Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Help Celebrate Bike Week at the Athenaeum with Free Screenings of We Are Traffic! and Return of the Scorcher

The Westfield Athenaeum, in conjunction with the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail, will be screening two films on Wednesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Florence Rand Lang Auditorium on the lower level of the Athenaeum, as part of Westfield Bike Week (May 12 – 20, 2012) and  Bay State Bike Week (May 14 – 20, 2012). 

We Are Traffic! chronicles the history and development of the "Critical Mass" bicycle movement, one of the most spirited and dynamic social/political movements of the apathetic ‘90s. In over 200 cities in 14 different countries, Critical Mass has now become a monthly ritual of reclaiming the streets by bicycle activists riding en masse. With traffic congestion, pollution, and road rage on the rise, growing numbers around the world are advocating for transportation alternatives, and Critical Mass is at the cutting edge of this mindset. We Are Traffic! tracks this leaderless, grassroots movement from its beginnings in San Francisco in 1992 to its spread across the globe. With a radical direct-action approach the participants of Critical Mass are celebrating the bicycle and in turn taking on perhaps the century's most sacred cow: the automobile.

Return of the Scorcher is a half-hour documentary that looks at bike culture and bike lifestyles around the world with beautiful and inspiring scenes of bike use filmed in China, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the U.S. In the 1890s, before automobiles ruled the roads, bicyclists were referred to as "Scorchers" because of their blazing speed. A century later, in a world filled with car-related environmental and social problems, Return of the Scorcher discovers an inspired and evolving bicycling renaissance. This documentary touches on a surprising variety of subjects, including romance, rebellion, early feminism, and spirituality - all viewed within the context of bicycling. Return of the Scorcher questions our obsession with "progress" and status and presents a diverse cross-section of cycling visionaries who see the bicycle as a life-affirming vehicle for change. Featured interviewees include: Marcia Lowe, Michael Replogle, Iain Boal, Ellen Fletcher, George Bliss and others.  

The films will be shown starting at 6:30 p.m. The public is cordially invited to attend. The Lang Auditorium is handicapped-accessible. Free popcorn and refreshments will be provided.  Free valet bike parking will also be offered by the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.

For more information about the free film screenings, call the Westfield Athenaeum at 413-568-7833 or visit www.westath.org. For more information about Westfield Bike Week (May 12 – 20, 2012), including a complete listing of the Bike Week events happening in Westfield, visit

http://newhorizonsbikes.com/merchant/401/files/2012_Schedule.pdf or

Information about other events happening in the Bay State during Bike Week are available at this website: http://baystatebikeweek.org. Bay State Bike Week (May 14 – 20, 2012) is presented by MassBike in partnership with MassDOT.

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