- - New Cycling Film: "Hard Miles"

New Cycling Film: “Hard Miles”

Hard Miles is an American sports drama film written by Christian Sander and R.J. Daniel Hanna and directed by Hanna. It stars Matthew Modine, Cynthia McWilliams, Jahking Guillory, Jackson Kelly, Damien Diaz, Zach Robbins, Leslie David Baker and Sean Astin.

Social worker Greg Townsend (Matthew Modine) urges a judge to allow the resident of a facility for teenage boys who have been in trouble to allow him to stay there, even though he pushed another boy. Townsend explains that he was protecting someone else, not instigating violence. But the judge rules that the boy must be transferred to a higher-security facility, one with “juvenile penitentiary” in its name. 

It is not Townsend’s failure; it is the failure of a system that wants to treat these teenagers as criminals instead of opportunities for redirection. And that means showing them that they have other strengths and other choices. “If they see the bigger world, they can want to be a part of it,” Townsend says, and his idea of how to make that happen is to take them on a 762-mile bike ride from Colorado to the Grand Canyon.

“Hard Miles” is inspired by the real Greg Townsend, who has taken thousands of young men on these bike trips. It is a compelling story, and the film is a combination of spectacular scenery, arduous exertion, inspiring pep talks, adolescent rebellion, emotional confrontations, and lessons learned by both the teenagers and their leader.

Townsend wanted the young men to experience the grandeur of the Arizona and Colorado landscapes. He wanted them to learn what they could accomplish, and he wanted them to learn to be a part of something outside themselves.  

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