Urban Velo

Dream Whip – The Pedal-Powered Movie Tour

dream whip 15Dream Whip #15: The Pedal-Powered Movie Tour is the latest release in the Dream Whip series from wandering cyclist and filmmaker Bill Brown.

Like the Dream Whip zines and pocket books that have come before it, The Pedal-Powered Movie Tour is an ode to the universal pains and pleasures of passing through big cities and small towns, with passages like this one:

“I zigzag across Southern Illinois. Farm dogs mark the miles. Just outside Carlinville, an old black and white mutt lopes behind me in pursuit. He’s an old dog whose chasing days are behind him. I slow down a little, just to give him a chance.”

With a simple sort of eloquence, Brown shares his journey from East to West, to screen his documentary film about activists on the U.S.-Mexico border, camping in rail yards and parking lots along the way.

The book isn’t about the film, though, it’s about the dusty diners and friendly small-town clerks that are equally ordinary and exceptional, each in their own right. Rather than a record of miles and minutes, Brown paints a picture out of road meals and route challenges. It’s calm and ambling, much like a bike tour tends to be. The pages are filled with the graceful ache of empty, forgotten roads and the poetic panic of traversing sketchy highway passes. A collection of writings from 2006, it illuminates the path that many before have taken, some of which is now history–like the well-known obstacle that has long been entering Pittsburgh by bike, now alleviated by the completion of the GAP trail–and the isolated trails that many more will take to for years to come.

Brown describes his own work as “a bad country song full of open roads and achy hearts and ratty motel rooms where I take stock of how many miles I’ve gone and how many I’ve still got to go.” Whether you’re a country fan or not, Dream Whip is an endearing anthology of bicycle journeys across America.

Dream Whip #15 and the rest of the Dream Whip series are available from Microcosm Publishing.

About Krista Carlson

A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.

View all posts by Krista Carlson →

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