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Frenchie and the Brain - "Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France" - CinemaDave

Jan. 10th, 2006 08:10 pm Frenchie and the Brain - "Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France"

"Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France"
is the latest IMAX entry at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of
Discovery and Science. http://www.mods.org/IMAX/wiredtowin.htm
It is a documentary about the biology of the brain and
the beauty of the Tour de France. Either film could have
been a 40 minute feature of it's own, but the entertaining narration
from Alfred Molina marries the two seemingly disparate

The Tour de France narrative features two bike riding
teammates, Australian Baden Cooke and his French
teammate, Jimmy Caspar. Given that we know that Lance
Armstrong has won the last seven Tour de Frances, the
suspense about the finish line is dismissed. However
the film focuses on the struggle to compete in this
3-week event.

In all of it's IMAX glory, we witness the athletes
peddle up the Alps, through the villages of Provence
and the cobblestone streets of Paris. The film does
not glorify pain, fatigue and bicycle wrecks. Jimmy
Casper becomes involved in a multiple bicycle pile up.
He is hospitalized, suffers a minor neck injury and
leased the hospital with publicly bruised and skinned
buttocks. Given the visualization of his injuries, the
next shot of Jimmy atop of a bicycle is extremely
painful to watch.

The focus of "Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de
France" flips back and forth from the scenic grandeur
of France to that of computer imagery of the brain.
Molina narrates the anatomical and chemical
composition of what happens to the brain in times of
stress and exercise. The science reveals the concept
of mind over matter. During an endorphin rush after an
injury, the brain tells the body to keep moving.

At times, "Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France"
suffers from information overload. However the film
is entertaining and it does provide thought provoking
lessons about biology and geography. Given that Alfred
Molina portrayed Doctor Octopus in "Spider-Man 2,"
students on a field trip may enjoy the bilogy lesson
conducted by Spidey's nemesis.

In conjunction with the opening of "Wired to Win:
Surviving Tour de France" at the Museum of Discovery,
will be a series of live events. "The Extreme Bike
Stunt Show" showcases bike balancing and box jumps
from "Uncle Jimi's Tour de Free Ride." Two local
academic institutions will be in attendance for this
weekend. Florida Atlantic University Center for
Complex Systems and Brain Science will host
presentations relating to brain science. Nova South
Eastern University Sports medicine Clinic will be
discussing wellness and conditioning. For those who
have not been on a bicycle in a while, will be an
opportunity to peddle on a variety of bikes, including
a road bike and beach cruiser to find out which bike
is better suited to your inner biker.

A General Admission Ticket includes admission to the
Museum exhibits and one IMAX film. The Museum of
Discovery and Science is located downtown at 401 SW
Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For
more information about the Museum, visitors should
call (954) 467-MODS (6637) or visit our web site at

1 comment - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry


Date:January 11th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)

Tour de France

The Tour de France bike race has quite a history. When it began about 100 years ago I read the average speed of the winner was around 16 miles per hour. The bikes were much heavier in those days, and had only 2 gears. A low gear was for hills, and the high gear for flatter terrain. To change gears a rider had to stop the bike, remove the rear wheel and flip it to the other side. There was a gear on each side of the wheel. I am not sure if the entire course was paved in those days, and if not it of course would have affected speed.

Today's Tour de France winners have average speeds in the high 20's range using much lighter bikes and many more gears that are easily fingertip shifted. The early riders must have been very fit to achieve such high average speeds with the equipment they had in their day over the course of this very long race.

North Star