Today we have dedicated a very special blog segment, but first, on the behalf of producer Mark Pedri and each and every member of the Burning Torch Productions crew, I would like to thank all of our blog viewers and all others who have shown us love and support for our upcoming film. Because of your support, we have managed to advance the production of Energy, Oh Energy from just an idea to a realty. That being said, today’s blog is going to be a one-on-one interview with Mark regarding his journey starting on July 24th.
Are you excited to leave on this expedition?
Mark – Yes, extremely. I have been preparing and training for nearly two months. All of the hard work is building up to my departure. Everyone who is a part of this film has been working extremely hard and we are all excited to see it take off like this.
Are you nervous about anything?
Mark – That’s a hard question to answer. If I said no, I would by lying but if I said yes, I would be undermining my confidence. The only things I am nervous about are the things that I can’t prepare for. It is going to be a very exhausting journey both physically and mentally. I have been asking for advice from experienced bicyclists who have done this type of thing before and they think I’m crazy. I don’t think that is a good sign. The main concern is my trailer will be so heavy (100lbs). Most of the people who do rides like this only take half or even 1/3 of that amount of weight. I have been training but I haven’t had time to do a multi-day training ride like I originally planned. There just isn’t enough time in the day.
What are you spending these next few days doing?
Mark – Phone calls, emails, emails, phone calls, and more emails. When that’s taken care of, there’s always a few rides here and there. I haven’t been out riding nearly as much as I would have liked though. People keep warning me about not having any rest days but I don’t have enough time to put a rest day in. I would love some rest but sometimes that’s not an option.
What is the first event?
Mark– The first event is the Pinedale send off. I will be leaving from Pinedale, WY at 10:00 a.m. on July 24th. Jim Mitchell has been gracious enough to allow us to use his house at 210 Spruce St. as our departure point. I am hoping that many people from the community will come out and support me as I depart on this expedition.
How has the media been covering the event?
Mark– We have had 6 articles in various newspapers and even one in an online magazine from Mexico City cover the film. It has been really nice working with the media and they have been great about helping promote and inform people about the journey. I don’t think I could complete this journey without the support of everyone around me. I feel very thankful for all of the help people have offered.
Who has helped?
Mark– Aside from the people on the Burning Torch Productions team that you may have read about on an earlier blog, there have been many people. To name a few, the Mitchell family in Pinedale, Bob Johnson in Pinedale, Questar, US Department of Reclamation, Bob Arambel, Reid West, Emily Neal, Zac Reiter, my entire family, Rock Springs I.V. Center, and many more. If you have done anything to help us in the production of this film, I can’t thank you enough. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible.
What additional help are you asking for?
Mark – Spread the word. Use this film as dinner table chat. Bring it up at the grocery store, coffee breaks, and everywhere else. I need everyone’s help to get the word out and make it as big as we can. I can only do so much and when I’m out on the trail, it’s up to you guys. Come to the ride along events even if you don’t have a bike. Post this link on your Facebook. Every little bit helps. The biggest thing you all can do to help is to be a part of the adventure, whether it’s just reading the blog or coming out to some of the events.
What is your biggest concern?
Mark – Water and injury are my biggest concerns. Either one of them has the potential to bring my journey to a premature end. The area that I’m riding through is a desert and as my lawyer told me, “…it’s out there where even the lizards are carrying canteens.” I will be carrying as much as 24 pounds of water during some stretches of the journey. I am trying to be constantly aware of the risks so I don’t find myself making foolish mistakes that could end my expedition and compromise my safety.
Any last words before you set off?
Mark – I am setting out to make a great film. Every film needs an audience. I hope that each and every one of you will be my audience for this film. It isn’t going to be easy and I might run into some trouble along the way but I am not going to give up. When I set foot in La Bonte Park in Laramie, I’ll be done; until then, you can count on me out there riding.
It was great getting to catch up with Mark right before his departure. We all wish and hope his journey ends in triumph and his new film becomes a success. Even though Mark will not be with us for the next few weeks, I will not keep you wondering about what is going on with him on the road. I will keep in contact with him, over the phone (whenever he gets reception) and update you with all the developments on his journey. Keep checking back for updates as Mark journey’s into the desert in search of the best energy.