LOS ANGELES -- Since surviving a 1989 plane crash that killed 112 people, Rockies radio broadcaster Jerry Schemmel has sought out transformational experiences that help others. And on Tuesday, the world will learn what he is willing to put himself through in that service.Schemmel and his cycling partner, Brad Cooper,
LOS ANGELES -- Since surviving a 1989 plane crash that killed 112 people, Rockies radio broadcaster Jerry Schemmel has sought out transformational experiences that help others. And on Tuesday, the world will learn what he is willing to put himself through in that service.
Schemmel and his cycling partner, Brad Cooper, are subjects of the documentary film, "Godspeed -- The Race Across America," presented by Fathom Events and The Rudy Project (a designer and manufacturer of performance eyewear, helmets and other cycling gear), which chronicles their victory in the two-person division of the 2015 race. They traveled 3,060 miles, and you can probably guess it wasn't a leisurely ride.
The endeavor raised more than $52,000 to benefit Haiti, after Schemmel had seen television coverage in 2010 of a devastating earthquake. The money was earmarked for an orphanage that could serve 30 children.
"We overcame a lot of obstacles, mechanical problems, illness and ended up winning the two-person division," Schemmel said. "We finished 3,060 miles in seven days. It's a film that dialogues what we went through. It's also a great family film. We had our kids on the crew. I think we've gotten some great reviews and won some film festival awards."
The movie will be shown in 650 theatres nationwide. A complete list of theatres is on the Fantom Events website, and tickets may be purchased through the site or at theatre box offices.
• Schemmel pedals across U.S. for good cause
Schemmel was working as deputy commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association when he was traveling with commissioner Jay Ramsdell on United flight 532, which crashed in Sioux City, Iowa. Ramsdell was among those killed. The flight was headed to Denver -- where Schemmel's career would include 18 seasons as play-by-play broadcaster for the Denver Nuggets, plus Colorado State University football and basketball. He is in his ninth season calling games with Jack Corrigan on the KOA Rockies Radio Network.
Schemmel took time off in June 2015 for the event, which began in Oceanside, Calif. and concluded in Annapolis, Md. Schemmel and Cooper took alternating shifts, and the movie showed the behind-the-scenes battle that tested their physical, mental and emotional strength, and even their friendship.
At one point, Schemmel said, the grueling trip even tested his sanity.
"There was a time, I think day three or four in Kansas in the middle of the night, where I'm riding and I cannot stay awake -- I'm falling asleep on my bike," Schemmel said. "And then I started having hallucinations.
"There was a follow vehicle behind me, and my hallucination was that the trees that were on the side of the road swooped down into our follow vehicle, took our crew chief and he was hanging upside down, smiling. He was OK. Then I woke up, almost rode off the road. Then I realized I'd better get a couple minutes' sleep."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.