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Americana

On a bicycle around the USA

9000 miles. 180 days. On a bicycle. Alone. From Florida via Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington back to Tampa. Endless wide open and boundless freedom. But for Dirk Rohrbach his solo circumnavigation of America is not about achieving physical extremes. He wants to explore the land and the people differently. Hardly any other nation has been the focus of critics as much as the United States. Clichees dominated the picture. But are they really true ? How are the people far away from the hectic metropolitan areas really living ? What moves them ?

The National Geographic photographer and author chooses the small country roads and encounters the unexpected, exciting and melancholic. Cordial hospitality, magnificent landscapes and technical challenges dominate the journey.

Four spokes are breaking the remoteness of West Texas. Dirk is stranded. Until the Border Patrol picks him up and brings him to a small desert village. There he encounters America’s most ambitious long distance biker, Mike Mann has pedaled over 250.000 miles on his bikes and surprises with a sophisticated work shop and an obscure musical taste.

German soldiers stationed in El Paso take him on a trip to Mexico, where they support the local Tarahumara Indians still living their traditional ways. On the way to the Pacific Ocean he runs out of water in the middle of the Mojawe Desert.

In Los Angeles Dirk Rohrbach encounters a completely different world and a german musician from Munich following his dream after reaching the top of the charts. In Indiana Dirk is hired as an elementary school teacher, and in the Appalachians a hurricane threatens to stop the trip.

After all, a different, surprising picture of America remains. And a new life motto: ‘Each day is a journey, and the journey itself – home.’

AMERICANA, a capturing road movie, in pictures, including a soundtrack featuring America’s greatest songwriters from Cash to Springsteen..

For this project and his ‘diverse look’ onto America Dirk Rohrbach was awarded at the 2007 Long Distance Bikers Convention in Cologne.