From left: Julia Wrona films Pete and Pearson Constantino during their cross-county bike ride shown in the film “The Long Bike Back.” The Constantinos are originally from Skaneateles and the film features several scenes filmed locally since they rode Route 20 and took a break in Skaneateles.
More than five years after their cross-country bike tour made a pit stop in their hometown of Skaneateles, brothers Pearson and Pete Constantino were back in the area last week to screen the documentary film that tells their story.
“The Long Bike Back,” directed by Pearson’s wife Julia Wrona, follows Pearson’s recovery from a hit-and-run accident while on a bicycle and the brothers’ bike ride that took them from Oregon to Massachusetts, primarily on Route 20.
The trip and film also aim to spread the message of sharing the road, with the hope of preventing accidents, like Pearson’s, from happening in the future.
“I think everybody wants to have an adventure in their life, and pretty much everybody does whether they realize it or not, and here is a look at ours,” Pearson said about the film.
Originally released for the first time in October 2013, the film was publically screened in Central New York for the first time on April 25 as part of Syracuse International Film Fests’ Spring Fest. The film is available for purchase on thelongbikeback.com and will soon be available to stream via the same site for a rental fee, Wrona said.
Pearson and Pete, who grew up in Skaneateles, have been biking their whole lives. When Pearson was 12, he rode from Skaneateles to Cape Cod with his brother and father — an experience he credits with planting the seed for his eventual cross-country trip.
Though the path leading up to the trip was not easy.
In June 2006, Pearson was riding on Central Avenue in Hartsdale, N.Y. when he was hit by an SUV. He ended up in the hospital with a broken femur, one broken vertebra and head trauma. The brothers had planned to do the ride that year, but had to postpone the start date to August 2008 so that Pearson could rehabilitate.