Orange County, California may have the undeserved reputation, or stereotype of being too staid, too rich, or too conservative, but TRUTH be told it’s a very diverse, happening place that has always been a cycling capital.
Now the non-profit Orange County Bicycle Coalition, established in 1991 as one of the oldest groups of cycling advocates in the West, is launching their “2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL.” As a follow-up to their first 500-seat “Sold Out” screening, which brought “Chasing Legends” to the OC, during Le Tour in 2010, the OCBFF will remind OC cyclists of their history. This is the land of GT and FELT bicycles, which designed and engineered some of the world’s most aerodynamic racing bikes, for Gold medalists and World Champions. OC has lots of dirt, jumps and trails, “Sheep Hills is BMX,” so are S&M and fit bikes, half the county is parks, and a National Forest. Orange County hosts an “Over the Hump,” MTBike racing series, with up to 600 racers for 12-weeks thru the summer! Ain’t the place for yo Mama’s Schwinn factory (it’s not Chicago)!
Clothing and accessory makers are here, plus, Shimano’s US and OAKLEY’s intergalactic HQ are in our backyard, …PENDING NEWS … 2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL’s Industry and VIP preview, on February T.B.D.!
You think that the OC may be short a few bicycle messengers, fixies and hipsters? But we’ve got City Grounds, Livery Design, and 15 more 1-speed, fixie retailers plus sometimes more than 400 riders for the Fullerton / OC Critical Mass Friday rides. We’re Recycling Jerseys, Simple Green’s manufacturing biodegradable bike cleansers here and thousands of people riding up and over hills half the US can’t imagine!
In short, it’s not all Benz, BMW, or old Buicks here, we’ve got Bike Culture. The first medals of the 1984 Olympics were awarded to cyclists in Orange Co., in front of 250,000 fans, not in LA, but in “the OC.” The 2nd OC BIKE FILM FESTIVAL will be offering over 60 films, many foreign and domestic features, at 23 screenings, at 6+ theaters between Wednesday, February 20th and the Newport Beach Lido theater “Best of Festival” films and awards, on March 11, 2013.
In addition to our competiton winner for “Bicycle Shorts” submissions, awards will include the “Audience Choice,” “Best Commercial Short,” “Best Documentary,” a “Jury Award,” and from films that have appeared, at, at least four other festivals, the “Official Selection.”
Panel discussions and Q&A will include the producers “CRUZIN” which tells the story of a band of buddies, from casual recreational riders to former Tour, and World team pro racers, who gather together to take a 1,000-mile tour of Vietnam, in 12 days. Guys like your club buddies, on an incredible journey where Americans were in the 60’s and 70’s and many OC residents have escaped, or immigrated from. “Riding Bikes with the Dutch,” producer will talk more about his family’s experience commuting by bike in Amsterdam, and now back home in Long Beach.
Special guests will include 91-year-old Dale Plueger, Laguna Beach apartment owner, who was a 6-Day Bike Racer, and still has an incredibly sharp mind, great memory, and a couple classic bikes and jerseys. Wait til you see some of his scrapbook items, these and other memorabilia will be reproduced for each day’s screenings. A series of films will trace back the history of bicycles, through the last century, with features, documentaries, and shorts, from around the world, from most decades from 1900 to 2000, the timeline culminating with a look at “Where’s (pro road) Cycling Going?” featuring pro racers, team owner directors, and hopefully the most influential race owner/director in America, Michael Aisner whose “Coors International Bicycle Classic” inspired riders like Greg LeMond, nearly every great American champion, and the visions of the AMGEN Tour of California (yet to visit Orange Co.!?). This show on Sunday, February 24th will include discussions of Performance Enhancing Drugs, suspensions, and scandals (as far back as ’67 and ’98) which led to the last few years’ “Clean Teams,” biological passports, and cycling’s stricter drug testing programs which are now the most frequently administered in any pro sport.
You expect the OC has millionaires and billionaires but you may not know there are bicyclists living under bridges beside the 25 mile long Class 1, Santa Ana River Trail! University Presidents and students, immigrant laborers, and company owners, elementary school kids riding safe routes to schools, and 80-90 year-old retirees, all ride bicycles in Orange County. From “Little Saigon,” to La Habra Heights, from the “Mountains to the Sea,” (w/Newport Beach’s “Back Bay” another popular Class 1 trail here), Orange County is anything but stereotypical. However, according to the League of American Bicyclists, it is America’s first “Bicycle Friendly County.”
OCBC will continue to use proceeds from their film screenings to work for recreation and transportation alternatives here, to be an advocate for cyclists rights, and responsibilities on roads and trails (reducing fatalities!), for safety education and supplies (like lights for the poor, and for school children), and to make the OC known as one of the best cycling tour, travel, race or recreational destinations in the USA.
By The Orange County Bicycle Coalition’s, OCBike.org