Friday
Jun112010

Movie Night in Long Beach

Random thoughts flowing from last night's second showing of Mike Bauch's Riding Bikes with the Dutch at the Arts Theater on 4th in Long Beach...

More Weirdos on Bikes!   So far the best slogan I have heard for Bike Long Beach.

300 people showed up from Long Beach and beyond provinces.  And the Lakers were playing.

Mayor Foster rides 40-50 miles per week and has found a new fitness passion.  Bring your candy-ass mayor to Long Beach and see if he or she can keep up.

Councilwomen Suja Lowenthal proves again her leadership role on the livable communities agenda in Long Beach.  Her vision is serving as a catalyst for action on the bicycle and pedestrian agendas.

Kerri Zane's portrait of Long Beach's bike culture captured the energy and excitement of our city's campaign to be the best in America.  As we test our ideas and practice open source government to improve what is there, we seem to be drawing more and more people into the conversation.

Kerri's short film technique is how we are planning to share the Long Beach story as a marketing tool.  Open source, digital storytelling, various points of view, and various audiences.  Economic development using lifestyle richness of Long Beach.  Tourism featuring bike-touring options, free convention fleets.

Mike Bauch's Riding Bikes with the Dutch is an independent film that is a hopeful, romantic, alternately innocent and earnest while advocating for a smarter way to see the world, specifically Long Beach. 

He presents Amsterdam as his cycling heaven and its citizens as angels.  They coexist respectfully and seem to live as a high functioning community.  From babies in cargo bikes to pretty women to senior men to bier bikes to wrap this up, humanity on bikes.  Happy and carefree.  Also usually car free because they found they don't need cars very much.  Because of the design of the city and their deliberate steps to make cycling, transit and walking safe and attractive choices. 

Bauch returns to Long Beach and happens upon the happy coincidence of the City of Long Beach making bold steps to become the best bike city in America.  Instead of a dismal comparison of the car choked Los Angeles basin to Amsterdam’s Valhalla bike conditions, Mike found an emerging social movement and reasons for optimism in his hometown.

Mike's deeply personal story is brought to us with beautiful imagery of Amsterdam and Long Beach. He shares his thoughts and observations along the way while interviewing key players in the Long Beach bike conversation.  His personal advocacy strategy seems to be leading by example, dragging his newborn kid everywhere by bike when he isn't dragging his boat by bike. 

His film presents women riding bikes in Long Beach as smart, seriously fashionable, sometimes athletic, and perfect as symbols of who we want to attract to Long Beach. 

Riding Bikes with the Dutch is smart advocacy in action.  It needs to be seen around the country because it will spark the imagination of hundreds of citizen leaders looking for smarter solutions.  By demystifying the process of community change and showing what can happen if we choose to move in a bike friendly direction, citizen advocates will be empowered.

Contact Mike Bauch to arrange screenings of his film and Kerri Zane for information on her promo film.