This guy just took away any excuse you had for not kicking butt on a mountain bike

Jon Wilson rides a mountain bike in Dorset, Vermont, in a short film shown last night at Banff Film Festival. Wilson lost a leg to cancer, and wears a Mellow Johnny’s jersey in the film. Copyright Simon Perkins

If you made it to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour last night, you probably noticed that one of the films featured a cyclist wearing a kit from Lance Armstrong’s Austin-based bike shop Mellow Johnny’s.

The film features Jon Wilson, who lost his leg to a rare type of soft tissue cancer as a young adult. He’s shown pedaling his mountain bike up gnarly singletrack in Dorset, Vermont, hopping up ledgey rock and swooping down flowy trails.

Wilson lost his leg to cancer. Copyright Simon Perkins

In about 5 seconds, it takes away any excuse you ever had for not kicking butt on a mountain bike and replaces it with motivation.

The film also explains how waking up with one leg after surgery marked one of the happiest moments of Wilson’s life. That’s because when doctors put him under, they told him they’d only remove the limb if his cancer hadn’t spread to his lymph nodes.

RELATED: Banff Film Festival comes to Austin

It hadn’t. He got to live a little longer, something he takes advantage of every time he climbs on his bike.

“If I don’t ride a bike, I will lose my mind,” he says.

Just don’t call him amazing, no matter how tempting that might be. He insists he’s not.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival continues tonight at the Paramount Theatre. Copyright Simon Perkins

“Just because I lost my leg I’m amazing? There’s nothing inherently different about me just because I lost my leg,” he says. “I could be a real a-hole. You don’t even know me.”

The film, by Sharptail Media, features an excellent soundtrack, by musician Ella Vos. It’s presented by Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop. Wilson wears shorts and a jersey from the shop during the entire 6-minute film.

Other highlights from last night’s showing? A film about a honey hunter in Nepal, slackliners in the Faroe islands, a mountain runner and skier named Kilian Jornet, a cyclist who pedals to the Arctic sea, and a donut-eating free climber named Brad Gobright.

The Austin screening of the Banff Film Festival festival, hosted by Whole Earth Provision Company, continues tonight. Tickets are still availble. For tickets and information go here.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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