Wednesday, August 5, 2009

thank you Ted White for Return of the Scorcher

Return of the Scorcher is one of the movies on a Ted White DVD, which also contains the more talked about, We Are Traffic. WAT is a great documentary about the Critical Mass movement and its creation in San Francisco in the early 1990’s. It gave me the inspiration to begin making flyers for the Hartford ride and try and get people to come out and enjoy the city. I love this movie. It certainly changed my life and helped grow the ride in Hartford.

My smoldering romance with Return of the Scorcher has suddenly erupted with fireworks! I watched a borrowed copy of the DVD for the longest time, which my friend Steve had bought to use at a CCBA event. At some point last year I finally returned the movie to him and haven’t seen it since. A few days ago I received my own copy from this link and have watched it a few times. I cannot get enough of Return of the Scorcher and all the amazing vingettes of bicycle culture from Guangzho (Canton), China back in 1991. Most of the citizens use bicycles and tricycles for commuting and business as well as dating. The whole part about riding women sidesaddle is wonderful! There’s also a scene in which George Bliss describes giant intersections with no traffic signals and bicycles competeing with cars, trucks, busses and motorcycles to cross lanes of traffic. He described the bikes leading the charge across the street as a critical mass; which gave the founders of CM the idea for the name!

There’s also quite a bit of footage from Amsterdam showing bicycles as daily transportation and showcasing all the infrastructure built to support a lifestyle on two wheels. The use of the bicycle in the Women's rights movement is also really interesting. Dang, the whole DVD is super interesting and super inspirational. I am not sure how many people have seen or heard of this movie, but I felt a need to thank Ted White for making it and encourage y’all to enjoy it.

And here is the rest of it.


Anonymous said...

Both films are (were) available online for free, too. Kust Google the titles.

Anonymous said...

Ahem, should be "Just Google the titles." (Sorry).

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The use of the bicycle in the Women's rights movement is also really interesting.
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chillwill said...

for the record...i was hoping to have a copy burned from the original, but never got it. many months later, it did feel really good to just buy a copy when i had some change jangling in my pocket and support the film maker.