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I was surprised to find out that there was a documentary about fixed-gear bike riding. That’s the kind of biking where you have only the one gear, and you brake by pedaling backwards. Is there really enough information about this kind of activity to warrant a full-length feature documentary?
Well, it turns out no. As Fixation, out on DVD July 24th from First Run Features, runs only about 40 minutes. We meet riders in San Francisco who like that city because of the difficulty of the hills and the bike-friendly motorists. Then we meet others from Los Angeles, who like that city because of the great distances they can cover in a single day. There are also interviews with Olympic racers, bike polo players, and bike messengers. They all like the fixed gear bikes. Okay.
Not being a big time biker myself, I had a passing interest at best in this stuff, which meant that the 40 minute or so run time was perfect. I actually really enjoyed the snapshot of the culture, which I think is probably more suited to those unfamiliar with fixed-gear riding, as those in the scene already would know all about it. Fixation is interesting, it’s short, and it’s worth a look.
Also – there is a sort-of vague Ottawa connection, the same way we claim Matthew Perry and Tom Cruise because of their brief residence here – the director of Fixation, Alex Trudeau Viriato, was born and raised in Ottawa before moving to California. So, there’s that, also.