Kitsbow releases ‘Out West’—the second film in the 2021 36 Hours in Kitsbow series. Directed by Jay Melena, this film captures the adventure of four friends, Everett Ó Cillín, Silas Littlefield, Scottie Junker and Melena, who set out on bikes to retrace the route of an infamous stagecoach driver, Charley Parkhurst, while reflecting on the importance of community and honoring an often misremembered historical figure in the central California Coastal region during the mid 1800s. Their journey takes them to places where Charley’s history is alive across Santa Cruz County.
The 36 Hours in Kitsbow Film Series highlights unique, short films that tell the story of a cycling adventure undertaken in just 36 hours. This year, six grant recipients earned cash and gear from Kitsbow to help create their films.
Charley Parkhurst was an orphan and runaway who escaped into a new life by taking the reins and heading out west to start a new life on their own terms. Quiet and rugged, the whiskey drinking, whip-cracking stagecoach driver ran passengers and cargo from San Francisco to San Juan Batista during the California Gold Rush, and spent most of their time alone in nature, seeking comfort in solitude and physical labor. It was not until Charley’s passing that their gender-bending was revealed.
Melena shares with us that queer narratives in the outdoors are hard to find. “‘Out West’ is a story of finding yourself by trusting your intuition, talent and desire to live in and make a better world. It’s also about isolation, loss and making do with the circumstances in which you exist,” Melena explained.
“In our 36 Hours in Kitsbow series, we look for short films that showcase unique experiences and adventures,” said David Billstrom, CEO of Kitsbow Cycling Apparel. “As more people discover cycling and the outdoors, it’s important to share inclusive stories of trans and non-binary riders and remove the stigma that can often be associated with adventure cycling.”
Kitsbow will roll out four additional short films in its 2021 series before the end of the year. To follow along on the adventure and learn how to get Kitsbow to sponsor your own short film, please visit the Kitsbow website.
Kitsbow was established in Sonoma County, California, eight years ago by dedicated mountain bikers and apparel industry veterans. Because its designers have logged years in the saddle, each detail is obsessively considered. Every element — down to zippers and reflective piping — is vetted for quality, style, and durability. Relocating its manufacturing to Old Fort, North Carolina in 2019, Kitsbow is committed to a Just in Time manufacturing model, minimizing waste and maximizing flexibility to serve the customer. All products are packaged in compostable packaging, as well as all shipping materials, ready to return to the Earth in your own garden. Kitsbow already makes over 75% of its products in the USA and is on track to be making all of its products in-house in 2021.