Saturday 26 December 2009

Mike Rubbo's Film

The renowned Australian film director, Mike Rubbo, recently made a film about cycling in the Netherlands which features me. It's rather unusual to be the subject of a film in this way, and I've resisted putting it on my own blog, not because I don't like the film, but because it seems a bit conceited for me to do so. However, Mike kept asking me to put it up, and here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

In the film I make reference to a Dutch study relating cost savings by employers to commuter cycling. There are quite a lot of shots of one of the cycle paths by a canal here in Assen, and then some of streets in Amsterdam.

Also, the film includes clips of a film showing cycling in the Netherlands in the 1950s and refers to reliable everyday bikes, the important features of which I covered a few months back.

What I'm riding at the start of the film is a Sinner Mango Velomobile. This is not only is very fast indeed, but also comfortable, and it has the fully enclosed chain, reliable brakes and puncture resistant tyres essential to make for reliable everyday transport. Oh, and we could have adjusted it to fit Violeta properly...

Mike's own blog can be found at It includes many other videos which he's made, including interviews with other people such as Mikael from the Copenhagenize blog, a cycling doctor in Australia and Sue Abbott who has achieved some fame due to fighting the helmet laws in Australia.

Mike Rubbo also has been busy making bicycle art. Kindly he sent us an example which you can see here. Please visit Mike's website for more information. The video was shot for Mike by Violeta Brana-Lafourcade.

Two years after this video was shot, the cycle-path along the canal was resurfaced and improved.


Matt said...

You don't come across conceited at all. Not in it, and not for putting it up.

It's a nice film, and you smile a lot. And it's got bikes...

My time in Melbourne for 10 weeks as a pedestrian in 2008 (I went there for work, and I quit my job to escape) was a time I remember of terrible traffic and crowded trains. An urban situation that only bikes could redeem.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i loved it as well. I dont understand why you didnt put it up before, you do al your other movies with you as the "star" camera man.

Unknown said...

A very nice film indeed David. No need to be shy about it at all. (Although I fully understand that!) Of course your enthusiasm is always present in every piece you write, but to actually see you all smiles and twinkling eyes is very inspiring.

It's just a pity Mike didn't know that saying Assen is in Holland is a bit like saying Edinburgh is in England. But we'll forgive him that little mistake ;-)

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you in front of the camera

and I particularly like the bit where you say 'people cycle because it is nice'


Anonymous said...

Nice film, David. I too love the twinkly eyes (you look like a man who has found Nirvana :-)

One thing, though... We Dutch don't cycle because cycling is nice, we cycle because it is safe, convenient and above all CHEAP!!

If we had to go through all kinds of rigmarole to get on a bike, or had to detour twenty miles to get to the shops, we wouldn't cycle as much. If we had felt unsafe on our roads, we wouldn't cycle as much. And if we had to PAY for the privilige of cycling, we wouldn't cycle at ALL.

It's the principle of the 'statiegeld' bottle all over again. If you appeal to people's 'better nature' to recycle beer bottles, the streets will be littered with glass, but tell them they will recieve a small amount of money and hey presto, everybody will carry their beer bottles to the bottlebank. Once you have their pursestrings you have their minds.

If you want people to cycle more and drive less, make cycling easier, safer and cheaper than driving a car and people will cycle.

That cycling is also nice is, of course, a bonus...


David Hembrow said...

Marion, I think you give the low cost of cycling far too much credit. It's equally inexpensive to cycle in any country. However, in the absence of the conditions which make cycling safe, convenient and simply "nice", most people never cycle. The economic imperative isn't enough when it feels like death is nearby. Subjective safety is perhaps the most important thing.

marcel beekmans said...

nice story

greeting quet131 from amsterdam


David J said...

I'm glad you posted it, I may never have seen any of the film otherwise.
Not a hint of conceipt in that video.

I like the comments about having a nice time. Although I have to travel on busy roads to get to work I much prefer to just amble along and quite agree with your comments about choice of bike. I've managed to accumulate a few bikes now since my needs are variable and there's nothing like having the right bike for the job. Fortunately or unfortunately people here in Australia seem to sacrifice quality for price and throw out well made 30 year old bikes for a new KMart special when they discover the tyres have perrished. Fortnately for me I sometime find a real gem at the Tip.
Love the blog, thanks for posting.