Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beauty and the Bike Premiere

The UK premiere of this 18 months-in-the-making documentary finally hit the big screen on Wednesday December 9th at 7pm in Darlington Arts Centre. The event was a sell-out, with a second screening needed to accommodate everyone that wanted to attend. It was a fantastic evening, with acclaim for the work coming from both cycling advocates and film-makers. This, and the world-wide interest being created by the 8 minute short drawn from the full documentary, suggests the film is set to make a significant impact on cycling policy.

"Why do British girls stop cycling? By simply asking this basic question, the film reveals the damage that has been done by 50 years of car-centric transport policies. Whilst we fill our lives with debates about risk assessment, cycle helmets, cycle training and marketing strategies to try to persuade people to cycle more, the basic barriers to cycling remain untouched - generous urban planning towards the car, and the resultant poor motorist behaviour towards cyclists. Is it any wonder that most people find cycling unattractive in the UK, but attractive in cycling-friendly towns and cities? It's the infrastructure, stupid!"

Darlington Cycling Campaign has been closely involved in the Beauty and the Bike project, which has already resulted in a successful bid to Bike Hub for funding to expand the Bike Pool established by the film project.

The film is being released on DVD, together with an accompanying book. Details are available on the Beauty and the Bike website.


Paul Simms said...

What a fantastic film (seen the clip) I'd love to go to the premiere too.

I will link this on my blog, and post it on a cycling forum that I use.

BrianV said...

Brilliant – Absolutely first class and a credit to all those involved.
How many of these bikes are now “On the road”?

Inconvenient Truth said...

Thanks! We've got 14 on the road right now, a waiting list of 12 more, and preparing arrangements with Bike Hub to fund 60 more. Ultimately aim for 100 in Darlington, enough to have a visible impact on a small town.

But as the girls say, they need the infrastructure if this is to succeed. I believe it's called "community partnership" between groups like ourselves and the local authority.

Nipper said...

Great short film. I will have to get the DVD when it is out. Will the film be shown on TV?

As you say, it is infrastructure we need, the comment about would you take your family out on a main road was very telling. All the training in the world would not be enough for me to let my small children anywhere near the nutters driving cars and lorries. We are able to go out cycling as a family only because we use separated paths (not just paint but the real paths with physical separation). However due to the lack of suitable paths we sometimes have to ride the pavements.

Good luck in Darlington!


Tim Beadle said...

You can hear a voice near the end, saying "Oi! You can't come in here with those bicycles" or similar. What was going on there?

(Great project, by the way)

Inconvenient Truth said...

It was the guy at the door of the conference building - but he later said it was for a bit of fun....we thought we should keep it in.

BrianV said...

Attracted the attention of the Guardian newspaper cycling blog:-

A tadge negative in parts which supprised me.

Inconvenient Truth said...

They've come back and apologised. They realised they hadn't actually seen the film before writing, and will now hopefully rectify by doing a proper review.

BrianV said...


Inconvenient Truth said...

Good review of the film in today's Northern Echo, though not yet online.

The premiere is now sold out, but anyone wanting to see the film tonight can always attend the 8.30 screening.