The Waltz of the Bikes

The Waltz of the Bikes is already making the rounds in the bike blogosphere, but I feel compelled to post it here.  The video is mesmerizing and literally put a smile on my face. Although I have seen countless pictures on Amsterdamize, watching video of cyclists in Amsterdam is powerful.

The Waltz of the Bikes from mike rubbo on Vimeo.

This video also made me a bit sad. It drives home how far Chicago is from the ideal – and Chicago is one of the most evolved cycling cities in North America.  I so rarely see anyone in normal work clothes riding about casually.  While I get a kick out of people thinking I am a superwoman for riding my bike all the time, I wish doing so were not such an oddity.

For details and background on the video, visit the maker (along with Violeta Brana Lafourcade) Mike Rubbo’s blog, Situp Cycle. Mike writes from Australia, which also has a long way to go. While there, check out the excellent video interviews with Mikael of Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Update: also check out Amsterdamize’s Sinfonia Cyclissimo and his Vimeo channel.

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9 thoughts on “The Waltz of the Bikes

  1. G.E. says:

    That was SO much fun to see! Thank you. I was thinking the other day “how in the world could I bicycle and carry art around with me?” After seeing some of those people with their guitar cases, I suppose it’s just a matter of what you’re willing to carry. :) I also love that you see people of all ages, in different clothing from casual to work attire, and people of various sizes. Bicycle is just part of life, it seems. I suppose the semi-down side of that is all of the traffic from people on bicycles (though I have to admit, I enjoy seeing all of them riding along). It looked like there were a few close calls with some people, but they seem to work it out and not collide. I’m truly impressed!

  2. Anne Hawley says:

    I’ve upped my fashion game a little bit since becoming a LGRAB reader, and I have to tell you: people–particularly other cyclists–react to me in a way that doesn’t fall much short of pointing and gaping.

    It’s more positive than that: I get a lot of smiles and waves, something that NEVER happened when I was in safety yellow and a hornet helmet, but it astounds me that a work-dressed commuter cyclist in PORTLAND FREAKIN’ OREGON is enough of an anomaly to draw attention!

    And that video is absolutely awesome. I’ve been humming that Strauss waltz for two days.

  3. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

    Have you noticed that whenever a bicyclist shows up in a movie (especially a group of bicyclists in lycra though) you can bet that they are about to be knocked over like dominoes or flipped up into the air – like that would be funny, right?

    I’d love to see these kinds of images be the standard instead.

  4. Amsterdamize says:

    Obviously I hadn’t read this post before commenting on your guitar adventure post ;). PS, you do know that I have posted many video’s too, right? Here’s one of my favorites that resembles Mike’s video quite a bit, only main difference being that mine was shot in winter ’08.

  5. Dottie says:

    @Amsterdamize – Yes, thank you for the reminder about your cycling symphony video. Beautiful. By my statement above, I meant that no matter how many times I see pictures of Amsterdam cyclists (and read about them), I’m always amazed by the cycling culture there.

  6. Christa says:

    @Anne Hawley – Playing the fashion card helps.

    When I feel like I’ll be in a vulnerable situation (surrounded by traffic with no bike lanes), I wear a white dress.

    It’s akin to the white vs. black car risk factor. White cars are more easily seen and reduce the risk of collision. Same for cycling.

  7. Ann says:

    In North America, bicycle manufacturers pushed the “sporty” bike image to sell more expensive bicycles, starting several decades ago. Although it expanded their market for a time, it may be about to come back and bite them where it hurts.

    Pushing the “sports” image of cycling to the exclusion of the image of the bicycle for what it is, a means of transportation, has led to a male-dominated, cyclist culture of aggressive, fast street cycling as well a dangerous “us” vs. “them” mentality that views all motor vehicles and pedestrians as enemies. It’s not uncommon to see videos posted in bike forums where the videographer/cyclist is proud of failing to stop at stop signs or traffic lights.

    This blatant disregard of traffic laws is swelling the chorus of cycling critics and leading to calls for tougher regulation of cyclists, as evidenced by the proposal for bicycle registration and insurance in Philadelphia. If this trend continues, I’m afraid of it’s negative impact on regular people who do use a bicycle as a transportation tool, not a status symbol of their wealth or athletic prowess. Overall, the bicycle industry in North America may well rue the day they chose marketing campaigns pushing expensive “sports” cycles and the Tour de France mentality if it leads to strict regulation of bicycles that drives down bicycle ownership.

  8. oiii eu camila seu gasto um vc amigas de casa quero que ou pais eu nao vc que tem bom heijoss de tem um bicicieta

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