Executive Producer Sean Podvent (an avid cyclist) goes up against Auto 100's Sue Callaway in this unexpected duel of a lifetime.
Few get to experience a $250,000 super car and a hand-made $14,000 Italian racing bicycle. But after AUTO 100 founder Sue Callaway returned from Art Basel Miami, where she had attended the celebration of Luca di Montezemolo's twentieth anniversary as Ferrari's Chairman, the idea to place these two purebreds against one another came to life.
Sue's strong, well-established relationships with leaders of the automotive industry—especially Ferrari—made obtaining the car a rather straight-forward task. However, procuring the Colnago took a little more work. "I remember calling up Colnago, and they were a little reticent about giving us a bike. When I mentioned we were also getting a Ferrari, they became more interested." However, that was before Sean mentioned the real plan. "I proceeded to tell Billy Kanzler at Colnago North America that I wanted to barrel down a 7-mile canyon in Malibu on one of their bikes to see if I could beat a Ferrari. Somehow I'd convinced myself it might be possible because of all the switchbacks."
BMW makes a bicycle. So does Porsche, Ford, Mercedes, VW, Maserati, and just this year, F1 superstar McLaren teamed up with Specialized to make the McLaren Specialized Venge, a $19,000 super bicycle. Our favorite is Land Rover's most recent two-wheeled contraption, a road bike. The list goes on, but Ferrari and Colnago's relationship is based on more than just two corporations coming together to do a cool project. It's the story of two racing legends meeting for the first time in 1986: Earnest Colnago and the late Enzo Ferrari.
Kanzler at Colnago didn't hesitate. He understood, and simply asked when we needed the bike. It didn't matter that the car was coming in less than a week. He'd have it shipped across the country in two days if needed. That's because Ferrari and Colnago's relationship runs deep, and until now no one had actually dreamed up a race between these two legends. Even if they had, who would actually attempt it? It's illogical to think a bike could beat a car.
Sean's instinct to pit these two diverse speed demons against one another came from an instance at a bike store six years ago In Portland, Oregon when he saw his first Ferrari Colnago--a limited edition bike that celebrated both companies' racing heritage. "We had to come up with a catchy video idea in a really short period of time for the client, so leaning on your gut and your experience--what you know--is key." But even Sean didn't know the extent of the relationship, because to him it made sense that two of Italy's top racing machine manufacturers would do a joint venture.
iD Content Group thrives to create content with a story behind it, and that's a difficult task in today's information age, because content—especially for an online media client like THE AUTO 100—generally has a short lifespan. Most of the time it gets lost in indexed web pages, but the viewer, if only seen as a consumer, doesn't really miss out. "That's why we want to create different content for THE AUTO 100—content that tells a story and offers the reader a richer experience, similar to that of a magazine, but on the Internet," Sean says.
And there's a lot of truth to this approach, because telling a story still goes far in today's info-tech induced ADHD population. Just think of Judson Laipply and his YouTube sensation "The Evolution of Dance" which has garnered over 189 million YouTube views and spiked after Daniel Tosh featured Jason on his Comedy Central show, Tosh.0. The dancing and the music tell a story about our culture and it reaches a mass audience.
However, can you really do the same with a car and a bicycle? According to Sean, you can, though, he notes, it might have helped if he had gotten run over by the car. He recalls a moment where he accidentally cut in front of Sue to hold her at bay and increase the action a bit. Sue's recollection was a little more vivid. "When he cut me off, I slammed on the breaks and there was a hair’s width between the front of the car and where Sean's back wheel began." Nonetheless, it's not about risking your life for the client, it's about having fun. Could the Ferrari of bicycles beat an actual Ferrari if the conditions were right? Maybe not, but it's the thought that counts.
In 1986 Ernesto and Enzo met for the first time and with the help of Ferrari engineering Colnago built their first Carbon fiber bicycle. According to Enzo, carbon fiber was the way of the future. A good prediction. Yet what really happened that day was a meeting of two great minds that were changing the way in which cars and bicycles were made. Sean notes, "that's where our story really is." However, in the soon-to-be released cut of the video, that's not the focus. It's merely in the subtext, and the real depth must be found beneath the surface (kind of like Hemingway's Ice Berg theory). The story consumers devour is the seemingly impossible race of man vs. machine. The real story we all feel is the passion behind making and perfecting not-so-disparate methods of transportation.
If Ferrari has millions of enthusiasts that follow their cars and cyclists love a good match against their main competition for road space, then through this video we have a potentially successful editorial piece that's good for THE AUTO 100, and good for the brands being tested against one another. To some, this may be known as a home run.
However it's easy to knock one out of the park when reviewing two beyond-luxury brands such as Ferrari and Colnago. Both brands are supported by wealthy aficionados and coveted by the masses. Yet, therein lies the beauty of the project. You can buy a quarter of a million dollar super car, or get similar thrills that cost less than most average cars these days if you're willing to throw on a pair of spandex. Then again, it's too bad Sean didn't get hit by the yellow beast and end up a guest on Tosh.0. Yes, racing a car and a bicycle is a stretch, but that's how we know we ended up with a good product.