In the pristine forests above Leavenworth, Washington, there exists a world of hidden trailheads and clandestine trails. Here a sect of outdoor enthusiasts, extreme mountain bikers called freeriders, have gone underground. They are the skate punks of the forest, unwelcome and under pressure to leave. The locations of their trails are carefully guarded secrets and the riders who ride them keep constant vigil, on the lookout for US Forest Service rangers.
But they won’t leave. Each time one of their trails or jumps is destroyed they sneak back in and rebuild, believing that they have a right to ride through these landscapes. And now, in an effort to combat the problem, local district rangers have been given heightened authority to put any freeriders caught on undesignated trails directly into jail.
Ironically, it can be argued that both sides are fighting for the same thing – the rights of Americans to play in the woods. The freeriders want the freedom to ride through the natural sanctuaries that are our public forestlands. The U.S. Forest Service is acting to fulfill its legal obligation to administer those same lands, “for the use and enjoyment of the American people.”
The documentary PEDAL-DRIVEN will take you behind both sides of this confrontation – riding with the freeriders and chasing them down with the rangers – in an exploration of issues increasingly important to all Americans. With an ever-increasing population and a finite supply of unspoiled wildlands, the sense of urgency around protecting and preserving these national treasures only grows. PEDAL-DRIVEN will examine the shared philosophies of stewardship and sustainability from both sides and, ultimately, offer examples of the ways in which opposing factions can find common ground in defense of our common grounds.
Meet the Team
Howell at the Moon Productions is a digital media production company based in Wenatchee, Wash., that has been creating socially conscious documentary films since 2000. Howell at the Moon Productions has recently evolved into two separate companies, Howell at the Moon and North 40 Productions.
Jamie Howell - Writer/Director
Co-producer and writer of the Emmy-nominated documentary “Broken Limbs”, Howell is a North Central Washington filmmaker, writer and musician. He founded Howell at the Moon as a freelance writer in 1999, and turned it into Howell at the Moon Productions when he joined forces with Jeff Ostenson in 2006.
Jeff Ostenson – Executive Producer, Producer
Ostenson became the second half of Howell at the Moon in 2006 to lend his expertise in business and project management. As former general manager of a multi-million-dollar fruit packing operation, he has extensive knowledge of the tree-fruit industry and the business world. He is also a musician.
Oly Mingo – Director of Photography, Editor
Mingo joined Howell at the Moon in 2007, bringing his creative eye to both the camera and the editing bay. He is charged with capturing the beauty of the subject, as well as creating many of the graphic treatments that will establish the character and feel of the documentary.
Chad Yenney – Sound Designer, Assistant Editor, Camera Operator
Yenney brings his expertise in studio and field recording to the project. He has worked previously recording albums for groups such as Stuporhero and in live sound production for Fathappy.
Mitch Milner- Assistant Editor, Camera Operator
Mitch jumped on board in early 2010. A local kid with a background in low budget films, client-based projects, and athletic video, he was eager to join the team. He has set his sights are on a career telling story with a camera lens and gaining as much experience as possible.