Just be sure to get your tickets soon, as they are selling out fast.

After the opening, we’ll circle back with an update so you can share your thoughts on Why We Ride in the comments section.

Anyone want to ride to the LA showing with us? Get your tickets here.

Related Links:
Movies: On Any Sunday Now Available Online
Movies: Finnish Stunting, The Half Hour Movie
Movies: Portland To Dakar – A Riding Movie

  • Brian Collins

    Worth seeing, if you ride. I don’t seeing it creating any converts though. I saw it at the AIMexpo in orl. While the parts featuring motorcycling in a more historical context were very interesting, there was a little too much of people talking to a camera being all deep and “philosophical” for me. I started hoping someone would just say “I wanna go fast!” a la Ricky Bobby.

  • gregory

    The preview seems very North American-focused… but, I guess that’s where the battle over two-wheelers needs to be fought. The rest of the world has already accepted two-wheelers. :-)

    I see two-wheelers as an acceptable and economic form of urban transportation. But, then again, I’m out of the social scene here (no pressure to “belong”) and I live in a city that is amenable to two-wheelers: filtering, the occasional red light, ride on sidewalks, ride through crosswalks, park anywhere, helmets encouraged but not required, flip-flops OK, loose adherence to lanes, dense traffic, twisty roads, et cetera.

    Someone has said here that it comes down to urban geography: small twisty urban roads in mass metropolises are good for small displacement motorcycles and scooters; in contrast, medium-sized urban & suburban sprawls, as in North America, interconnected with free-to-all expressways, and a strict enforcement policy of laws and lanes, and violent police, lends itself to large displacement cruisers and sports bikes… or to the indigenous North American beast, the SUV.

    So I’m glad to see a North American-focused movie that will bring pride to us small displacement riders, to us commuters come rain or snow, to us ride-in-loafers-and-a-necktie people, to us move-house-on-a-bike people… in short, to us motorcyclers*.


    * And scooterers.

    • runnermatt

      I’m just curious; where do you live?

    • Piglet2010

      As for the rest of the world, the bureaucrats in Brussels are doing their best to discourage new riders in the EU with tiered licensing schemes and such – why not tiered licensing for the much more dangerous to others automobiles and light trucks?

  • tincantroubadour

    I saw something about this jsut yesterday. I heard it wasn’t coming to DC unless enough people pre-registered. Then I clicked the link.. Looks like that’s not going to be a problem! Already sold out.

    I guess I will have to pick it up for home viewing. As it stands, I still haven’t gotten TT3D yet, as I haven’t figured out if I have a player that will play it!

  • TFR

    ‘Motorcycles and family just go together’? Yeesh…
    Looks like another touchy-feely ‘warm yer heart’ plea for
    attention by pierced and tattooed HOG members.
    I’m gonna go ride, and wait patiently for Fury Road…

    • Reid

      You twisto bikey scoot jockey you

      • TFR

        Forgive my skepticism, its been a ruff day…
        A few hours ago, down in Sun City, I went berserk. Broke custody, wasted a young probie and took off in a Pursuit Special.
        Just went downhill after that…

        • Reid

          Sounds like you’re beginning to enjoy that rat circus out there. Good thing you have that bronze badge that says you’re one of the good guys. Any longer out there on the road and you’ll be one of them, you know? A terminal crazy.

  • Blake Harrison

    Can’t wait. Going to see this next Monday!

  • Blixa

    Looking forward to the DC showing.

  • 200 Fathoms

    Already in Netflix (not available yet, obviously, but can add to the queue).

  • Michael Howard

    Perhaps one of the main reasons “Why We Ride” is so different from “The Wild One” and “Easy Rider” is because the first is a documentary and the others are movies. (<– That's sarcasm, by the way)

  • Guest

    The preview seems to take a 21st Century look at what On Any Sunday accomplished 40 years ago…

  • Mattin11225

    Caught it at the premier at the Motorcycle Film Festival in Brooklyn, most definitely worth seeing if you get the chance, especially on a big screen!

  • Tiberiuswise

    “I’ll cheer you on”

    Dammit, now I have dust in the corner of my eye.

    • Phil Bowden

      hahaha well said… me too!

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Only one show in Chicago and it is already sold out. WTF?

  • CruisingTroll

    Sigh… closest showing is 400 miles away and sold out… :(

  • Scott Otte

    Looks like it might be cool, too bad it’s sold out most places.

  • John

    I see that they’re making another On Any Sunday, which is slated for release in Fall, 2014. “On Any Sunday, the Next Chapter.” Dana Brown, the director of Dust to Glory and son of On Any Sunday director Bruce Brown, directs this third installment.

    Not affiliated, I swear.