I know that it is easy to focus on the cycling successes of the present and recent past and forget the pioneers of cycling, so I have great hopes for Ciclo, a documentary about two Mexican brothers who rode 5,600 kilometres across North America from their village to Toronto in 1956.
The documentary, still in production, tells the story of this epic journey, at a less complicated moment in North American history and cycling culture, using clippings, archive footage and new film as filmmakers and the two cyclists themselves -- Arturo and Gustavo MartinezMcNaught, now in their 70s -- retrace the journey.
The film crew is arriving in Toronto this week to finish the trip, and you can hope to see some Toronto media coverage of Ciclo. Anyone with an interest in cycling history will spend some enjoyable moments cruising the film's website, where you can review clippings from 1956 and see photos of the handsome Latin brothers in their matching wool jerseys, hoisting Miss Toronto on their shoulders and discussing their route with local officials for the newspaper photographers as they wend their way through the United States. (You wonder what the border patrol would make of two Mexican brothers trying to ride across North America these days!)
For those in Waterloo Region, there's even a local connection: Arturo's wife Janet Crowther is a KW native and St. Mary's Hospital nursing school grad. Janet and Arturo are expected in the region at the nursing school's 50th anniversary reunion, Oct. 2-4.
A fascinating story, and one I hope we will be able to see on screen in this community.