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  • Benjamin Gerstel

A Peloton of One Review

A Peloton of One chronicles is about the journey of a biker, who decided to travel from Chicago to New York on his bike. After dealing with trauma, a man named David Ohlmuller decided to go on this journey and find himself. David is the central character in the story, but his journey impacts countless people along the way. David was one of thousands of victims of CSA, or child sexual abuse. By biking, he was able to find something within himself, as well as connect, inspire, and share hope between other people who have suffered the same trauma he has.

David’s story has impacted countless lives and the film does a fantastic job portraying this concept, through the stops David made along the way. One stop was to meet a woman, who had also been abused by David’s perpetrator. It was an incredibly wholesome moment, as both victims, who had been through so much, were finally around someone else who had been through what they had.

The woman was denied any help from her family, and felt like she could never bring it up again. Her parents were incredibly strict and even her own sister didn’t believe her at first. However, once David came out with his story, it opened up a door for the woman to share her own. In turn, her story also corroborated with David’s, validating both of them. It’s emotional to see not only how much the woman’s story validated David’s emotions throughout all of this, but also how David’s story, combined with the support from her sister, gave her the courage to come out on her own. Some parts of the movie, like this one, or the interview with the dad of a victim, highlight the emotional toll victims of CSA face. Things like faith, depression, and anxiety are common themes in each of the personal stories.

Other parts of the film, document the legalities and statistics behind the issue of sexual assault. Statistics are raised, such as 1 in 6 girls are abused in Iowa before 16, while others map out the amount of victims and number of perpetrators in different counties in Philadelphia. It’s a perfect blend that depicts the entire scope of a complex situation. While the emotional aspect allows viewers to walk in the victim's shoes and hear what they had to go through, the statistics and legal history of this issue paints a larger picture. The film discusses the culture of hearing people out and talk about what needs to change, how institutions cover it up (such as a priest moving from state to state), the psychology of the perpetrators, statute of limitations in each state, and much more. While the victims' stories highlight the emotional toll, these parts of the film help pave a way for people to continue fighting, and highlights the necessity of that fight as well.

Like life, David’s long journey had ups and downs, whether it was a flat tire in New York, or him falling twice within the first five minutes of the ride. Despite these challenges, David powered through and made it to his final destination. During these trials and tribulations, David was able to find a peace of mind, which ignited new hope for the future. In turn, he can use this hope to help people get out of the darkest of days, while also fighting for a cause that impacts the people we love most: our children. The documentary is educational, emotional, and powerful, and will change the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people who have experienced CSA.


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