Saving the Stockman (Short Documentary)
Every year, on the weekend of the summer solstice, the farm and ranch town of Rapelje, Montana swells from under one-hundred residents to five times that as they host the 24 Hours of Rapelje.
How did a tiny rural community, with no public singletrack, become home to one of the most popular mountain bike races in the region, drawing racers from all over the US? Legend has it that the Stockman Cafe, the town’s only real gathering place outside the nearby church, was in trouble. Like many rural towns, it population has been shrinking, and had dropped below the point that could sustain the Stockman.
They needed another source of revenue to keep the doors open. In the end, they decided to go with the “second stupidest idea they’d ever heard”: putting on a race unlike anything else in the region.
With the help of co-producer Sally Orr, I’m going to dig into the legend, and find out how the biggest race in Montana grew out of one of its smallest towns. With luck, I also hope to find out what the first stupidest idea was.
Visit the film’s website to see more about the project.