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The Tour Baby!!! Interview with Scott Coady
 
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 11/3/2002
The Tour Baby!!! Interview with Scott Coady
 

Scott Coady is a Peloton Project member, raising funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Scott has produced a feature length video of the 2000 Tour de France entitled The Tour Baby.

Daily Peloton: Hi Scott, tell us a little bit about yourself... you are a rider right - and a fan obviously? Are you a movie producer?

Scott Coady: Yeah, I ride. Recreational now, but I raced as an amateur for 8 years with my last race at the Master's Worlds in 1996 on the velodrome in Manchester, England. I'm a sprinter and definitely not a movie producer. I had never owned a video camera before I bought the one I used to make the film, just weeks before going on the trip.

DP: Okay, so how did you get started on the film? Did you plan it or did it just grow as you went along, following the Tour?

SC: I am definitely a cycling fan. The long one day classics and the long tours are like opera to me. With highs and lows, sub plots and passion and tears. Cycling has it all. Like many people I had dreamed of going to see the Tour de France. Well, before OLN came on the scene with their live coverage, getting half hour recaps each evening definitely wasn't scratching my itch, especially when they would never even show the attacks! I was tired of "here is the bunch" then "here are five guys on a breakaway" then "here is the winner."

So when the Tour organizers announced in Oct of 1999 that Mount Ventoux would be back as a the finish of a road stage for the first time in almost 30 years for the millennium edition of the 2000 Tour de France, I knew I had to be there on that mountain since I had climbed it in 1995 as part of a two week training I had done there. To make a long story short, I ended up quitting my job and planned to follow the entire tour figuring that would finally satisfy my pent-up desire.

Just weeks before departing, I bought a mini digital video camera, figuring I would just record my adventure for personal purposes. As I went along, especially after getting footage of Lance and the team in their hotel rooms and team bus, I knew I had the makings of a real film and committed myself to making one.

DP: How many times have you been to France to follow the tour?

SC: Three now. 2000, 2001, 2002.

DP: Is all the footage for The Tour Baby from the last tour or was some footage from earlier tours?

SC: It is all from the 2000 Tour.

DP: Frankie Andreau said at the premiere, " The film captures the ambience of following the Tour more than any film he has seen." Is that what you were trying to accomplish with the video?

SC: As I went along just being a total fan, I always kept in mind all the cycling fans back at home who would love to see the Tour but couldn't make it. I was sort of like a surrogate for them and just filmed myself seeing and doing everything I knew they wished they could do or see.

DP: You got access to places most fans would never get into - how did you arrange this? Tell us about some of them in the film.

SC: Well I don't know if I can really explain it. It was one of those magical times in life where it seemed as if I was guided by an unseen hand. As people in the know heard about what I was up to, they offered help. All I can say to explain it is that it was a combination of being totally committed, passionate, honest and grateful for every little opportunity. Or, it might have been that they felt sorry for me, living in a dilapidated delivery van for the month and driving the entire Tour route by myself.

DP: In the film it looks like the Tour is a rolling party; what is it like camping and following the tour?

SC: Totally crazy. Burning Man (http://www.burningman.com) has nothing on what goes on in those mountains! People arrive up to five days in advance to claim their spot. They set up bars, BBQ pits, party all night long, drinking homemade hooch and eating the most amazing homemade food. There are fan clubs for most of the European riders who set up camps with their own bars, food service and entertainment, and they just go off 24/7 singing songs and painting the roads.

DP: What is your most enduring memory of the adventure of following le Tour, the most inspirational?

SC: One of my desires going over was to see Lance off the front really going for it. When the race hit the Pyrenees, I picked the Col de Abisque to watch and film despite a voice in the back of my head which told me I should have been on Hautacam. Well, as you all know, it was terribly cold that day and raining and there I was shivering, watching as Lance went over the top in a bunch and I didn't even see him. Then, as you see in the film, I find some guys watching the race on a TV in a cement trash bunker, and watched as Lance unleashed his assault up Hautacam and I missed it.

I was so depressed!! I began wondering if was a good idea to even go over to France to watch the race. The biggest moment of race, I am in France and I am missing it! I was pissed. So I leap frogged ahead, vowing not to miss the show down at the top of Mount Ventoux. There, just before the final turn, I got what I came for. Off in the distance I could see Lance's yellow jersey coming up the mountain with someone on his wheel.

Then, as they got closer, I realized it was Pantani! Pantani and Lance! The two former champions of the Tour, Pantani the winner in 1998 after coming back from a horrific accident in which his leg was shattered in something like 13 different places, and Lance the winner the year before (Pantani sat out) after coming back from cancer, battling each other on the most legendary mountain of the tour. It was one of the greatest moments I have ever witnessed in sports, including seeing the 7th game of the world series in which the Twins beat the Braves and seeing Chris Boardman shatter the world hour record.

I broke out in tears of joy, relief, and admiration all at once. Turning the camera on myself as I was overcome with passion was difficult but a really special moment in my life. I have climbed Mount Ventoux now three times. It is one thing to see these guys do their thing on TV. It is quite another witness them suffer while climbing the mountain that Lance has said is the hardest climb he has ever done and know that they are going at least twice as fast as any of us can.

DP: Did you start out with a plan to do this to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), or did you get inspired by it all and decide to do it while following the race and making the video?

SC: No, I never had a plan to raise money for the LAF when I started. But once I got to the Tour and saw that I had the makings of a film, it just seemed like the right thing to do to have all the proceeds from the film go to the LAF. Then, during the editing process, the daughter of my best friend was diagnosed with a rare and severe form of brain and spinal cancer. Her name is Claire, and at age 10 she was fighting for her life. There wasn't much I could do to help her so I threw myself into the project and fight cancer through fundraising. I am very happy to report that although she is still receiving chemotherapy, she is winning the battle and her tumors are retreating.

DP: Tell us a little about the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and why it is important for you and us to support it.

SC: What I love about the LAF is that besides funding research, it is dedicated to cancer SURVIVORSHIP. It is helping survivors!! I believe that language creates reality. It is very comforting to me that anyone who reaches out to the LAF is reaching out for survivorship. Just that alone could make all the difference. Attitude is everything and how we talk about and think about our life creates our reality which affects our attitude.

My goal is to raise $100,000 for the LAF by August 2003. I heard that the top fundraiser for the LAF last year raised $93,000. So, I figure I could do $100,000 and that would be something worth pursuing. I released the film in August of 2002 and have raised $6,000 for the LAF so far! I am approaching the fundraising project just like Climbing Mount Ventoux, one kilometer at a time! Mount Ventoux is twenty kilometers bottom to top at 8%. I have my fundraising broken down into 20 $5,000 segments so I have climbed one kilometer! As anyone who has climbed the "Giant of Provence," as Mt. Ventoux is known, the hardest part is at the bottom because it hurts so badly and you have so far to go! So you just suck it up and keep going. It hurts the same all the way to the top but the closer you get, the more you feel like you are going to make it, which helps keep you going.

DP: If one of our readers wanted to buy a video they could go to your site, right?

SC: All they have to do is visit http://www.thetourbaby.com. There they can see clips of the film, find out where we will be showing the film around the country or buy one for themselves. They can either send me a check, use PayPal or make a donation directly to the LAF and get a free copy of the film.

DP: If they wanted to sponsor a showing in their area who would they contact?

SC: They should contact me. I have had a terrific response from bike clubs. The film is inspirational, informative, interesting, very, very funny and makes a wonderful club event. I offer a copy of the film free to any cycling club who wishes to show it to their members and pass the hat for the LAF and help me achieve my goal. I have even shown up at a few of the club meetings.

DP: If bike stores or clubs would like to participate in selling the video would they contact you?

SC: Yes, via e-mail. My e-mail address is scott.coady@att.net.

DP: By the way, I hear you have some exciting news to share this week?

SC: Yes, on Monday, I am very proud and pleased to announce that ...(you have to wait).


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