Early in my biking life I knew I was a tortoise and not a hare. It’s okay, don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not a speedster. I compete against myself, and that’s A.O.K. by me. I’m not a competitive cyclist. I’m a strong, competent, confident commuter cyclist and I prefer touring. There, now you know.
Why tell you that? Sometimes I wish I was more than a wannabe. I sort of wish I was a professional athlete. I’ve talked about this before in other posts. I’m not. However, I can support others in their athletic aspirations.
I watched a new documentary called Blood Road and it is still with me. Every July 4th I go for a bike ride through some of the city’s cemeteries and I watch a movie about war. Freedom isn’t free as they say, and this documentary offers a perspective from both an American and a Vietnamese women about the ultimate cost. I watched this documentary a few weeks ago and I’m watching it again. Blood Road is the story of a daughter finding her father long after the Vietnam War’s end. “I feel drawn to go looking for answers to a mystery that been with me my entire life.”
Every frame of this film is spectacular. The unfolding of the mystery of Rebecca Rush’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot, shot down during the Vietnam War. Extraordinary “ultra-endurance” biker takes her viewers on the emotional and physical journey she took in 2015 when she pedaled 1,200 miles of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in search of the crash site that claimed the life of her father.
The most compelling aspect of the story are the primary source documents, video and recordings that are shared. Another aspect of the storytelling involves the people who help Rebecca in her quest. When Rebecca meets Huyen Nguyen, a Vietnamese competitive biking champion, and together they traverse the jungles of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam you see their interactions and genuine support for one another. Also, you learn about the Vietnam War.
War has a lasting impact and Blood Road honors the memory of Rebecca’s father and puts a face on victims of war. The Vietnam War may have ended on April 30th, 1975, but it left a mystery that time and trails mitigate. Yes, I’d love to ride it. How about you?
It doesn’t matter if you watch it on the Fourth. Just watch it.
Available to rent or buy on iTunes.
Have a Happy 4th!
Be safe and get out there and ride.