The crowdfunded documentary Bikes vs Cars has been released nationwide, and is being screened at select theaters, as well as being available for streaming and download on Vimeo.
The film, which is essentially about cycling as a tool for positive change, as well as the conflict between the two named modes of transportation when it comes to urban planning, also comes with a companion app and data project, which aim to ease the aggregation of bike data in order to show the impact of where and when people are cycling and to serve as leverage when working to influence the adoption of bike-friendly elements to cities.
Originally funded on Kickstarter in 2013, and then premiering at SXSW, Bikes vs Cars has been screened for select audiences and at film festivals, and has received rave reviews from both film critics and cycling advocates for its role as an impassioned crie de coeur that “will have audiences reaching for their bikes instead of their car keys.”
“Bikes vs Cars depicts a global crisis that we all deep down know we need to talk about: climate, earth’s resources, cities where the entire surface is consumed by the car. An ever-growing, dirty, noisy traffic chaos. The bike is a great tool for change, but the powerful interests who gain from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business. In the film we meet activists and thinkers who are fighting for better cities, who refuse to stop riding despite the increasing number killed in traffic.”
To find out where you can watch the film in a theater, see the Bikes vs Cars website, or if you’d like to watch it at home or own it, head over to Vimeo, where it is available as a streaming rental ($4.99) or to purchase for both streaming and as a download ($9.99).
The Bikes vs Cars app, which is free and runs on both iOS and Android platforms, offers a way to add your cycling data to that of others, by tracking where, when, and how far your bike trips are. The app then converts the data from these trips into a metric that is fast becoming a standard for measuring environmental impacts, which is the amount of CO2 emissions that is reduced or avoided through certain activities.
“Our aim is to create impact through aggregated bike route data. More data gives us a communication tool to influence friends and those in power to make cities more bike-friendly.
It starts with the data.”
App users can track their own bike trips, but their contributed data will be shared anonymously with the Bike Data Project in order to aggregate the total distance cycled globally, as well as the amount of CO2 emissions or fossil fuels avoided per city. It is hoped that the app and the data project will serve as tools for change, and that the data collected by it can be used “as a basis for a larger, political discussion around traffic, oil and climate change,” as well as serve as input to city planners and policy makers, who can implement appropriate bike-friendly measures where they are most needed.