Wednesday, August 24, 2011

RAD mesmerizes cochrane once again

Cochrane Eagle
August 23, 2011

By Melissa Dark - Special to the Eagle

Twenty five years ago, a quirky little movie about bike racing called RAD was made. Little did any one know that today it would develop a huge cult-like following.

RAD was filmed primarily in Cochrane and Calgary in 1986.

My husband and I moved to Cochrane in 1993, and our sons began riding BMX in 2000.

Around that time we rented RAD and laughed as we saw our house in the background of the famous scene of Lori Laughlin teaching Bill Allen how to do jumps on his bike and land in a pile of bedroom mattresses.

This all took place in McNamee Park on Mountain Street.

Fast forward to 2011.

We enjoyed the RAD anniversary this past weekend. We posted our “Welcome Back RAD” sign on our back fence for the cast and crew to see as they did their bike tour through town to all the film locations on Saturday.

But first, Cochrane BMX was holding the #7 Western National Race so we headed up to the BMX track to watch.

Next, we met the cast and crew for pictures, autographs and conversation.

Sixteen-year-old Cody Basiuk and his mom Melissa Dark pose for a photo with the sign they put up on the backyard fence of their East Cochrane home for the 25th anniversary of RAD. Photo by Jeremy Broadfield

Sixteen-year-old Cody Basiuk and his mom Melissa Dark pose for a photo with the sign they put up on the backyard fence of their East Cochrane home for the 25th anniversary of RAD. Photo by Jeremy Broadfield

We saw the Norco Factory team, (still wearing their original jerseys), RAD racer and fellow Canadian BMXer Jeff Ingram, RAD director Hal Needham (who also directed Smokey and the Bandit), stunt doubles from the “bike dance” held at Cochrane High’s gym and, of course, heartthrob Cru Jones (played by Bill Allen) — as handsome as ever.

After the race about 50 of the BMX race crowd descended upon our backyard for our annual after the race barbecue.

Some of the families drifted to the Cochrane Movie House to watch the movie.

At 7 p.m., some of the 17 year olds asked if they could watch RAD from the computer on our big screen TV. Over the next hour, we noticed several guests going into the house but not returning to the yard.

We jokingly said they must have been sucked into the “vortex of RAD.” Sure enough, we checked and soon everyone was draped over chairs and couches mesmerized by RAD.

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