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Bicycle Film Festival, Interview series: Jen Nordhem, Denver

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The next stop for the bicycle film festival is another first time city, Denver. October 28th-31st, which also coincides with another great event for this Halloween weekend.

In my ongoing series in interviewing festival directors I spoke with Jen Nordhem who is a strong figure in the local Denver bicycle community. Here is our interview.
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-Name. Age, where you live (ride)

Jen “Hurricane” Nordhem, 25, Denver

-what bikes do you own?

Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel Road bike, Cannondale Capo brakeless.

-what will be your next bike purchase?

Ha! I’m so broke. I wish I could buy a cross bike, anyone want to sponsor me? I’m fast!

-what’s been your involvement in local bike culture? Hosting races? Blogging? Etc.

Oh, God. Here we go…
I was a courier in my hometown of Chicago, then moved here to Denver and worked as a courier until a year ago. My ex-boyfriend and I started CycleJerks.com which is now just up there on the internet, dead. We threw some pretty epic races, Gang Bang was the largest alley cat Denver’s ever seen. It was three events total: a short alleycat, a dusk til dawn scavenger hunt, and a brunch/awards/beermosa party. Tons of fun.

That was then. These days I blog at wellitsirrelevant.wordpress.com which is about everything I love, bikes, veganism, local events, art, a place to support my friends, etc.
I also blog for the local designer boutique thefabriclab.wordpress.com. I’m working on the Femalley Cat is my upcoming race during the BFF for the ladies, femalleycat.wordpress.com And last, but not least, I teach spin classes to metal and punk rock at www.breathedenver.com. new yoga and spin boutique downtown.

-what is the local scene like? Fixed gear?, messenger events, group rides? Critical mass? Bike polo?

Denver is this weird cycling vortex. We’ve never played polo, but bike soccer instead, until 6 months ago when the polo club Mallet Mafia started. Critical Mass is non existent but The Denver Cruisers ride every Wednesday reels in around a thousand people. A lot of people live car free, I only know a couple people with cars and they barely get used. With the mountains nearby there’s a lot of culture crossover, fixed gear kids also have road bikes or mountain bikes. Personally, I’ll ride my track bike in the city and then will jump into a kit and ride my road bike to the mountains.

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-what got you involved in the BFF?

The previous organizers couldn’t hang and resigned with three weeks until the event. So they called me.

-has the BFF been to Denver before?

This is BFF’s first year in Denver! A couple friends have organized Denver Film Cycle, a similar project, for the past few years and they always tried to get the BFF here, so it’s really exciting that we finally get to have this international festival in our city.

-what’s going to be going on for festival ? Street party, rides? Art show?, alleycat?

Thursday is Joyride, the BFF traveling art show. We’re making it our own with five local artists doing live painting: Scot Lefavor, Sam Turner, Chris Huth, Josh Wills, and Aron Dubois. Also, with bicycle art pieces from Sandra Fettingis, April Farnum and Adam Sikorski and music from DJ Soup. This will all go down from 7-11pm at Lisa Kowalski Gallery, 2762 Walnut.

Films are Friday and Saturday at Starz FilmCenter at the Tivoli, six programs in all. Purchase tickets in advance here.

On Saturday at 1pm I’m throwing an alleycat, The Femalley Cat. The main race is ladies only but the post race event, The Femalley Drag, is open to men under one condition, they dress in women’s clothing. Details at femalleycat.wordpress.com. After the films we’re all going back to Lisa Kowalski Gallery for raffle giveaways, a costume contest, and dancing to DJ Tyler Snow.

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Sunday we will be lurking in the park, playing Bike Soccer and Bike Polo at Civic Center Park at 1pm.

-who’s coming out?

E’rbody! When I was at Veloswap my friend handed a program to an older couple who responded, “We are already coming down from Aspen!” How cool is that?

-any local films or filmakers in this years festival?

Yup! Justin Godfrey directed and I filmed the short Trackstand Off for Cycle Jerks, also Fixie Dave is from Colorado.

-what do you hope people ride away with from the festival?

Inspiration. Inspiration to ride this winter, to try their first race, to never buy a car, to become an advocate.

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-good places for cyclists to hang out at?

Pablo’s Coffee for a group ride meet up at 6th and Washington. For the hipsters, Sputnik for Sunday mimosas at Broadway and Elsworth, or 3 Kings Tavern for 40oz’s down the street for the rockers. Watercourse for veggie eats (10% off if you ride!) at E 17th Ave and Emerson. The Shoppe for yummy treats at E Colfax and St. Paul. Breathe for metal and punk rock spin classes and yoga for cyclists, taught by cyclists, at 27th and Arapahoe.

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-how is the bike infrastructure? What needs the biggest improvements?

We have a couple bike only paths that are in great condition year round, no complaints there. Maybe bike lanes on some busier streets, but that’s the only improvement I can think of. There are even bike lanes that lead all the way to the foothills. Yeah, I guess we kind of have it made here.

-your future cycling goals?

I love competing, this spring I’m going to have my first racing season. That was the plan last year but then I went on 42 Ride. Actually, I raced my first crit this summer after riding 1000 miles to Illinois, 3rd place in a field of Cat 3′s. I was pretty psyched.

-anything you’d wished I’d asked you?

My dream boy is Jordan Hufnagel. There, I said it.

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