Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Red Light Go

Posted by @teeheehee on February 20th, 2008

Last night I watched the documentary “Red Light Go,” which highlights a few NYC bike messengers and Alleycat races.

Red Light Go

Netflix link

My riding habits haven’t guided me full-on into many of the different bike subcultures like SCUL or messengering, so I don’t know much about what goes on within them. Much of what I have learned I have picked up from discrete observation or small conversation. Every club has their own rules, their own lingo, styles and presence. To learn more you generally need to be ‘in’. So I enjoyed the peek into part of one of these cultures that I know little about.

What I found great was some filling-in of informational gaps I’ve had. Some may scoff, but I only heard about Allycat races about two weeks ago. Before watching this documentary I thought the cards tacked in to the wheel spokes I see from time to time were just stylistic flair, not racing badges. I’ll have a closer look next time I see one, as my curiosity has been piqued.

This wouldn’t be a film I’d sit down with a budding young mind, it has adult themes beyond the occasional scenes of street riding in auto and pedestrian traffic. It’s a documentary, so it’s a catalog of a small piece of life with a lot of the child-filters removed. Partying, drinking, plenty of drug references, even some glorification of fighting. Nothing the average R-rated film wouldn’t have. I’d recommend it to most people I know.

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