Cyclocross Pushes the Limits

Cyclocross 2011 from Vimeo.

Cyclocross is a fringe cycling phenomenon with deep roots in modern cycling culture. The sport began as  a favorite off-season training activity for Tour de France riders nearly 100 years ago, and has since become a national pastime in several European countries.

In the United States, the rough-and-tumble world of cyclocross racing has remained a sport on the margins, with races organized in city parks, woodlands, and homemade courses across America.

There is no question that this is a dangerous sport. Avid racers are no stranger to blood and mayhem. There are few accolades and minimal opportunity for glory.

On November 20th, racers gathered from all over the Northeast to compete in the annual Supercross Cup.

2 thoughts on “Cyclocross Pushes the Limits

  1. I like the addition of the race announcer as ambi. Overall I think the voices were great and the detail shots were amazing. Especially because you were working with a fast moving event. I’m sure shooting conditions were less than ideal.

  2. I love this: it’s such a visually rich and eventing event. Good find, and well executed with solid video and camera work, and solid audio. More tripod use would of course help with camera shake, e.g. in the interview shots.

    Editing is OK, though cuts borders on too fast for my taste. I love the sequence of Ellen Dorsey -> looping cyclist -> smiling cyclist -> Ellen Dorsey. Really nice progression there; the smile adds a warm feeling-tone to Dorsey’s exposition, and I’m drawn in.

    Maybe the quick video shot of the official who’s announcing the rules could be cut, since the visual is one of the weaker ones in the piece. Consider keeping the visual on the riders while we hear his audio announcing the rules?

    In terms of story structure: it’s definitely a clear, single-element story. The nature of the piece centers around an event, more than a character, and maybe that’s fine. But it probably could still be stronger if there was more focus on or development of a single character.

    In terms of narrative coherence: A little more context might be nice. Maybe an interviewee answering “What is cyclocross?” for a few sentences near the beginning. As it is, one of the strongest quotes is of the eventual winner talking about how the sport takes total awareness every second. Maybe move that earlier, e.g. so we’re hearing him tell that as we see footage of a guy wiping out?

    After we get the interview with the winner, I feel like the race should be over, or just finishing up. So it’s a little confusing to see more B-roll of the race at this point while the winner talks.

    There’s good shot variation and several great, creative shots, starting early on with the row of bikers telescoping away from the lens. The looping biker coming towards the camera is really nice, too. Artful.

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