"The Bicycle City"

About Rivas. (Seen in one of the groups I subscribe to, which I'm quoting.)

What happens when a poor town in an impoverished nation is flooded with tens of thousands of bicycles? That's the question filmmaker Greg Sucharew is attempting to answer in his documentary, "The Bicycle City".

Work on the film began in May 2009 and is currently in post-production, but the trailer is available below. The film follows Pedals for Progress , an organisation that collects used bikes and ships them to developing nations as economic aid. It tracks the life of a bike from the moment it's donated to the time it reaches its new owner. In the case of the documentary, that destination is Rivas, Nicaragua, a city which uses bikes as its primary mode of transportation.

"The inspiration for film came from my volunteering for Pedals for Progress throughout college and seeing how much the bicycle could change somebody's life," Greg told BikeRadar. "I had the opportunity to visit one of their programmes in Sierra Leone and was struck by how much more one could do in a day if they only had the mobility to get where they needed to go. "I chose Nicaragua for the film because that is where the idea for Pedals for Progress began, that is where they perfected what they do, and the city of Rivas now serves as an example to the world of an alternate path to development."

He expects the film will be finished early next year - funding permitting - and hopes to see it aired on US television. He also hopes to take the film round the US festival circuit, as well as an eventual DVD release. Check out the trailer below for a further look at the documentary.

What happens when a poor town in an impoverished nation is flooded with tens of thousands of bicycles? That's the question filmmaker Greg Sucharew is attempting to answer in his documentary, "The Bicycle City".

BikeRadar: Documentary raising interest in bikes as main form of transport.

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Sewing machines, too

"Pedals for Progress" used to operate in Honduras, too (maybe they still do, not sure). It is worth pointing out that they also deal with sewing machine donations, or at least they used to. I read somewhere recently that El Salvador is the biggest destination country for both products; I think the number used was simply huge, like 27000 bikes or something like that. It looks like an interesting film project. Surprisingly, the video clip mentions 25000 for Rivas - though that number is much bigger than than that used for all of Nicaragua for the last 20 years, as listed in other stories so the NGO data looks dated in some other places.