"Ride Hard, Turn Left: The Penrose Velodrome", is a documentary that tells the story of bicycle track racing in St. Louis. The track, situated in the middle class African American Penrose neighborhood, has been the home of St. Louis track racers since1962. The track hosted the U.S. National Track Racing Championships in the year it opened and during the last 50 years has been the site for many national and statewide races. Many St. Louis racers who began riding at Penrose, went on to become national champions, Olympic qualifiers and international racers.
Track racing places a premium on speed and strategy as riders race fixed gear, single speed bikes with no brakes wheel to wheel along the steeply banked track at speeds up to thirty miles per hour. Track racing is unique among bicycle racing in that they entire race can be viewed from track side. Some races develop slowly as riders jockey for the lead out position or draft the front riders. In other races riders rely on speed and break early to quickly establish a dominating lead over the other riders.
This season we followed local racers as they competed throughout the season at the Penrose velodrome. We interviewed racers from the track's early days and gathered archival photos that tell the history of the track. The documentary shows how the track fits into the urban Penrose neighborhood where it is is almost unknown to the area residents.
The Penrose Velodrome is one of 23 velodromes in the U.S. and has a rich history of exciting racing that has lasted for 50 years. The documentary will expose viewers and potential racers to the exciting sport of track racing and help make sure that racing the racing continues at the track known as Mr. Bumpy Face for its less than smooth surface. It is our hope that the documentary will not only attract viewers but will also get spectators to the track to watch the weekly races and encourage others try a spin around the banked track.
What We Need & What You GetWe have already received partial funding for the documentary and now need additional funds to finish the project and bring it home. The funding we receive through this campaign will go to cover a variety of expenses. These expenses include the costs for equipment and personnel to cover the last of the shooting that will still take place. Costs also include archival materials, and, most importantly the costs of editing the video and audio for the project.
A portion of the funding raised in this campaign will go towards marketing the finished program and making sure that it reaches an audience. If funding goals are met with this campaign our hardworking crew can get paid something close to the value of their work on the project.
Other Ways You Can Help
Fund our campaign and learn more about track racing, the Penrose Velodrome and the folks creating this documentary. Find out about the track season by checking out http://mobra.org Visit http://www.stlbiking.com and learn about track racing and cycling in general. Find out more about our other projects by visiting http://www.storyville-pictures.com Or come out to the track most Thursdays starting in May and see what it's all about!