Directed by Nuno Tavares, The Soul of a Cyclist revolves around the subject of classic bicycles. Shot in Portugal and in England, the film captures personal experiences of individuals who own and ride classic bicycles and their deep connection with them. The film highlights several short stories of individuals of classic bicycles owners that includes a cycling club in Portugal and a vintage bicycle festival in England. The film brings forth the testimonials of several bicycle owners who have used their classic bicycles for various purposes such as touring, commuting, endurance or just for leisure.
Also filmed in England and Spain, the film carries the viewer along with riders on their solo journeys as well as huge cycling events such as The Tweed Ride in London, which draw hundreds or thousands of period bicycles with riders dressed in period correct attire and social gatherings that celebrate it all.
The film is based around primarily traditional, upright, sprung saddle bikes and riders and their love of simply riding their bike. There is no racing per se or competition, but mostly leisurely cycling and the bike as daily transport or for travel. Yet, the current competitive rider will also identify with the connection made to the machine, what miles on a bicycle can do for health, the environment and a unique view of one’s surroundings by simply pedaling along and moving in quiet introspection.
The Soul of a Cyclist is a subtle and friendly nod to those who recognize and nurture this connection to the simple, sturdy, crafted machine that is capable of taking its partner nearly anywhere, yet at a pace that provides a thorough in-the-moment look at every mile along the way.
The film is roughly an hour and ten minutes long, with English subtitles throughout except where English is spoken, with more on offer than just halcyon images of “Old World” cycling. Rather, it conjures the notion that the bike in its simple form can also provide a backdrop for both reflection and discovery.
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