It’s the Wheel Thing
In a world where you can get a bike with twenty-one gears, there is a sub-culture of minimalists who live to spin only one. Evolved—or devolved—from the daily grind of urban bike messengers who believed that the only purpose of cars on a road was to give them a slalom course, it has spread like spokes on a wheel and lives in Charlotte through the Noda Velo Club. Toss this borderline suicidal joie de vie in with a bike with no brakes and you have a group of people who will never be insurable.
But they are filmable and Mash, a movie about the San Francisco fixed-gear tribe, not to be confused with the work of Robert Altman or Alan Alda, will make its Charlotte premier this weekend at Dolce Vita in NoDa.
Along with its home base in San Francisco where it opened last summer, the independent film by Gabe Morford and Mike Martin has played New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Melbourne among other places you might find Carmen San Diego.
Martin says the title comes from a term that cycling coaches used when a rider was trying to push too big of a gear.
And while the following words from Martin run counter to my experience dodging some messengers in Manhattan, they portend for a kinder, gentler gear head.
“Be safe, wear a helmet, learn to control your bike [and] don’t live like you’re the only one using these streets.”
Geoff Nau of Noda Velo, which is sponsoring the premier, says that this could be the first in a series of cycling film presentations with another by the Seattle-based Cadence Clothing in the wings.
Saturday, February 23
3205 N. Davidson St. (NoDa)