Bicycle Film Festival

Edition 2014 of Bicycle Film Festival Stockholm will be presented at Arkitektur- and designcentrum on Skeppsholmen. Two days (October 3 & 4) full of bike movies, a bike exhibition by Black Label Bicycle Club Stockholm and a cruise through Stockholm city. After the last set of movies on Saturday Bicycle Film Festival will head to Bloms Café with gold sprint race and DJ marathon. Buy your ticket(s) already.

October 3

19:00 – Program 1

  • BACK TO BATTENKILL, USA 2014 | 4 min. Dir. Josh Miller
  • CLEAN SPIRIT, Netherlands 2014 | 88 min. Dirk Jan Roeleven

21:00 – Program 2, Bicycle Film Festival Greatest Hits

  • MADE IN QUEENS, USA 2008 | Video 10min. Dir. Joe Stevens & Nicolas Randall
  • SKI BOYS, Canada 2006 | Super 8 8min. Dir. Benny Zenga
  • BIKELORDZ: STYLES ALIVE EDITION, Ghana 2012 | HD 10min. Dir. Mikey Hart
  • BOY, England 2012 | Digital 10min. Dir. Justin Chadwick
  • BELLE EPOCH, Italy, USA 2008 | Video 3min. Dir. Robert Chynoweth
  • ON TIME, USA 1985 | 16mm 10min. Dir. Ari Taub
  • THE BICYCLE, USA 2012 HD 7min. Dir. Adam Neustadter and Chris McCoy
  • THE CYCLIST, USA 2013 HD 10min. Dir. Morgan Krantz
  • SISTER SESSION, Estonia 2012 | HD 11min. Dir. Helen Habakuk, Doris Taaker, & Brett Astrid Vomma
  • ROAD SAGE, USA 2013 HD 12min. Dir. Lucas Brunelle

October 4

18:30 – Program 3

  • FIX THE ICELAND, Czech Republic 2014 | 11 min. Dir. Kryštof Hlůže
  • LUCAS BRUNELLE GOES TO AFRICA, USA 2013 HD 7min. Dir. Lucas Brunelle
  • EVOLUTION OF BICYCLE, Denmark 2013 | 1 min. Dir. Thallis Vestergaard
  • TUESDAY NIGHT SPECIAL, USA 2014 | 16 min. Dir. Harry Zernike
  • MELONS, TRUCKS & ANGRY DOGS, Germany 2014 | 56 min. Dir. Kristian & Martin Ansand & Gilluck

20:30 – Program 4, Urban Bike Shorts

  • I’M ALRIGHT, USA 2014 HD 4min. Dir. John Lynn
  • TRON KONG, Hong Kong 2014 | 2 min. Dir. Joshua Wong
  • SPIN!, USA 2014 | 2 min. Dir. Harry Zernike
  • MY RIDE, UK 2014 | 3 min. Dir. Jessie Ayles
  • MY WONDERFUL BICYCLE, USA 2014 | HD 4min. Dir. Steve Olpin
  • HAVANA BIKES, Spain 2014 | 5 min. Dir. Diego Vivanco
  • WHIFFED OUT, USA 2013 | 12 min. Dir Jason Giampietro
  • DELIVERY, USA 2014 | 10 min. Dir. Christopher Walker, Joshua Simpson, Michael Beach Nichols
  • THE COLDEST MARCH, UK 2014 | 17 min. Dir. Ben Pickett

The Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) is an independent film festival that screens films related to urban cycling culture, in cities around the world. It was founded in 2001 and is based in New York. – Wikipedia

it is non-polluting and quiet

Bicycles do have negative environmental impacts, particularly those associated with their production and disposal. They are not quiet either and one can even buy compressed air horns blasting no less than 120 decibels if being louder than loud is the logic behind bike commuting. But I do believe a bicycle still qualifies better than a car to that trendy-greeny tagline – “it is non-polluting and quiet”. Whatever the car.

I’m sure bike commuters who were struggling to keep rolling in wind and rain this morning in Stockholm would be pleased to know that while bicycle infrastructure and the whole cycling as an alternative mode of transportation idea need massive improvements and support the so called “environmental campaigners” were busy helping the car – non-polluting and quiet – industry breaking Guinness World Records on the Öresund Bridge between Sweden and Denmark yesterday.

We need to get people to pay attention to the electric car because it is non-polluting and quiet. Before summer there were just 400 registered electric cars […] That is way too few. – Jakob Hougaard, deputy chairman of the City of Copenhagen’s technical and environment committee.

Since when did the electric car become a non-polluting vehicle? Don’t you need to manufacture it anymore? Build and replace the batteries every now and then? Charge it? Does the electric engine make the sound of rolling (studded or not) tires disappear all of a sudden?

Sorry, we're fucked

Although they are still awaiting an official count for their effort to create the world’s longest electric car parade, the event organisers say that they easily secured the Guinness World Record for the ‘most electric cars on a roof top parking lot’, the ‘largest spiral made with electric cars’ and the ‘most electric cars on a bridge between two countries’.

Guinness World Record for the ‘most electric cars on a roof top parking lot’, the ‘largest spiral made with electric cars’ and the ‘most electric cars on a bridge between two countries’? ‘F’ word me, that was definitely worth campaigning for! I’ll try to think about that next time I’m riding – non-polluting and quiet – on a tiny bicycle path squeezed between two lanes of speeding motorized traffic. It will definitely cheer me up.

Updated. Meanwhile in Norway: Booming Electric Car Sales Have Become A Problem. No comment.

Tour de Saltsjöbaden

Second week as a semi-professional bicycle blogger and the motivation is obviously still quite high. This Monday was packed with bicycle cycling starting with a Tour de Saltsjöbaden (43 kilometers) on the semi-plastic bike followed by a couple of kilometers on the single speed to meet a friend for lunch and then a gentle digestive ride back home.

Tour de Saltsjöbaden

Not being Swedish and riding a bicycle the day after the general elections was not the safest thing to do according to all that drama I was reading online for breakfast (Sweden Democrats – far-right, right-wing populist & anti-immigration – became Sweden’s third largest political party and right-wing-car-centric politics are still doing strong) but I decided to hit the road anyway. And you know what happened? I was able to stay in the saddle all the way: no one tried to put me on a Paris-bound charter flight neither was I ran over by a campaigner from the Moderate Party in a SUV with tinted windows.

Solsidan, election results, 2014

I must admit that the best riding on le Tour de Saltsjöbaden (which, for me, starts from Årstafältet) is around Solsidan where voters (as the chart shows) massively support the motorized-traffic-loving party. I had the road for myself most of the time and stopped a couple of times by the shore to take pictures or enjoy the view. It’s sort of surprising but actually makes perfect sense: people living around Solsidan don’t drive in Solsidan. But they drive to Stockholm – like most of those living in the richer neighbourhoods – and the closer you get to the city center, traffic just worsens, support to the Green Party increases and riding becomes quite unpleasant.

Nothing new under the sun though and life in Stockholm has not dramatically changed overnight. Cycling in and around the city center is still not world-class quality and I bet it will remain so for the next four years. There are some hidden gems not far from the busy roads and you’ll find them if you get on your bike. You could even find a restaurant serving lamb loin and enjoy a beer with lunch. I know I did.

Sthlm Bike, the world’s most beautiful bicycle race

I’ve been wanting to (among other things) spend more time riding my bicycles for a while and I just got the chance to do so. Until I decide otherwise I am now off on Mondays and today marks the beginning of a new routine: I will walk my daughter to school at 9:00 and will pick her up at 15:00 but I yet have to work on self-discipline and figure out how to make the best of these six hours each week.

So here I am, drinking espresso and writing about yesterday’s Sthlm Bike, the world’s most beautiful bicycle race, no less.

Sthlm Bike, 2013

Sthlm Bike is a 42 kilometer non-timed race and even though one could go flat-out through the streets of Stockholm and be served breakfast first at the finish area it would just be the most stupid thing to do. Starting at 7:00 from Gärdet the route was mostly on paved roads but included a couple of gravel roads through greener areas. I’d say that I know my way around Stockholm quite well on two wheels and I was very pleased to cycle parts of the city I just never had the occasion or reason to visit.

As always the Capital of Scandinavia did not disappoint and cruising around an almost car-free Stockholm in the early hours of Sunday morning was pure pleasure (can’t help but wish that day will come when cars will be banned from the city center).

Sthlm Bike, 2014

The highlight of the ride though was, in my opinion, the coffee and cookies booth at kilometer 17. With the race starting at 7:00 participants were expected to meet at the starting line at 6:30 so I, and a lot of other riders, left home quite early that morning with little or no time for a proper cup of fuel. Being reasonably fit and used to cycling I did not need the kilometer 26 banana but it was great for those less accustomed to riding 40+ kilometers. Anyway. That coffee was golden.

Our vision is to be able to offer a car-free Stockholm to 25,000 cyclists on a Sunday morning in September –

While this ambitious number has not yet been reached the race organisation and the volunteers who helped cyclists along the course did make clear they were up to the task. Great weather. Great route. Great race. Looking forward to September 6, 2015.