Fixie film scaring the cycling community

I like to ride. Fixed gear, no brakes. Can’t stop. Don’t want to.

They’re not my words, they’re the words of Wilee from Premium Rush.

Premium Rush sounds like a new energy drink with twice the caffeine and a hectic dose of sugar but it is in fact the name of a new movie due for release next year with a fixie riding New York messenger as the protagonist. Though not due for release for another 3 months the movie has already got some areas of the cycling community in a flap.

Premium Rush has been billed by some bozo as Top Gun on bikes. So if you weren’t born when Top Gun was made then go ask your grandpa for a copy and get suitably excited. I’m all breathless just at the thought, imagining bikes instead of planes rushing around New York shooting down commi bastards with Goose navigating from his perch on the pack rack…or something like that. Or maybe the Top Gun reference was a poor choice… Anyway, in a movie like this you could expect something loosely described as a plot thinly disguised as a vehicle for tonnes of action. There’ll be a few gags and a romantic interest thrown in. Contemplating this movie, I reckon I’d be disappointed if the movie stuck too closely to the limits of the possible, of physics or the ability of the human body to sustain and recover from serious injury. Think Die Hard. If Bruce couldn’t take a beating and run through broken glass on bare feet with only a requisite amount of wincing then it wouldn’t be half the movie is.

So far, the trailer seems to indicate that this film wont disappoint in this regard:

I dunno but I reckon in those two and a half minutes that guy in the red shirt got run over at least twice and yet I somehow doubt the plot lines of this film waits around 6 months for the lead man to recover. I reckon we’re going to suspend belief if we want to enjoy this movie. As someone who enjoyed lead man Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s last film Inception (no…loved) but doesn’t actually believe we can enter into someone else’ dream, I reckon I can go into Premium Rush with a suitable frame of mind.

And yet, some areas of the cycling world are already worried about this movie setting a bad example. You know, in the same way Mission Impossible II made you want to have a mid-air joust from the seat of a Triumph Triple. Or Matrix made you want to break out of this reality. Or Mary Poppins inspired a generation to float around on umbrellas. So too will Premium Rush influence your impressionable little minds to want to ride like a demon through traffic. With no brakes!

The horror. Imagine riding with no brakes! In…traffic…

I had thought that reality and fiction could live separate and co-existent lives but obviously I’m mistaken, because the fictional Wilee is already in trouble for inspiring a new wave of reckless youths…and the film hasn’t even be released yet! Imagine when the film comes out. It’ll be carnage on our  streets. Well I for one wont let that happen.

I’m making an appeal right now for more conservative, plump, middle-aged cyclists in Day Glo colours riding slowly up and down the bike paths setting A Good Example. Let that be the inspiration the next generation of cyclists need. And then, if there are any youth left who still care for cycling, they’ll at least be riding sedately (and stifling the occasional yawn) as they rumble slowly from their volunteer job helping old folk clean up their little spills down to the park to play Frisbee, from whence they’ll leave early so as to be home in time to help mummy with dinner.

If it’s for the good to cycling I guess I’ll have to fall into line. Growing a gut at my age isn’t a problem, a momentary lapse of vigilance and it’ll pop right out.  Problem is, while I can’t do trials-like hops and spins off buildings, or bunny hop gates, still within my limited repertoire of spinning pedals and steering a bike I do kinda still get a kick out of the dangers of riding. I like riding in city traffic. But I suppose I can give that up if the world really needs me to set A Good Example.

Of course, that makes we wonder who will be left to deliver the inflammatory documents. (I’m assuming that whatever is in Wilee’s bag is going to incriminate some ruthless bad dude.) What secrets could be hidden without daring messengers with their no brakes mentality? Could the future of democracy depend on fixed gear messengers? Could the opponents of stupid action movies actually just be idiots who can’t do the reality bypass thing that makes movies so enjoyable?

Who knows. Maybe I’ll get me one of those boxing robots and punch those idiots on the noggin.

Over there. Go punch him on the noggin.

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