The Strand Theatre of Old Forge will host a special viewing of the documentary film, HALF THE ROAD: The Passion, Pitfalls & Power of Women’s Professional Cycling, on Tuesday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m.
The film, written and directed by Old Forge seasonal resident Kathryn Bertine, explores the world of women’s professional cycling with a focus on the love of the sport and the issues of inequality that female racers face in the male-dominated sport.
Bertine’s first-hand experience in women’s cycling inspired her to investigate the inequities of men’s and women’s elite level cycling competitions.
Hired to write a 2006 ESPN.com column called, “So You Wanna Be an Olympian,” she was challenged to see if she could make it to the Beijing Olympics in just two years.
“In 2007 I switched from being a pro triathlete to a rookie road cyclist. I fell hard for cycling: figuratively and often literally,” she said.
Throughout her Olympic quest that took her from prestigious U.S. events to rural villages in Central America, to large Asian cities, and through Europe, her eyes were opened to a number of issues relating to women’s cycling.
These included much lower prize money than men’s events, no base salary or union protection for pros, and roadblocks for rising female cyclists representing third world or less prosperous nations.
By the time her ESPN gig ended in 2008, Bertine was fully vested in the sport and the accompanying challenges.
In 2012 she achieved her goal of elevating to the pro ranks of cycling and became a member of Team Colavita.
Bertine’s film includes footage from International Cycling Union races as well as interviews with cycling champions and rookies, coaches, doctors and family members.
The film’s title comes from a segment of the film where the president of a small cycling federation quotes the saying, “Women hold up half the sky” in reference to equality.
“Our documentary explores the idea that, if women hold up half the sky, the women’s peloton deserves ‘half the road’ of opportunity, growth, support and equality within professional cycling,” said Bertine.
Bertine will be present at The Strand for the film’s showing and available to discuss her work.
The trailer for the documentary can be viewed at: halftheroad.com.