“The Bikes of Wrath” traces the Joads’ journey down Route 66

A new documentary, “The Bikes of Wrath,” contains an intriguing premise — five Australians on bicycles trace the path of the Joad family in the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath.”

PEZ Cycling News reports:

The five Australian friends range in age from 24 to 35 and are a diverse lot: two were raised on farms, one is a fireman, another a Moroccan-Australian, and a documentary filmmaker. They decide to make the journey by bicycle as a way to get closer to what the Joads would have experienced and they would make a documentary about the trip. The Joads set out with $18 in cash so the Australians decided that they will take the equivalent in today’s currency ($400) to see them through their three weeks on the road. The plan is that they will raise additional funds by busking, so it will be necessary to bring some guitars and even a drumset (!).

It is apparent that the Australians have no idea of what they are doing. For a trip of this nature, you want to have some cycling experience but one of them has never ridden more than 20 kms, while another one did a 45 km ride—once. On arriving in Oklahoma and unpacking their bikes, they get some musical instruments and prepare to leave the town of Sallisaw, a place that looks no more prosperous than it did in 1939. Even with a trailer, it is obvious that they have far too much gear to transport so tough decisions need to be made.

Here’s an extended trailer of the film:

The film is being screened in dozens of venues in the U.S. from late February through early May. An interactive map that allows you to purchase tickets near your town is here.

(Image from the Texas-Oklahoma line on Route 66 from “The Bikes of Wrath” film via Facebook)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.