Visually impaired downhill mountain bike racer Bobby McMullen is the subject of a documentary which will be screened in the Bay Area to benefit the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League and Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Bobby.
The 60-minute "The Way Bobby Sees It" was produced by Davis, California, based Poison Oak Productions. A mountain biker before he lost his vision, McMullen remains as true to the sport as ever.
"Mountain biking is truly a test of your own abilities. Just like life, it is only you out there when it comes down to it. You can go as fast and as hard as you want to. You are not sheltered behind your team. It teaches life lessons, sometimes you just have to eat it. I think it is a great sport for high schoolers for many reasons; it is a great outlet for communication with peers and coaches, unlike other sports there are no bench sitters, mountain biking is for everyone," he said.
Open captioning and open description will enable individuals with hearing and visual impairments, such as McMullen himself, to enjoy the experience along with everybody else.
The film documents one man's determination to live an active life even when the path is partially blacked out and completely out of focus. Not totally blind, McMullen has described his vision as looking through a long tube with a smeared lens. He lost his eyesight as a result of diabetes in 1993. Several years later his kidneys began to fail. He can't drive a car, grocery shop, or read a menu without help. He relies on others to see and takes 32 pills a day to stay alive. Despite these limitations, he is on a mission to race the most difficult downhill course in the country.
The schedule of screenings is listed below. For more information, including advance tickets, visit www.norcalmtb.org.
December 2, 7:00 pm: Sundance Kabuki Theater in San Francisco
December 4, 7:30 pm: Cinema West Theater in Livermore
December 9, 7:30 pm: Rialto Cinema in Santa Rosa
December 10, 7:30 pm: Grand Lake Theater in Oakland
December 11, 8:00 pm: The Lark Theater in Larkspur