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Cycling Arts & Culture - Klunkerz Cycling Film of the Year
By Staff
Date: 2/2/2009
Cycling Arts & Culture - Klunkerz Cycling Film of the Year

Cycling Arts & Culture - Klunkerz 2009 Cycling Film of the Year
Endurance Sport Awards  awards  Billy Savage film chronicling the birth of mountain biking top film Best of the year.

Competitor Publishing co-founder, Festival organizer, and Challenged Athletes Foundation co-founder Bob Babbit and Billy Savage. 

They Re-Invented the Wheel & Created a New Sport
San Diego, California - As a very physically fit crowd of nearly 600 of the world's best endurance athletes, sports filmmakers, and their fans looked on, 'KLUNKERZ' won the 2009 'Cycling Film of the Year' award at the 17th Annual Competitor Magazine Endurance Sports Awards. The film chronicles the birth of the off-road bicycle in the 1960s and 1970s, and the unique athletes and artisans credited with inventing the world-wide phenomenon.

The black-tie gala was held on Saturday night in the Nautilus Pavilion at Sea World in San Diego, CA. This was the inaugural year for the Competitor Film Festival, which played in conjunction with the ESAs.

Cycling legends Gary Fisher (L) and Charlie Kelly (R) with actor Dennis Christopher

Cycling legends and subjects of the film, Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly, were on-hand to support the film's writer/producer/director, Billy Savage, who accepted the award.

Klunkerz writer/producer/director Billy Savage with Dennis Christopher of 'Breaking Away' fame.

The award was presented by Dennis Christopher, star of the groundbreaking 1979 cycling film 'Breaking Away'. The slightly underdressed Savage was overhead saying "I'm honored and humbled to be the recipient of this award. This award is for all of us, the cycling pioneers who trusted me to tell their story, and for my amazing crew who worked so hard on this film."

Best Film Awards
Boulder Film Festival - "Make Your Own Legends" Award
Durango Independent Film Festival  - Best Documentary

The film is  the story of the birth of the modern mountain bike, as told by the people who were there. The film stars Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Mike Sinyard, Charlie Kelly, Steve Potts, Wende Cragg, Charlie Cunningham, Alan Bonds, Jacquie Phelan, etc. and the more obscure characters that influenced these pioneers. It was this small group of riders that reinvented the wheel. They created a healthy pastime for the masses, a multi-billion dollar industry, and an Olympic event.

KLUNKERZ gives a glimpse into what the San Francisco cycling scene was like in the 1960s and 1970s. There's lots of vintage footage of Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, and the rest of the gang during their early road racing and cyclo-cross careers. Of course, we get to see them rip the Repack racecourse on 50lb. pre-WWII Schwinns, but there's much more, as well. The film takes us to where the road ends, and the trail truly begins.  The film has been playing on the festival circuit in the U.S. for most of '07 and has been extremely well received by audiences and the press alike.

This is what Jimmy Mac, Editor of Mountain Bike Action, had to say about the film after it's Hollywood, CA Premiere at Hollywood and Vine... "Director Billy Savage has put together a remarkable film that traces the early evolution of mountain biking with current interviews of the principle players and rare early footage of the gang responsible for all the fun we have off road today. Maybe the most remarkable thing about the film is that you do not have to be a mountain biker to be thoroughly entertained. This is an interesting, funny and important story that finally gets the attention it deserves. Got a friend on the fence about mountain biking? See this film with them." Mountain Bike Action, November '07

The film was nominated for 'Best Documentary' and 'Emerging Filmmaker' awards at the '07 X-Dance Action Sports Awards. William Savage, the films creator had the privilege of presenting the star of the film, Gary Fisher, a 'Lifetime Achievement' award at the event. The film won 'Best Documentary' at the Durango Independent Film Festival and set attendance records there, and the Mill Valley Film Festival.  Purchase DVD.

Klunkerz Wins "Make Your Own Legends" Award at Boulder Film Festival
Earlier this month he Billy Savage Film about the founding of mountain biking was honored with the Boulder Film Festival's slogan "Make Your Own Legends" Award.

"This is one of our proudest awards and the message of making your own legends helped to define the basics of why we started the film festival five years ago. We had over 200 submissions from around the world, 40 of those films were selected and shown at the festival. From those 40, Klunkerz is one of only 9 films chosen as a distinct winner at the festival." Commented Mark Reiner organiser of the festival.

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