On Monday night, we attended Movie Night at the Bicycle Authority. Dan showed the film Double Yellow 2, a documentary about bicycle messengers in Philadelphia. Carson City’s Gabe Gonzalez worked as a messenger in Philadelphia, and the movie had considerable footage of him. Gabe was on hand last night to share some stories and answer questions.
Even after watching the movie and getting a glimpse of the messenger life, I doubt any of us here in Carson City could actually get our minds around what it must be like in real life. Up close and personal with cars all day long, several days per week.
From the interviews in the movie, it seemed to be a bittersweet life. Tremendous freedom of riding your bike all day long, mixed with a lot of road rage and harsh weather during the winter. A common theme in the movie was a strong bond between messengers, even with messengers in cities far away. Gabe concurred.
The movie got me thinking about how many bicycle subcultures have evolved. Some of the messengers in the movie were a little ticked at how their culture was being mimicked by non-messengers, riders that have not paid their dues. It seemed a little harsh at first, but then I thought you could probably say the same thing is true for any other cycling subculture.
Mountain biking has splintered off into many different factions, and often times one group won’t see eye to eye with another group. Downhillers, Free riders, XC racers, trail riders, cyclocrossers…each group with their own set of unwritten codes of behaviors and styles. Many of us even belong to a few subcultures here in Carson City. Our small city close to off-road trails and low traffic paved roads present a lot of cycling opportunities for us here.
The movie night had a great turnout with over 20 people attending. This was also true of the movie at the Bike Habitat last Saturday. I think this is something we should continue to do throughout the year periodically.
Another thank you to Gabe for adding so much to the movie! For more on Gabe Gonzalez, check out Urban Velo Issue #9 HERE.