Narrated by the legendary voice of cycling, Phill Liggett, The Engine Inside is a captivating feature-length documentary that weaves together the extraordinary stories of six everyday people. Through their experiences, the film unveils the remarkable power of the bicycle to promote profound change in our lives and communities. One of the documentary’s writers, Daisy Maddinson, shares how the film hopes to spark a feel-good revolution on two wheels.

Beyond the traditional portrayal of cycling as a sport or recreational activity, we don’t often give the bicycle much thought. Some might use it to get from A to B or commute to the office, but have you ever seriously considered the deeper impact of swinging a leg over?

The Engine Inside goes deeper, exploring the often-overlooked potential of this 200-year-old machine. Through the stories of six everyday people using the bicycle as a tool, the documentary delves into the significance of cycling in helping solve various global issues, including physical and mental well-being, socioeconomic inequality and climate change.

As writers, we wanted to go beyond the surface of cycling and showcase the true essence of the bicycle and its transformative power. In the development stage, every story we uncovered touched us deeply. We met people who faced daunting personal and systemic challenges head-on—from generational trauma and economic barriers to women’s equity and motor vehicle collisions—who have all found hope in the simple act of riding a bike. Their determination to overcome adversity through cycling left us humbled and even more inspired to use storytelling to spread the “bike gospel”.

By sharing the journeys of these everyday people from all walks of life, the film challenges anyone who watches it to reevaluate their own perspective on the transformative power of the bicycle.

The world can feel big and ugly sometimes. With so many converging social and environmental problems, the weight of the world can be overwhelming. We think, how can we as individuals change anything? And what use is one small action when the problems are so large? After watching The Engine Inside, we wanted the audience to ask themselves: Can an act as ordinary as riding a bike truly unlock strength and resilience within us all?

The documentary urges us to see the bicycle as more than just a means of transportation or a way to enjoy the great outdoors. It shows us how riding can act as a catalyst for change. It shows us that small actions do make a difference.

Our hope is that The Engine Inside will prompt anyone who sees it to change their view of cycling and embrace the transformative power of the bicycle and the engine inside us all. We can build a better world, one pedal stroke at a time.

Film release coming late 2023.

This article is taken from:NZ Mountain Biker, Issue #111

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