Sunday, February 05, 2006

Commute by Bike

A big thanks to the welcoming committee at Commute by Bike. I've been lurking on their site for a while now, but lately I had to comment on some of the posts. There were two posts in particular that hit pretty close to home. One was high on the nostalgia meter and the other was high on the current content meter.

The nostalgia meter was peaked when I saw the tribute to RAD -- you know the BMX film of the '80's. I saw that film when it first came out in 1986. Who wasn't in love with Lori Loughlin, and of course the "rad" stunts? Anyway the big thing about RAD, aside for the great bike stunts, was the fact that it was filmed pretty much in my back yard in Calgary. We used train out near Cochrane when I used to bike race myself. Cochrane was the second venue for the filming. When I saw the clip of the film it took me back to those days in Calgary again.

The current content meter was set when Commute by bike posted a movie about the North Shore in Vancouver, where I live and ride now. There has been a rapid rise in the number of people riding the Shore mountains. There has been a great deal of support on a grass roots level from groups like the North Shore Mountain Bike Association to mitigate conflicts between local residents and the mountain bike community. It has been difficult. The municipal council has had supporters and detractors. Ernie Crist -- interviewed in this movie and a former councilor-- questioned how mountain biking could fit into the community and asked how the environment could be protected. I think the movie shows how the NSMBA and others are trying to create an environment that is healthy for mountain bikers, safe for the environment and maintain good community relations with those that don't mountain bike. A tall order for sure.

It was interesting seeing the two movies. In 1986 those kids were doing some pretty cool stunts on Hell Track in RAD. Well even though everyone would like to believe in the "new" style of free riding -- It hasn't changed that much, we just go into the woods to do the big drops, ladders and gap jumps now. And of course there was an over zealous, authority character in each of them.


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