Can a simple, 19th century technology change the world? For most North Americans, a bicycle ride or commute is a lifestyle choice. For countless others across the globe, each pedal stroke is progress out of poverty, toward an education, and over the mountains of social and cultural discrimination.
With My Own Two Wheels links together the stories of five individuals around the globe in a film about the power of the bicycle to improve lives.
For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients in a week. For Bharati, a teenage girl in India, it provides access to education she otherwise wouldn’t have. For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to her disability. For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment. For Sharkey, a young Latino man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers.
With My Own Two Wheels profiles the lives of these five people, and portrays the powerful difference a bicycle has made for each of them and their communities. The film can be used to better understand their life circumstances, the power of an “appropriate” human-scale technology in an increasingly hi-tech world, and to inspire discussion on how we can each contribute to improving the lives of people around the world, even in simple ways.