“Can’t stop; don’t want to.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush (NYT, Columbia Pictures)

Happy Labor Day!

Seeing as its my first post go-around, I thought I might begin with a lighter fluff piece.

The cinema lured me out with “Premium Rush”, the tale of a no-holds bar NYC bicycle messenger named Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who receives a package that sets him out on a perilous ride. Wilee is meant to represent the most stereotypical of fixed-gear riders; “Brakes are death. Pedestrians can get you killed. Taxis are a menace. Can’t stop; don’t want to.” make up his credo. His persona makes up the typically likable bad-boy protagonist.

Most of the way through the film, my mind went into PR worry mode. Bad biking image – bad biking image – bad biking image. The stylized recklessness with which Wilee and his fellow bike messengers take to the streets is both fascinating and unnerving, but really makes up the great bulk of action for the film. There’s an even a scene where a tiff between fixie vs. geared mentalities becomes a plot point and is only settled by an alley-cat race. It is all fast, dangerous and as a quick Google search can confirm, much akin to how these messengers make their frightening day-to-day pay.

My unease sat with me until I came to a crucial realization:

This is fixed-gear “Fast & Furious”.

Though those sort of films have their detractors, they are enjoyed by large groups of people – people who are not oft to join in on illegal street racing any time soon. Thus, I began to enjoy the film again, and found it easy to do so. “Rush” comes across quirky and cartoonish at times, but ends up a great summer action flick with some rather fun characters. Michael Shannon’s villainous cop is a great plus.

So, I would readily recommend this film, with the caveat that I’m not witness to any like antics going down Hickory anytime soon.

In other news, it looks like the City got some nice fresh paint over the existing lines of N. Carroll, and without needing $30k in consulting to boot. Now if only they had made a quick left at Oak and added some right-hand lanes while they were out there…

I’ll be keeping an eye out on the Traffic Safety Commission and Council’s plans on implementing the Denton Pedestrian and Bike Plan. Till then, I’d just like to say it’s great to be on board.

– CW

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4 thoughts on ““Can’t stop; don’t want to.”

  1. Karl Gossot says:

    The fixed gear trend has been great as a way to popularize biking in the last few years, especially in urban areas, but the style of riding often associated with it is not my personal cup o’ tea, nor do I think it’s a very good model for cyclists in general, but it is out there. With that said, we cyclists come in all shapes and forms, and so do our bikes, so the fixie folks are part of the family. Fixed gear is fun, but I think the only riders who should ride brakeless should be the racers at a velodrome!

  2. Jennifer Lane says:

    Loved this movie. Seemed kind of a remake of that 80’s one about the Wall Street guy who drops out and becomes a bike messenger. Can’t remember the name…..

  3. Ian says:

    Great first post… Jennifer, the movie you are thinking of is the Kevin Bacon epic Quicksilver. I was wondering if there is a plan to organize and list social rides in Denton. I’m an overgrown fixie kid who gets bored of the road rides with older folks that I do on the weekends.

  4. hitechobo says:

    Although I’ve not bought or built a fixie to add to my stable of bikes, I like this video of the Mash SF guys visiting Lance in Austin. I did feel a certain affinity with Messengers when I loaded my City Bike into my Grumman Yankee and flew to San Francisco and explored the city by bike and mingled with them on Market St. I’d load my bike on the CalTran train in Bel-Mateo and commute into the city. Explored Lombard St., Coit Towers, the embarcaderos, persideo and across the Golden Gate to Sausalito, in my two trips there, to visit friends. SF is a fantastic cycling freindly city but only supermen can ride beyond the business center on a fixie.

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