Monday, February 16, 2009
Rapha Rides The Tour of California from RAPHA on Vimeo.
OK, I'm really torn on this. On one hand, the shorts are really well made and you feel good watching them. All of the guys seem pretty cool. They're getting to go on week or so of good bike rides. who can argue with that?
Of course this thing has a few cons, too. As I watched the first episode (sorry-"stage") there was a question that kept rolling around in my head: "Is this really worth filming and broadcasting all over as if it's something special?" Seriously - It's a bunch of guys riding bikes. It's kind of what we as bike riders do. People do this every day without making a big deal about it. In fact, it's what young, poor cyclists do on their vacations every year. You know, when you have a job that's good enough to give you vacation time but not good enough to save enough money to go anywhere. You just stay home and ride every day (or in my case, mooch off of my parents in their warm climate). It's just what you do.
There seems to be a culture of "it-doesn't-count-if-no-one's-watching" in fixed gear freestyle. This is pretty evident in the amount of bad videos up on the web of guys riding around on tennis courts. We really don't need this in road. Everyone who has done an epic ride in the mountains knows you don't need a film student to help romanticize it. In fact, what is great about it is that it can be such a personal moment. The road is where you go to forget the bullshit of everyday life. That's kind of hard to when there's a camera in your face.
These films can have a positive impact. It can inspire new riders to try epic rides of their own. I just hope that they can do it without it showing up on Vimeo two days later.