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The Big Trail

Coleman finds love with young Ruth Cameron, whom he'd kissed accidentally, mistaking her for somebody else. Unwilling to accept her attraction toward him, Ruth gets rather close to a gambler acquaintance of Flack's, who joined the trail after being caught cheating. Coleman and Flack have to lead the settlers west, while Flack does everything he can to have Coleman killed before he finds any proof of what he'd done. The three villains' main reason for going west is to avoid the hangman's noose for previous crimes, and all three receive frontier justice instead. The settlers trail ends in an unnamed valley, where Coleman and Ruth finally settle down together amidst giant redwoods.

The Big Trail


Breck Coleman, Wagon Train Scout: We can't turn back! We're blazing a trail that started in England. Not even the storms of the sea could turn back the first settlers. And they carrie dit on further. They blazed it on through the wilderness of Kentucky. Famine, hunger, not even massacres could stop them. And now we picked up the trail again. And nothing can stop us! Not even the snows of winter, nor the peaks of the highest mountain. We're building a nation and we got to suffer! No great trail was ever built without hardship. And you got to fight! That's right. And when you stop fighting, that's death. What are you going to do, lay down and die? Not in a thousand years! You're going on with me!

It is an epic scale which benefits this tale of a pioneering wagon trail in Oregon. It has been shot in a 70-mm wide screen process of 14 camera-men. There were a staggering 80 featured players and 2,000 Indians. The Fox studio, which has been pouring money into the production in an attempt to repeat the huge success scored seven years ago in The Covered Wagon.

Young scout Breck Coleman leads a wagon train along the dangerous trail to Oregon as he tries to get the affection of the beautiful pioneer Ruth Cameron and plans his revenge on the harsh scoundrels who murdered a friend of his in the past.

Striking, that is the word that came to mind on first sight of the Merida Big trail 600. A gorgeous forest green set off with bright red forks and decals. The 2021 model is an equally alluring purple affair that also catches the eye.

Beyond the looks alone there is a purposeful stance to the Big Trail that suggests Merida have put together a top-notch trail hardtail. I have always been a sucker for the classic hardtail silhouette and whenever I see a top tube flow straight into the seat stays my heart picks up a beat.

Boost front and back, a revised chain line to allow better tyre clearance, internal cable routing are all present. As are 2 sets of bottle bosses and one of my favourite features, a trail tools mount located on the underside of the top tube.

The set pieces all involve the wagon trail overcoming an especially dangerous part of the frontier, whether it be a sheer cliff face, a deep and fast moving river, or an attacking army of Native Americans. Much in the way it was the Israelite's destiny to return and settle in Canaan, the frontier myth maintains the notion, in the eyes of the viewer, that it was America's destiny to conquer and tame the wilderness between coasts.

That helps keep complete bike weight under 14kg though and together with the tight rear end and sloped tyre tread it accelerates well and taps out extended climbs comfortably. You will need to be careful pedalling on rougher/rooty/rocky/rutted trails though as the low BB means crank clearance can be an issue.

The Pacific Crest Trail in the West and the Appalachian Trail in the East bracket the mainland United States with a pair of fine hiking routes. That said, the Pacific Crest Trail traverses tougher topography, attains greater heights and supplies more stupendous views. One of the more famed trail "thru- hikers" is Scott Williamson, who has completed this 2,655-mile route from Canada to Mexico no less than seven times. In 2004, he even did it twice, in six months, the first to accomplish this in a single season. Williamson will present slide shows and talks at 7 p.m. today at the REI in Saratoga (408) 871-8765, and 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the REI in Berkeley, (510) 527-4140. Williamson's presentations will reveal trail segments in California, Oregon and Washington that are suitable for weeklong treks and provide tips on proper gear, paring weight, resupply logistics and strategies for transforming yourself into a Pacific Crest Trail hiker.

Not everyone needs, wants or can afford a full suspension bike, and for those riders a hardtail presents itself as a simpler and more cost-effective option for getting onto the trails. In the past however, getting a hardtail usually meant climbing aboard something racy and twitchy, with narrow bars, skinny tyres, a short-travel fork and XC racing geometry. Urgh!

The real reason Breck Coleman decides to help on the difficult journey is because he suspects that the wagon train leader, Red Flack (Tyrone Power Sr.) and his friends murdered his trapper friend. Coleman is determined to find out for sure if they are the killers and bring them to justice. In the meantime, Red Flack figures out that Coleman suspects him of murder, so he and his associates continually try to figure out covert ways to kill Coleman on the trail.

  • Aspect Ratio: One of a handful of films after the end of the Silent Film era shot in widescreen. After this film flopped Hollywood abandoned the format and didn't make widescreen movies until the 1950s, when the rise of television led the studios to resort to stuff like widescreen and color in order to get butts in seats.

  • As You Know: The steamboat pilot makes sure to refer to Ruth as "the daughter of Col. Cameron" to let the audience know that she was at one point a child of privilege.

  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Breck is an expert at throwing a knife.

  • Call-Back: Early in the film Ruth is in a fancy, frilly dress; Breck recommends that she get some plainer pioneer clothes before starting an arduous cross-country voyage. At the end, when they're settled down in Oregon but Breck has been missing for a while, she takes the frilly dress out and gives it a wistful look.

  • Cue the Rain: The pioneers are struggling through a muddy river valley when the Funny Foreigner confidently asserts that the weather's getting better; "there will be no more rain." The next scene shows a deluge pouring down on the wagon train.

  • Dances and Balls: The ice between Ruth and Breck stars to melt when he dances with her at a pioneer hoedown.

  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: A Running Gag in the film has a young, bumbling Funny Foreigner, with a forbidding mother-in-law who constantly slaps him every time he screws up.

  • Flashback: Breck finding his friend Ben's body, at the lip of the Grand Canyon.

  • Hollywood Darkness: Breck looks up and says "Lovely night" in a scene where it's so bright that you can see the shadows of leaves on his shoulder.

  • Injun Country Breck manages to talk the wagon train past a tribe of Cheyenne by promising that the pioneers won't settle in that area.

  • Later, in the desert, a different tribe attracts the train. The pioneers perform the iconic "circling the wagons" maneuver and fight them off.

  • Meet Cute: Breck embarrasses himself and pisses Ruth off when he kisses her, Breck thinking mistakenly that she's a childhood friend he hasn't seen in years.

  • No Honor Among Thieves: Near the end of the movie, Fleck and Lopez have fled from the wagon train and are attempting to make their escape. When Lopez starts to collapse from hypothermia in the snowbound peaks of the Sierras, Fleck takes his pack and leaves him to die.

  • Obnoxious In-Laws: The Funny Foreigner has a shrewish mother-in-law who's constantly smacking him and berating him. He bears it cheerfully.

  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: Although most of the sky is obscured by tall redwoods. The camera pans up at the end, after Breck and Ruth's Happy Ending embrace.

  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: The bad guys think they shot Breck off his horse during the buffalo hunt. When he walks out from behind a pioneer's wagon, he says "What's the matter, Lopez? Seein' a few ghosts?"

  • Rousing Speech: When the settlers want to turn back in the snowy Sierras, Breck gives a rousing speech about how they have to finish a trail that started all the way back in England.

  • Scenery Porn: It's in widescreen, and it was shot on location in Santa Fe and elsewhere, which was unusual for the era. The movie really gets a lot of mileage out of the widescreen format, with some expansive shots of the high desert as well as striking sequences like when Breck goes on a buffalo hunt or the wagon train has to cross a river. The Big Trail looks dramatically different than most any other film made in this era.

  • Settling the Frontier: The whole plot, with white settlers trundling west.

  • Shell Game: Bill Thorpe's Establishing Character Moment comes when he's ripping off a rube on the steamboat with a shell game. He's promptly tossed off the boat by the captain.

  • Thirsty Desert: Five hundred miles through the intermountain West proves challenging. Some of the pioneers have to bury their loved ones.

With the BIG.TRAIL 200 , Merida enables access to extreme trails for relatively little money. The trend towards more high speed stability geometries stops with Merida. Good! Because with this balanced handling model, you are equipped for all situations on the trail. The relatively high front allows you to sit upright in the saddle. In the price range of under 1000 Euro, there are bikes that climb better than the Merida Hardtail. For 999 Euro , competitors usually deliver geometries with less fun potential. We like: 25 years warranty on the frame! Pay attention when selecting your size: the Merida Beginners-Bike sizing runs small. 041b061a72

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