Biking Cross-Country for Multiple Sclerosis — on Banana Seats?

In 1982, a ragtag group of teenagers dreamed up a big ride, then pedaled out on whatever bikes they could scrounge up — to put it lightly.

You could barely apply the word “cyclists” to the few dozen individuals who embarked on a cause-driven ride across the United States in the early ’80s.

“The longest I had ridden before was maybe 10, 15 miles,” one rider says in this trailer.

“I didn’t know how to shift gears,” another admits.

But somehow, the 31 teenagers made it. And during the 40 years since the summer of 1982, one of them became a filmmaker with “a need to look back.”

How opportune. Check out Paul Bonesteel’s “Shadow of a Wheel,” a four-part documentary that explores the ride through both retrospectives and a bevy of original footage. The series will air on PBS, with a premiere date scheduled for next spring.

Runtime (trailer): 3 minutes

Exclusive Screening: Watch 2,700km Bikepacking Epic 'The Great Escape'
Exclusive Screening: Watch 2,700km Bikepacking Epic 'The Great Escape'
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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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