We had no intentions of making a film when the first Bikes Over Baghdad tour departed from the United States for war-torn Iraq. And to be honest, once we were there, most days were just spent trying to get the job done without ending up on a gurney.
Schedules were grueling, temperatures were brutal, enemy attacks were common, supplies and tools were marginal and failure was not an option. Travel restrictions meant everyone had multiple responsibilities, and there was little room for error, let alone a film crew. Not completing our mission would mean hundreds of troops go without entertainment, and we weren’t going to let that happen.
But we all took small cameras and let them roll every chance we could, and little by little, after 6 separate tours and several months in Iraq, we realized we had a story that needed to be shared.
This isn’t a typical action sports film of guys doing insane tricks in remote locations (though it has that), this isn’t a story about the sacrifices our soldiers make day in and day out (though that is in there as well), and this isn’t a story of a group of friends going on an adventure (though, again, there is that). This is a story about what happens when people give for the good of others. When people put their own safety aside to make someone’s life a little better, and how selflessness can change lives.
Bikes over Baghdad ended up traveling to the middle east six seperate times with each tour roughly two weeks in length. We faced extreme conditions, mortar rounds, IED’s, injury, exhaustion and more, but we never missed a show. And while our team read like a who’s who of action sports, egos were put aside and nothing short of a series of miracles were performed.
It seems like a stretch to say riding BMX bikes for the troops could actually change their lives, but this film will show just how special of an experience this was for thousands serving in the Middle East, and hopefully it’ll serve as a reminder that we all have the power to initiate change in our own unique way.
This is Bikes over Baghdad.