For a war-torn, impoverished city in Nicaragua, the words “pedal power” have taken on a dramatic new meaning. In director Greg Sucharew‘s independent documentary The Bicycle City, we meet a handful of individuals from the city of Rivas — a small coastal town in the second poorest country in Latin America — where an influx of over 20,000 donated bicycles has dramatically impacted the development and future of its people. For the past twenty-one years, Dave Schweidenback, founder and CEO of the New Jersey-based non-profit Pedals for Progress (P4P), has passionately overseen his organization’s acquisition of over 130,000 donated bicycles with the intention of getting them into the hands of some of the poorest communities in the world. As you can imagine, the shapes, colors, sizes, styles, and characteristics of these beloved cycles are as varied as the people who eventually own them. What happens once they arrive to this particular destination is the basis for Sucharew’s film, which highlights how Rivas is lifting itself out of poverty with the help of P4P’s donation program. We proudly lent our financial support to The Bicycle City‘s recent IndieGoGo campaign, and we simply cannot wait to see the final product. The film is currently in post-production and plans to undergo a second round of fundraising — a visit to their site will bring you to a “Donate” page where you can pledge your support with your dollars OR via the Pedals for Progress bicycle donation program. Either way, you’re guaranteed to make an impact on one or both of these stellar projects!
We hope you’ll take some time to visit The Bicycle City at TheBicycleCityFilm.com as well as Pedals for Progress at P4P.org. We’d like to extend a special thanks to our dear friend, Lowell resident, and fellow bicycle fanatic Marianne Gries, who first introduced us to The Bicycle City via an enthusiastic Tweet many, many months ago. We truly love hearing about any and all film projects, so please pass your discoveries along to us so we can stay informed on the great film that’s out there.
The Bicycle City. Trailer from Greg Sucharew on Vimeo.