Portland gets increasingly happening for bicycle nuts—and that’s what Greg Fredette and Jason Turner focus on in their new feature-length documentary, Veer. While cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago display what could be described as “bicycle culture,” Portland trumps them all with its inspired and artistic individuality.
Veer is a character-based film, focusing on five individuals from the new school of Portland’s bike culture. They are each part of a larger group or movement and don’t have immediate ties to each other. The characters are followed throughout the year of 2007 and their activities are put under a lens and evaluated.For those seeking gratuity, there is extensive coverage of Zoobomb and Minibike Winter, where adults ride adapted child-size minibikes turned mutant bikes down the steepest slope in the city and participate in flaming rides and chariot wars in full battle regalia.
It’s moving and powerful and while it left me a little overloaded, I felt proud to be part of such an active and engaged community that is challenging the status quo—whether through simple lifestyle activism, direct action protests, or those who can bear to suffer through the branches of state government and electoral politics. Like the small audiences that actually saw Joy Division perform live, the effects will be felt hard for a long time to come. And hey, there was plenty of product placement for Microcosm stuff!