In a sequel to his original movie Take A Seat, adventure filmmaker Dominic Gill will release a new television series for Universal Sports on April 4th. Called Take A Seat: Sharing a ride across America, the project follows a bicycle journey from Los Angeles to New York City. In keeping with the theme of his first trip, Dom’s riding a tandem bike and all along the way he s picking up people, random strangers to peddle with him. Before when he road 20,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina he d pick up just about anyone. But this time he ‘ s only bringing along people with a disability.
“We had Ryan with traumatic brain injury. Then we had Carlos who is visually impaired. The after that we had two brothers, Warren and Chad Woodbury who had muscular dystrophy,” Dom said. “And then 59-year-old Kelly Lane who has Parkinson s disease, he jumped on. And then he switched out with Rachel who has Cerebral Palsy.
These are people with profound disabilities, people who under normal circumstances would never have had the opportunity to take part in such an amazing adventure. But this whole journey was inspired by one 73-year-old California man named Ernie Greenwald.
Dom met Ernie while creating his first film in 2007. Even though Ernie was sick with Lymphocytic Leukemia he road along with Dom for about 60 miles and had the time of his life. Not long after Dom got back from Argentina the two of them hatched a plan to fulfill Ernie s life long dream to ride across the U.S.
This project was built up around the fact that we could help him and document his journey across the states on this specially adapted tandem bicycle, Dom said. Unfortunately two weeks before the departure date in late June he was diagnosed with stage one prostate cancer, which meant that he had to stay behind for treatment.
So rather than scrapping the trip Dom reorganized its mission. Putting out the word online and networking with several disability support organizations around country the team arranged to connect with 10 different riding companions from coast to coast. Linking up with a different rider on each leg of the journey Dom made it to New York City after 104 days and more than 4,000 miles on the road.
This new mini-series details the journey of each of Dom s cycling companions. And though he aims to raise awareness for people disabilities, the filmmaker says there s a great deal we can learn from their stories.
Sure Rachel has Cerebral Palsy or sure Chad has muscular dystrophy but I m not about to jump on one bandwagon, Dom said. It think it s much more valuable to say look how freaking hard this person is trying to embrace life. Now you, whoever you are you don t have an excuse. I just want people to take what s out there.
The Joy Trip Project is made possible with the support of sponsor Patagonia.