Posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Suddenly, cycling movies are everywhere! OK, maybe not everywhere. But having two cycling-related films announced in the same day is enough to get any fixed-gear freak (and you are freaks, all of you) to pedal a little faster. There’s David Koepp doing Premium Rush, a bike messenger action flick that hopes it can be as awesome as Kevin Bacon’s seminal bike messenger movie Quicksilver.
And now Jason Priestley has optioned Death of a Freerider, a Rolling Stone article about a mountain biker who got into the exiting world of international drug smuggling.
Variety reports the deal. The article was published only within the last few months, and isn’t available online. (EDIT: actually, there are scans online, which I found via Gordon and the Whale.) The article covers Sam Brown, a 22-year old Canadian mountain biker who started smuggling pot back and forth across the US/Canadian border, and committed suicide in a Spokane jail cell in February of this year.
The story is bizarre. Brown was a student pilot and a great cyclist, but he was arrested in Washington state when the DEA busted him unloading a helicopter full of weed. He’d flown solo in fairly bad conditions — an impressive feat for someone without a helicopter license — right into a sting operation, and the helicopter had been reported stolen above the border in British Columbia. He was arrested on February 23 and found dead in his private cell four days later. What led him to the drug smuggling deal? Was he willing or coerced? Had he decided to testify against others, and why did he hang himself? Many questions.
Below is a news clip about Brown, his arrest and suicide. Under that is a clip of Brown in action on the crazy hamster wheel he built to ride in/on. (The latter clip was uploaded before his death, but in retrospect, having a Cypress Hill track on there is kinda uncomfortable.)