Bicycling through History












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For Immediate Release

Washington, DC. . September 3, 2002

Bicycling through History is officially launched.

Amid zero fanfare and complete lack of media coverage, the new DVD series, "Bicycling through History" was officially launched while being stuck in traffic on the way to the press conference. This appears to be representative of the entire project according to producer, Robert Weber. "We have had so many challenges to face that it is a miracle we even got the first disks made," says Weber. "Today, we just hit typical DC traffic," he said "We should have ridden bicycles". The original plan was to hold the conference at the National Press Club in early June of 2002, but that was postponed when it became obvious that the first finished disks would not be ready by then. After numerous technical problems were overcome, the launch celebration was planned for September 1. Then the small DVD publishing operation realized that date was a Sunday. September 2 was Labor Day so it was moved back to Tuesday. As plans were hastily adjusted for an early morning press conference on September 3, the group became hopelessly mired in traffic. Despite making last minute calls and trying to switch to the Metro in order to make the event, the publishing crew gave up and went back to doing what they enjoy most: riding bicycles. The main problem was that they ditched the event.

"We are not going to seek publicity," says the producer Weber. "We are just going to ride." The tiny production unit was begun in 1996 when Robert took his video camera along on a bike ride with his girlfriend Vickie. Together, they would pedal along sections of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal or other convenient trails which have been developed for recreational use. At some point, it occurred to them that most of the trails they were riding on had significant historical value. They started taking the video camera on other trips around the country. It seemed like everywhere they went, the bicycle trails told a story of American history. They also realized that George Washington had traveled many of the same routes in his various roles as surveyor, military leader and President. The rest, as they say, is history.

The small crew started to assemble programs from the video footage. They attended reenactments to acquire the visual and virtual effects for the presentations. Music rights were negotiated for the same types of songs that were popular during the periods represented. The video programs were encoded to meet the specifications for DVD media and the first published disks are now being marketed through a grass roots system of bicycle shops and specialty retailers. Future plans for distribution are unclear. "We have no idea how these will be received," says Weber. "It really does not matter, though, because we are going to continue making them anyway." The producer and apparent spokesman for the operation states that he has enough footage to make at least six more disks with roughly ninety minutes of cycling on each. "This is not a big budget production. We use a camera that costs less than $1000 and we don't have any artficial lighting. The whole project relies entirely on nature." Weber continues, "We face many of the same obstacles that early settlers had to deal with."

"Our second DVD will be better than the first. We went to the very same house where George Washington lived in Barbados. The scenery is spectacular," says Weber. The next disk in the series will trace the life of the first President before he became the leader of the Continental Army. It covers the French and Indian War as well as the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown. Robert Weber adds that, "All these places have wonderful bicycle trails. If you have never experienced them, then our DVDs will take you there."

The summary is that while they are not very good at attending their own press conference, this small digital publishing outfit does offer an interesting concept. It remains to be seen whether the DVDs will be accepted as educational documentaries or as exercise tapes. The one notable highlight is the determination of the crew. Various stories from them outline numerous flat tires, injuries, bad weather, broken cameras and other logistical problems. Indeed, it may be a miracle that they have come this far. The next big question is: How far can they go?

Other Press Releases: October 2002 | December 2002 | January 2003 | February 2003 | April 2003

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Bicycling Through History
P.O. Box 80094
Washington, DC 20018
Copyright 2002