Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 20th, 2009 at 11:07 am
night of Filmed by Bike.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Filmed by Bike‘s Opening Night Throwdown street party was the perfect way to kick of Portland’s bike season. On Friday night, nearly 1,000 people flocked to SE Clinton street to revel in the scene both inside and outside the theater.
Whether you were there as a film buff, a bike lover, as an excuse to party, or all of the above — chances are you weren’t disappointed. After six years of putting on this event (and countless others), bike event mastermind Ayleen Crotty put all the right ingredients together for another memorable opening night.
Those ingredients included a racuous performance by the Last Regiment of Sycopated Drummers, plenty of $3 New Belgium beers (Ayleen says they went through 10 kegs), fresh tamales and tacos, plenty of secure bike parking (half the street was full), and, oh yeah, plenty of great films.
Other highlights for me (and I haven’t even gotten to the films yet) were all the great characters that showed up…
Drew Kinney (he organized the Oregon Bike Polo Championships) from Northeast Portland showed up pulling a trailer with three polo bikes, mallets, and safety cones, and proceeded to join friends for a few matches of polo while they waited for the movies.
Southeast Portland’s “Master of Light” Mark Allyn showed up with his latest creations. Mark is the guy famously known for his hand-crafted, fiber-optic, rainbow light suits and light bike. He also likes to weld bike-inspired jewelry out of kitchen utensils, including this very cool bottle cage made out of spoons.
Ayleen’s roots in the community run deep, and it’s always fun to see the diverse crowd she pulls into her events. As I was watching the party unfold, up rolled several members of Portland’s fabled bike gang, C.H.U.N.K. 666. C.H.U.N.K. used to much more active several years ago, but these days they’ve moved on to other things, so for a Portland bike geek like me it was cool to see Thud, Silken, Lance E. Pants, and others on their freaky steeds.
Speaking of bike gangs/clubs, the tradition is alive and well in Portland. Team Beer was on security detail, donned in their new denim vests with the new Team Beer patch. The classic Schwinn loving Belligerantes also represented, as did North Freak, Zoobomb (Zane and Cupcake gave the crowd a demonstration of their amazing, dual-bike Hamster Ball contraption), Team Cthulhu (with their fresh new team kits), and others (I even heard rumors of a new, all-female tall-bike gang with a political action bent).
Throw all of those folks in and mix them in with all the other people who showed up (included about 50 people from Seattle, who tried to take over a local Motel 6), and you’ve got a street party to remember.
Have I mentioned all the double-dutch action? Yes, double dutch is hot right now and there were several ropes spinning on the street.
I chatted with several folks who were having so much fun at the street party, they decided to skip the films altogether and catch them during the week (the fest goes through Thursday).
I was lucky enough to catch one of the screenings (unfortunately it meant that I missed the performance of Chain Reaction, Portland’s all-male bike dance crew). I sat in back of the sell-out, standing-room-only crowd and thoroughly enjoyed the “Ruckus in the Street” lineup.
Watching the “Crimanimalz” ride through standstill Los Angeles freeway traffic was inspiring and made me want to mount up a camera and hit I-5. I was laughing out loud at the locally-made “Wild Creatures of North America” spoof. Actor Quentin Welch did his best Crocodile Hunter impression and was on the hunt for wild bike racks (yes, bike racks). The writing on this one was brilliant.
I also enjoyed learning about Uncle Jerry in “Next Stop the Moon“. Jerry is a 60-something retiree who lives in Arizona and is the uncle of Portlander (and filmmaker) Brighton West. Brighton chronicled his uncle’s quest to ride 100,000 miles before his 70th birthday. It was a touching story about a man whose arthritis makes it hard for him to even walk, but who can bike pain-free about 20 miles a day.
At intermission, emcees Dan and Joanna raffled thousands of dollars in great prizes.
But wait, there’s more!
The fest continues today through Thursday. I asked Ayleen for a few highlights from each day:
On Monday we’ll have Jerry, the subject of Portlander Brighton West’s film “Next Stop the Moon.” Jerry is Brighton’s uncle, and he’s visiting from Arizona.
Hi-may Rivera, who produced the movie “Re”… is in town from Boise, ID and will be speaking about his artwork (the subject of his film) after the screening on Tuesday.
*We’ve also booked Missionary Chocolates to come out on Monday and Tuesday to pass out their delicious chocolates for the first 50 attendees. It’s our way of saying “Welcome to summer” to the bike community. This weather is definitely something to be celebrated!
Clarence lands tomorrow and we’ll be prepping for the Wednesday show probably Tues night. Let me know if you want in on that session to hear how we decide how to do what we’re going to do for Wed (colorful, punchy commentary between the movies, an awesome selection).
Greatest Hits night with stuff from all seven years (!) and an after party at the Night Light (20th and Clinton).