Accomplice reminds us about the gift of mountain biking. See it on the drive-in screen in Denver on Wednesday, June 8.
Like mainstream sports fans clinging to the thrill of competition by consuming Korean Baseball League Games in the pre-dawn hours and tuning in to watch Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods duke it out on the golf course, the outdoor sports world has been severely void of new content this summer. While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the steady stream of inspiring adventure videos to a trickle, Teton Gravity Research was still able to put together its brand new mountain bike film, Accomplice, which premieres this Wednesday, July 8, at the Denver Mart Drive-In.
Accomplice is sure to stoke the fire for fans thirsty for footage of their favorite riders, and begins by asking a question all mountain bikers can drum up an answer to. What is the memory of your first bike? The film kicks off with archival footage of the featured athletes growing their passion for the sport with their first bikes, and transitions between chapters via the insertion of a VHS tape into a VCR.
The audience is then clued in to how biking has opened doors for the film’s riders, beginning with Tyler and Cam McCaul, in a segment, titled “The Time Machine,” that intersperses trampoline sessions on the trampbike, with present day tandem jump lines down the rocky slopes of Virgin, Utah. In “The Paintbrush,” the bikes of Brandon Semenuk and Paul Genovese are their vehicles for self-expression, in a segment that displays how, for mountain bikers, the tracks left in the dirt are their greatest works of art. Combined with tactful and equally creative cinematography, The Paintbrush is a standout few minutes of Accomplice.
Hannah Bergemann and Veronique Sandler then transport us to Ladakh, India, in the heart of the Himalaya, where they put first mountain bike tracks into dramatic and oppressive landscapes, while fostering a new relationship with each other and examining the cultural melting pot of Ladakh. Bend, Oregon, is the setting of “The Daydream,” a chapter catering to mountain bikers who enjoy sharing their rides with canine companions. Carson Storch and his dog, Bentley, fly through the trail systems around Bend in the morning light, with Bentley both loyally following Storch and thoughtfully admiring his flights above the landscape. The strings of nostalgia are tickled in “The Reunion,” where the theme is best friends coming together for a long stint camping in the wilderness of British Columbia’s Purcell Range. Some of the most mind-boggling descents of the film are tackled by Kurt Sorge, Andreu Lacondeguy, Graham Agassiz, and Nico Vink, all while the group displays why the best rides are shared with friends.
Accomplice returns to Virgin in “The Sensei,” where Red Bull Rampage legend Cam Zink leads young guns Jaxson Riddle, Tom Van Steenbergen, and Ethan Nell, around the event setting in a melding of past, present, and future. Graham Agassiz makes a return in the film’s penultimate segment, “The Escape,” where he blazes full throttle at Retallack, British Columbia, executing eye-popping transitions through old growth tracks that will leave any viewer in awe.
In the finale of Accomplice, we’re given front rows seats to the redemption story of Paul Basagoitia, who was paralyzed after a crash at Red Bull Rampage in 2015, requiring a year in a wheelchair, and a recovery that still requires he walk with a cane. However, with the help of an electric bike and support of his friend Cam Zink, Basagoitia rediscovers his love for mountain biking, which he lost during his recovery, and acknowledges the appreciation he now feels for each little pedal stroke. In a hair-raising, feel-good ending, Zink and Basagoitia team up to rip the world famous single track of Crested Butte, Colorado.
While the featured riders in Accomplice distinguish themselves as gods amongst mere mortal mountain bikers, the premise of the film relates the same sentiment all mountain bikers share about the gift two studded, oversized wheels attached to a frame with pedals has given them. Whether it’s the friendships, community, locations, freedom, or creative outlet, it helps remind all of us what an enriching gift a bike can be. It opens doors, and reminds us that the giddiness we feel when embarking on a ride today, is the same feeling we had back when we received our first bike.
The TGR Drive-In Road Trip begins Wednesday, July 8, in Denver, Colorado, with Accomplice showing on a giant 100-foot screen that’s sure to fuel your desire for adventure this summer. Tickets are $40 per car. The tour then rolls on to stops around the globe, and for locations without drive-in theaters, TGR will be hosting virtual events with their athletes to ensure everyone gets a taste of Accomplice.
Watch the trailer here: