There’s incredible new energy coming from the growing underground movement of bike culture particularly in cities, as more people are riding bikes as a form of defiance against cars, oil companies, war, politics, and the general state of the nation. The Bike Film Festival (BFF), launched by New York cyclist Brendt Barbur 7 years ago taps into this vein as seen during the kick-off last weekend when 11,000 people showed up to participate in one way or another. Not only does the Bike Film Festival include bike displays, actual cycling, a concert series, and films, but it also featured an art show called Joy Ride with the work of street and graffiti artists such as Shepard Fairey, Phil Frost, Peter Sutherland, and Swoon. Among the top films in the BFF this year include a series of messenger shorts (among the favorites), a movie called Klunkerz about the birth of mountain biking, a drama of woman pot dealer/biker out of Toronto called Monkey Warfare, and Ayamye about recycled bikes as positive solutions in rural development in Ghana.
The resurgence of bike culture is a global phenomenon especially as more people use cycling as way to combat global warming and urban traffic. Even fashion designers are getting into the scene such as Tokyo’s Hiroshi Fujiwara and his manifestations of customized track bikes. Basically, Fujiwara’s track bike passion has re-introduced bike culture, fashion, and retail together in Tokyo with many streetwear specialty boutiques displaying customized track bikes in window displays and outside of storefronts as a symbol of cred. Of course Paris has a rich history of bike culture with the Tour de France, but the culture is also making its way into fashionable and technical streetwear designs.
The Bike Film Festival also includes a concert series and tour component across 16 cities. The BFF comes to Los Angeles June 28-July 1. Top sponsors include Puma, Kryptonite, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Trackstar, and Fountainhead.