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Catching up with Ayleen Crotty of Filmed by Bike


Ayleen Crotty of Filmed by Bike
File photo: 4/11/07

You can’t go to far in Portland’s bike scene without running into Ayleen Crotty. She’s the spirit behind such beloved institutions as the Midnight Mystery Rides, the KBOO Bike Show, the Multnomah County Bike Fair and more.

And after this weekend she’ll be best known for her role in creating and promoting Filmed by Bike. Now in it’s fifth year, the fest has become a mainstay of the local scene and is gaining notoriety acclaim beyond Portland’s borders.

I caught up with Ayleen yesterday at her house in northeast Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood, just before she biked off for an interview on OPB Radio.

The event has grown a lot in the last few years. How did it all start?

“Filmed by Bike started in 2003 when we were going to do the Multnomah County Bike Fair for the first time and we needed to raise money for permits. At that time Reverend Phil was doing some bike movies and we were starting to see other cities doing bike movies…and I just thought, what if we got them together? I worked at the CCC (Community Cycling Center) and we had some trick-riding videos, some Tour de France-type stuff, and I thought; let’s have a night when we put all that stuff on screen and hope we get a handful of people and who knows, maybe we’ll make a $100 bucks. Well, that first year I hoped for 40 people and we got 80 and the second year we moved to a bigger venue and every year we’ve doubled in size and every year we’ve sold out.”

I’ve heard this year you’ve got people coming from all over?

Bob New and Timo Forsberg
at last year’s show.
File photo: 4/14/06

“Yep, Corvallis, Salem, Eugene, and two carloads from Vancouver (B.C) on Friday. And we always get a good crew from Seattle. There’s a nice Seattle/Filmed by Bike connection that goes on. Seattle really wants us to bring the festival up there, but I don’t know. The fest is not going on the road any time soon. That’s just too much work.”

What’s one film you’re particularly excited about this year?

“The kids from CAT (Center for Appropriate Transport) have made a movie about a group of teenagers and a kid named Will who makes freak bikes. They get together with these crazy bikes and ride to school, and all over town. They did a great job with their movie, the editing, everything is solid. They’re coming up for the all-ages show on Saturday. The best part about these kids is that they would not have made their movie if it weren’t for Filmed by Bike.”

I love that about your fest. It not only showcases bike movies, it encourages people to make them.

“Yes, definitely. There are lot’s of people out there making movies because they’re excited to get it in Filmed by Bike.”

The shows start Friday at Clinton Street Theater. Check out FilmedbyBike.org for all the details.

Unfortunately I can’t make it this year (I’ll be at the Oregon Bike Summit all weekend), so I hope some of you can fill me in on Monday.

Good luck Ayleen! And thanks for taking time to chat.

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