BIKECAR (Joey Fountain) Rating: NNN
It's going to be damn hard to park your bike outside the Royal Cinema this week. That's the site of the Bicycle Film Festival, now in its seventh year but making a pit stop in Toronto for the first time with a fun slate of pumped-up features and shorts.
There's a real DIY attitude to the works, including Joey Fountain's Bikecar, an amiable doc about a group of friends who travel, via a cool pedal-powered vehicle, across the western United States in search of extreme sports nirvana.
Starting off in Moscow, Idaho, they trek to Washington and Oregon, climbing steep mountains so they can snowboard, snowbike and, in one hilarious sequence, even sandboard. (That grit's gotta hurt.)
In total, they rack up 866 miles on the shoulders of highways, alongside roads and - in the most gruelling parts - uphill when they encounter mountains.
Watching them strain their overworked leg muscles soon loses its appeal, but director Fountain gets lots of great footage of the guys' efforts to out-alpha-male each other on the slopes.
The dramatic high point comes when one of them breaks a bone in his foot, so the others phone up a friend named Thayne - who lost a leg in a previous snowboarding accident - to join them. Thayne does, artificial leg and all.
There's little psychological depth, nothing about why they love the sport or how they met. The only thing that matters is travelling the country with your friends in a cool way (there's a brief eco message) and testing yourself on the roads and slopes. And that's more than enough.
Screens Saturday (August 25) at the Royal. More info at www.bicyclefilmfestival.com