Grades 6 - Adult
Closed Captioned • Scene Selection
A film by Jacob Siegel-Boettner
“An easy yet ambitious documentary that spans four continents and five stories about the empowering nature of the humble bicycle. A feeling of hope pervades the film, though it showcases very serious problems. The filmmakers introduce such diverse issues as physical disability, women’s empowerment, and the AIDS epidemic, and in each case highlight a person who is enabled through their bicycle to do more in the world. “
– Bicycle Times
“A rewarding documentary that deals with people around the world trying to better themselves and their communities. The production stays on point, delivering its message of hope again and again. This is the kind of film that triggers discussions and, ideally, new projects. Well-edited, beautifully shot and a winning musical score.”
“With My Own Two Wheels may change the way you look at a bike and see it not only as an eco-friendly choice, but as a valuable vehicle full of potential. Most people in North America see a bicycle as a fun way to get around sometimes, a choice, or an eco-conscious transportation alternative, but this film aims to show that in many parts of the world, a bike means so much more than that.”
“Beautifully made by director Jacob Seigel-Boettner, this film is a hopeful portrait of a world where bikes rule.”
– MountainFilm Telluride Festival
Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
Winner, Best Short Documentary, Port Townsend Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary Featurette, Red Rock Film Festival
Winner, Stronach Baccalaureate Prize, UC Berkeley
Winner, Dan Eldon Activist Award, My Hero Film Festival
Can a simple, 19th century technology change the world? For most North Americans, a bicycle ride or commute is a lifestyle choice. For countless others across the globe, each pedal stroke is progress out of poverty, toward an education, and over the mountains of social and cultural discrimination.
With My Own Two Wheels links together the stories of five individuals around the globe in a film about the power of the bicycle to improve lives.
For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients in a week. For Bharati, a teenage girl in India, it provides access to education she otherwise wouldn’t have. For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to her disability. For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment. For Sharkey, a young Latino man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers.
With My Own Two Wheels profiles the lives of these five people, and portrays the powerful difference a bicycle has made for each of them and their communities. The film can be used to better understand their life circumstances, the power of an “appropriate” human-scale technology in an increasingly hi-tech world, and to inspire discussion on how we can each contribute to improving the lives of people around the world, even in simple ways.
With My Own Two Wheels Classroom CompanionFor Middle and High School
This curriculum accompanies the film and provides teachers the tools they need to integrate the characters in the film and their use of bicycles into academic areas: from social studies to industrial arts. The guide can also help inspired students take their own "pedalstrokes" to provide bicycles to peers in Africa through World Bicycle Relief's education program.