About the Film
Joyrider is not only the story of Andre Kajlich and his attempt to be the first solo hand-cyclist to cross the Race Across America (RAAM) finish line. It is the story of choice; a young man's journey to recapture his spirit, to heal what was broken and find happiness in the face of adversity. It is a conversation on the power each of us have to ultimately rise above our circumstances and live the life of our dreams.
JOIN THE RIDE.
In 2003, Andre Kajlich was a charismatic, handsome, 23 year old American student attending his father's alma mater in the city of Prague. On the night of December 6th, he went out partying with friends, and in the early hours mysteriously wound up on the tracks of an oncoming subway train. The conductor could not stop.
His devastating injuries required that both legs be amputated above the knees, and after three weeks in a coma, he awoke to an insanely altered reality. Doctors told him that because of the severity of his limb loss, walking with prosthetics would not be possible and he'd spend the rest of his life wheelchair bound.
Andre had other plans.
Today, he walks in his prosthetics with the use of a cane. He is a world champion endurance athlete. He has taken on some of the world's most difficult endurance competitions, many of which have never been completed by a challenged athlete.
In the Brazil135 Ultra Marathon last year, Andre completed 135 miles through treacherous jungle terrain in 62 hours, sometimes crawling along the forest floor as he dragged his wheelchair behind him. He was not only the first person in a wheelchair to finish, he was the first to even attempt it
"IN A LOT OF WAYS, I'M THE FURTHEST THING FROM A ROLE MODEL, I'VE DONE A LOT OF STUPID THINGS IN THE PAST, AND I STILL STRUGGLE WITH DISCIPLINE TO TAKE CARE OF THINGS I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF. ON THE OTHER HAND, YEAH, MAYBE I'M A GREAT ROLE MODEL, BECAUSE EVERY DAY I KEEP STRUGGLING TO FIND WHAT I WANT OUT OF LIFE AND TO MAKE IT HAPPEN."
This June, Andre will take on RAAM, the "Race Across America", a 3,000 mile, 12 day ride that climbs 170,000 feet, crosses 12 states, and loses almost half its' entrants between the start and finish lines. Comprised of solo riders and teams, RAAM has never before been completed by a solo hand-cyclist. Three time solo RAAM winner and adventurer Wolfgang Fasching compared the race to climbing Mount Everest saying, "Everest is more dangerous, but RAAM is much harder".
Race Across America (RAAM) is one the toughest, most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement, a true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie. There is no race that matches the distance, terrain and weather.
Andre knows it will be difficult, physically and emotionally. He has learned to appreciate the unknown, taking on challenges that scare him, knowing there will be obstacles to overcome because of the lessons and connections with people that they provide.
HE IS WITHOUT QUESTION, AN INSPIRATION.
" ONE MINUTE YOU ARE TELLING YOURSELF THIS IS CRAZY AND STUPID,
THE NEXT YOU ARE SAYING, 'WHAT A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE' "