A documentary following the lives of motorcycle racers and racing enthusiasts, including actor Steve McQueen. First asking the question "Why do they do it?" this film looks at the people who devote (and sometimes risk) their lives to racing on tracks and off-road courses around the world. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
More than a couple of times every year I have to watch "On Any Sunday." I can't tell you why exactly except that it makes me feel good. It's kind of like smelling something that you haven't in a long time and all those feelings that you had the first time you experienced "it" come flooding back.
For me, I was twelve years old when I first saw this movie. It was on a rainy summer Saturday afternoon with my best friend Dean (we had nothing better to do...). The film was both funny and seriously awe-inspiring at the same time. As we walked out of the theater, Dean and I looked at each other and exclaimed at the same time, "I can do that!" When I got home from the movie, I immediately went to work lobbying my brothers and pestering my parents to get us (me) a "bike." Between all of us, we finally came to an agreement with us boys finding a way to finance most of it (our dad flitting the bill for the rest) and mom consenting to let us anywhere near "the thing" in the first place (lots of promises were made that day I can tell you).
That first bike was a Bultaco Sherpa some 3 or four years old. It was set up as a trails bike and all of us boys, our friends (until they talked their parents into one), and even a sister or two took many turns over the next few trying to figure out how to negotiate a 30 inch diameter log that lay across the creek...without putting our feet down (a la Malcolm Smith in the movie of course)! Many of us, some 35 years later, still wear faded scars that mark these great, but dangerous, days.
This movie got me started loving something that I didn't even really think about existing until then. We had mainly bicycles and horses where I grew up. A friend down the rode apiece did have a mini-bike with a 5 hp Briggs and Stratton powering it, but it was touchy and didn't always start when you wanted it too (although, I can also say this about the Sherpa at times).
This was really the first time that I started to learn about motors...what it was like to get greasy-dirty...the smell of gasoline and oil...and what it took to get both yourself and the bike clean again (to Mom's satisfaction).
My love of motorcycles began on that wet summer day and has continued to the present. Indirectly (through me), and just within my own circle of friends and relatives, "On Any Sunday" is probably responsible for some 100 to 200 new motorcycle riders - who otherwise may never have known what it's like to fly on two wheels or pick prickly pear cactus needles out of your ...well you know.
Although the film is somewhat dated (both the motorcycles as well as the background music)...it wears well and the spirit remains the same...just ask my twelve year old...,"Pretty cool Dad. I can do that!"
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