You Never Bike Alone is a great 82 minute documentary directed by Robert Alstead that looks at the history of bike activism in Vancouver from the 90s forward and reveals an overlooked history. Alstead accesses a ton of footage taken over the years at various bike-ins, protests and critical masses in Vancouver. The film shows how a sustained movement to get more street space for bikes, with itinerant ups and downs, has had an effect in a city very much at the heels of the autosaurus.
Funky bikes, nude rides, and critical masses abound and these events also have their share of the twin critical mass attributes: celebration and road rage. Vancouver has its share of rednecks and most of them drive – so it isn’t surprising watching scenes of irate drivers yelling at cyclists who are slowing them down, and even plowing into their bikes with their bumpers. The cops of course protect the cars and their drivers and ticket the cyclists (one scene has ubiquitous activist Jaggi Singh being thrown in the paddy wagon as he demands to know “what kind of mischief” he’s being charged for). That was soooo 90s though – these days the critical masses are huge events that the Vancouver police put up with and even, on some occasions, assist. This doc could have benefited from some expensive polishing up in post-production, but indy is as indy does! It does however inform and entertain. And it’s got a killer soundtrack.