On the back cover of the Why We Ride DVD in bold letters is stated, “Everyone has a reason.” In this documentary we hear from people who love motorcycles and riding them. Some are just everyday folks and others are names you may recognize. Celebrities like Alonzo Bodden, a popular stand-up comedian who has four motorcycles, says, “There is nothing in my life like it.” Ed Kretz Jr. talks about how it was growing up with his dad, the first winner of the Daytona 200, the legendary Ed “Iron Man” Kretz. Also speaking about their passion are famed racer Kenny Roberts, Keith Code from the California Super Bike School and Michael Lichter, famous motorcycle photographer. We hear from women who ride like professional racer Melissa Paris and Gloria Struck, a senior member of the legendary Motor Maids.
Along the way we get a little history lesson as to where and how it all began. As one person says in the video, “When you go and buy a new motorcycle, the roots go back to 1901.” The documentary continues through time and people of all ages define the title of this video, telling us how they fell in love with motorcycles, met their spouses and introduced their children to the sport, and even two who rode around the world including David Barr who, due to wartime injuries, had both legs amputated below his knees. One interviewee commented, “We all dream about flying, and when you ride a motorcycle you are flying… flying through space at the twist of the throttle.”
I had the opportunity to interview producer and director Bryan H. Carroll, and asked him, “What made you make this film?” He responded, “This is the best and most important movie I have ever made. My motto is, ‘Live your passion!’” He says it all started with a conversation with the son of Ed “Iron Man” Kretz, as he was doing research on the Iron Man for a feature film. After hearing some great stories he found the conversation kept coming back to one common denominator: Motorcycling is shared; not just among friends and fellow riders, but also family. When he finished talking to Ed Kretz Jr. he decided that the film would be called Why We Ride. It was more than a name; it was a mission statement.
Already the film has won awards such as Best Feature Documentary at the 2013 Motorcycle Film Festival, the 2014 Family Choice Award, Feature Documentary at the 2014 PDX Motorcycle Film Festival and 2014 AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award.
The cinematography that goes along with the dialog is awesome, as is the soundtrack. I found myself going back and watching it again and again. Family is featured significantly in this film, and also how we can hand down this love and passion that all of us share. I would recommend this to everyone who has “the passion,” and perhaps with the help of this video we can pass it along.