Movie premiere "Riding Bikes with the Dutch"

Riding Bikes with the Dutch.American filmmaker Michael Bauch fell in love with the Dutch bicycling lifestyle. His movie Riding Bikes with the Dutch, created while he lived in Amsterdam for a while, premieres May 9 at the Bicycle Film Festival in Long Beach, California.

Riding Bikes with the Dutch compares the bicycling culture of Holland with the car-centered lifestyle in Southern California and provides a twist of optimism in the urban seaside location of Long Beach, California. Amsterdam streetscapes and bicycle parking structures; Los Angeles freeways and Long Beach bike paths serve as scenic backdrop for the filmmaker’s dream to create more livable communities here in the United States.

Bike riding was a favorite activity for Michael Bauch, a Long Beach resident and independent filmmaker, who noticed that many of his local errands involved short rides which were less than three miles. After installing a simple basket, Bauch’s bicycle was now equipped for runs to the grocery store, bank and post office, and cross-town meetings. Integrating the bike into his everyday life seemed effortless and often quicker than taking a car, fighting traffic congestion and finding a place to park.

"A bike is the ultimate multi-task tool. Get your local errands done, your exercise, and do your share for the environment all in one fell swoop. I didn't understand why my neighbors weren’t integrating them into their everyday lives," said Michael Bauch. "In the U.S., bicycles are perceived either as high-performance sports machines, toys for children, or a last resort. This cultural perception intrigued me as it was in direct contrast to the values shared by my family living in Europe who use bikes as daily transport—and one of my inspirations for this project."

Living in Amsterdam

Riding Bikes with the Dutch.An early short documentary entitled Amsterdam: the Bicycling Capital of Europe captivated him to further the endeavor. In the fall of 2007, Bauch together with his wife and 7-month old son exchanged their home in Long Beach, California for a canal-apartment near the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. The experience allowed the filmmaker to live and film on location in the picturesque bike-filled city.

Bauch: "The first time I stepped off the train in Amsterdam I was literally speechless. As soon as I set foot on the ground I was almost run over by a mob of bikes. I turned to look up and to my amazement there was a 3 level structure dedicated to just parking bicycles. Everyone from three years old to 93 seemed to be tooling around the city on two wheels. This was too much to take in with just my own eyes. I needed to share this with everyone I could and this is why I made my film: Riding Bikes with the Dutch."

Riding Bikes with the Dutch
May 9, 2010 at the Bicycle Film Festival, Long Beach, CA
Trailer of the film (YouTube)



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