Preview: The Engine Inside

Meet the riders featured in The Engine Inside. The film was produced by Anthill Films and is screening in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 29.

Preview: The Engine Inside

Part of a summer tour spanning 39 cities across 7 countries, Philadelphia Bike Expo and Bicycle Film Fest are hosting a screening of The Engine Inside this Thursday at The Levitt Auditorium of the University of the Arts. The film was expertly produced by Anthill Films with support from Shimano, People For Bikes, and Pon.Bikes. Check out the official trailer below and read on for an exclusive preview of the film that you can purchase tickets for here.

The Engine Inside is a feature-length documentary that spotlights a diverse set of people who use bikes to confront and overcome the staggering challenges that many of us grapple with every day. At times humorous, provocative, astounding, and uplifting, Anthill Films delivers a delightful feature that is equal parts inspiration and call-to-action.

The Engine Inside is narrated by Phil Liggett, the Emmy Award-winning racing commentator known as The Voice of Cycling. Liggett literally wrote the book on the Tour de France and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to cycling. His commentary skillfully integrates the complex stories of the film's protagonists, firmly demonstrating that there is a powerful engine inside us all.

The first rider is Jay Bearhead of Tk’emlúps, Canada. Jay has used cycling and punk rock communities as a source of liberation from traumas that he and many other indigenous people endure. Jay uses mountain bikes to ride along paths through Canada's wilderness but more importantly along the path to recovery from addiction and its tribulations.

NYC-based champion of Bike Life, RR DBLOCKS is riding every day and providing new opportunities and camaraderie to youth through bikes. It's impossible to hide your grin while watching the thrilling ways that RR DBLOCKS and his countless friends reinvent how and where a bike can be ridden.

Janice Tower embarks on the 350-mile Alaska Iditarod Trail Invitational - a human-powered adventure race over frozen Alaska. This is Janice's sixth attempt (after several previous successes) and it occurs during her 60th year of life. Her journey is an intrepid yet serene and meditative ballet through a challenging but awe-inspiring landscape.

Across the world, in Ghana, Kwabena Danso is producing bicycles by hand made out of sustainable bamboo cultivated in his small village. Kwabena's work is focused on improving access to education while providing employment opportunities and economic development for rural youth in and around his community. Kwabena's story is one of the film's highlights for me and I'm excited that he will be in Philadelphia Thursday night for the screening.

Megan Hottman, of Golden, CO, is a former elite racing cyclist with an intimate understanding of the risks inherent with a cycling lifestyle. Her law practice seeks to protect other cyclists from the consequences of inadequate engineering in a world shaped by the domination of private automobiles.

Nouran Salah founded an organization in Cairo to overcome social norms that discourage widespread use of bikes - especially by women and girls. Undeterred by the risks, she has cultivated a community of women cyclists who use the bicycle as a tool for empowerment and humanitarianism.

The Engine Inside also features cameos of trials cyclist Danny MacAskill and accomplished Grand Tour racer Robert Gesink. MacAskill overcomes earthly physics on his bike in unexpected places, evoking the primal joy inherent in riding bikes. Gesink's dedication to his craft is a welcome reminder that we're all capable of more than we probably allow ourselves to believe.

Philly Bike Expo will also be hosting two pre-screening rides that will end at the event where a complimentary bike valet will be staged directly outside the theater on Broad Street. The first is a beginner-friendly ride from Manayunk to Center City on the SRT and Pine Street bike lane. The second explores the Boxers' Trail and MLK Drive featuring mixed terrain and some climbing. Both rides are open to all. Anyone attending the screening may take advantage of the complimentary bike valet.

Tickets & Info: $20 at Eventbrite.
Date & Time: Thursday, June 29 2023. 7:00 pm.
Location: Elaine C. Levitt Auditorium | 401 S Broad St
Parking & Transit: Complimentary bike valet will be available on-site. Location is well-served by SEPTA, find the best route with TransitApp.