Power to the Pedals

Bicycling has its share of classic films, but it’s a small share — A Sunday in Hell, Road to Roubaix, and Breaking Away if you’re into Dennis Quaid's short-shorts. The Bicycle Film Festival always tips its protective headgear to these, but it’s the very short, very indie films that the fest nourishes, the ones about Frankenbikes and jousting bikes, the unknown BMX wizards from far-flung locales, and the crazy-illegal alley-cat races in which handlebars double as cinematographers, capturing the blur of the city and the shock of pedestrians. The festival has dozens of these diamonds, pulled by founder Brendt Barbur from around the globe. As for the quality longer films, this year we get The Third Wheel, a doc about the pedicab industry; Keirin Queen, a delicate 1956 Japanese feature about a woman track racer; and Where Are You Go, an on-the-road doc about the world’s longest race, the Tour d' Afrique. Of course you can always skip the films and go for the other action, like the Blonde Redhead shows, the Sunday Block Party and BMX Competition, and the art exhibit “JoyRide,” which has artists like Mike Giant and Kenny Scharf giving their takes on the constantly evolving culture.
July 14-18, 7 p.m., 2009

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