Golden Hour: First Mt. Everest Mountain-Bike Rally

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In late October 1993, a small group of mountain bikers traveled with their mountain bikes to India in order to participate in the first-ever Mt. Everest Mountain Bike Rally.

In the early morning, after a breakfast of soupy oatmeal, toast, jam, scrambled eggs and Darjeeling tea, the group was hauled by bus across the valley to Manebhanjang where a Nepalese hospitality committee greeted them in traditional garb.

The Nepalese placed white silk scarves around the necks of the participants as a greeting and good-luck gesture. Three men sang and danced to the beat of their hand drums. Men and women with weathered faces served fried sweetbreads and hot tea with milk and sugar. About three hundred spectators were present to see the riders off. Here, at 7,045 feet, they didn’t have so much as a vague idea of what the next 5,000 feet and 23 miles up had in store for them. Incredible views of Mt. Everest along with some of the harshest trails any cyclist had ever encountered.

“Golden Hour” is a series of poems written during the week-long journey by one of the participating mountain bikers, Patricia Mooney, a professional video producer.

“Golden Hour” is spiced with footage shot by National Geo videographer Marco Eveslage gathered for a documentary called “Full Cycle: A World Odyssey” which won several film festival awards, including: a Silver Hugo in the 1995 Chicago International Film Festival, the 1995 New York International Festivals Award and a Silver Award in the 1995 Charleston International Film Festival. In 1999, “Full Cycle” won a Classic Telly Award.

Outside Online said: These are astounding visuals, full of “how’d they do that?” shots of whirring wheels in some of the most stunning settings on earth. Where most mountain bike videos dwell on gory endos and gnarly rips, Full Cycle is a squeaky-clean (nary a roostertail of dust nor a hint of attitude) tour of nine countries with Barbie-and-Ken couple Patty Mooney and Mark Schulze. The filmmakers’ deft use of on-bike steady-cams, aerials, and a lot of scrambling for striking angles in remote places all pay off.

Director – Mark Schulze, Patricia Mooney

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