“Being a professional cyclist is about masking the pain, never showin’ the world that you’re hurtin’…that you are on the edge and barely holdin’ on. Chris was an expert at that, but some pains just cut too deep.”
With monologues like the one above interspersed throughout the trailer for The Potential Inside, I found myself unsure as to whether this thing was a put on or not. At one point, in a dramatic scene, Chris, the protagonist, has a confrontation with his wife over a dark secret he’s been keeping from her:
“What’s this about coaching? When were you going to tell me about that!”
Something that The Potential Inside has in common with Peloton, another soon to be released cycling film, is the portrayal of cyclists as BAD BOYS. And we’re talking road cyclists here, not Red Bull Rampaging, tattooed psychopaths. “You’re gonna kill yourself!” screams Chris’ best friend in The Potential Inside during a Top Gun-esque scene involving a speeding team car and a motorcycle. “Name one of your friends that hasn’t crashed” demands a significant other in Peloton. In the opening monologue of the film’s trailer the narrator speaks ominously over artfully shot footage of a crit: “Saw my buddy’s femur sticking out of his leg after somebody clipped his wheel in the Peloton…he took down eleven other riders.” There is a good reason why Jason Statham wasn’t cast as the lead in this film (outside of the fact that it has the budget of a high school musical). Can you really picture Statham shaving his legs and weighing his deep section carbon wheels on a gram scale? That is just not bad boy behavior.
Click “more” to watch the trailer for Peloton (It’s worth if for the last five seconds alone, “Aw dude, I peed all over myself!”)
Both films are sure to be cheesier than David Hasselhoff playing a private concert at a fondue party in Wisconsin, BUT, here’s the thing: has there ever been an accurate, honest, non-documentary film made about cycling that was actually worth watching? And I’m not talking in a tongue-in-cheek ironic way. American Flyers? (loud buzzer noise) try again. Quicksilver? (sound of horse being beaten to death with a pipe wrench) are you kidding? They were horrible films, the only reason we watch them is because we are cyclists and the films have bikes in them. If Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman had ridden bikes instead of camels in Ishtar; it would have been one of the most popular films (amongst cyclists) ever. Even the much-belovedÂ Breaking Away was pretty much total crap. Just ask yourself “if it didn’t have bikes in it, would I even consider watching it?”
One problem we have as cyclists (aside from poor posture and weak, porous bones) is that we are experts about cycling, so when we see a film or advertisement featuring cycling we pick it apart and look for flaws. Sort of like marine biologists do when they watch Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. See, we watch that film and think it’s seamless, totally believable, but to the trained eye it looks ridiculous. To the layman Peloton and The Potential Inside might appear totally accurate on the cycling front, they might just see the films for what they really are: cinematographic train-wrecks.
Is the fact that these two films are more than likely going to be absolutely terrible going to stop us from watching them? Hell no! We’re going to invite some friends over, drink a few beers, and tear the things apart like a pack of hairless-legged wild dogs. Who knows, these films might be the Breaking Away and American Flyers for a new generation.
“We rode our bikes!”