In the pristine forests above Leavenworth, Washington, there exists a world of hidden trailheads and clandestine trails. Here a sect of outdoor enthusiasts, extreme mountain bikers called freeriders, have gone underground. They are the skate punks of the forest, unwelcome and under pressure to leave. The locations of their trails are carefully guarded secrets and the riders who ride them keep constant vigil, on the lookout for US Forest Service rangers.
But they wont leave. Each time one of their trails or jumps is destroyed they sneak back in and rebuild, believing that they have a right to ride through these landscapes. And now, in an effort to combat the problem, local district rangers have been given heightened authority to put any freeriders caught on undesignated trails directly into jail.
Ironically, it can be argued that both sides are fighting for the same thing the rights of Americans to play in the woods. The freeriders want the freedom to ride through the natural sanctuaries that are our public forestlands. The U.S. Forest Service is acting to fulfill its legal obligation to administer those same lands, for the use and enjoyment of the American people.
The documentary PEDAL-DRIVEN will take you behind both sides of this confrontation riding with the freeriders and chasing them down with the rangers in an exploration of issues increasingly important to all Americans. With an ever-increasing population and a finite supply of unspoiled wildlands, the sense of urgency around protecting and preserving these national treasures only grows. PEDAL-DRIVEN will examine the shared philosophies of stewardship and sustainability from both sides and, ultimately, offer examples of the ways in which opposing factions can find common ground in defense of our common grounds.