My name is Joe Stakun. I am 23 and live in Philadelphia.
What bikes do you own?
I ride a brown FBM Howler.
For my commuter bike I ride my dadâ€™s 1982 Lotus Touring bike.
What will be your next bike purchase?
When it comes to BMX stuff Iâ€™d like to get an FBM Exodus. Iâ€™d also eventually like to get an FBM Sword frame and run a cassette on it.
What got you into biking?
When I was 5 or 6 I had a tree ride in my yard with a great transition. I didnâ€™t know what freestyle was then but I started riding at it really fast and seeing how far up I could get. Iâ€™d always land on my back but it was pretty fun. I didnâ€™t actually fully get into riding freestyle till I was about 14 unfortunately.
What lead to your making the Documentary “I love my Bicycle.”
Iâ€™ve been really into making music videos and documentaries as a filmmaker. I always wanted to make something awesome for bmx that people outside of the culture could appreciate and relate too. I met Steve Crandal randomly at Camp Woodward one winter weekend and we got to talking about video stuff. He mentioned that someone had said itâ€™d be cool if someone made a documentary on FBM. And I instantly said, â€œIâ€™ll do it.â€ That was about 2 and a half years ago.
What did you learn along the way about FBM that surprised you the most in making the film?
I learned everything about FBM. I had seen all of their videos growing up as a kid but outside of that it was all new to me. Every time I met up to shoot or visit I was learning more about their history and all the aspects of what they do. I think a lot of people make assumptions about FBM based on their videos and hopefully after seeing the documentary theyâ€™ll get a glimpse of where they are and how they got there.
What did you learn about bicycles from making a bicycle movie? Anything learned about shooting BMX?
I learned quite a bit about how the industry works. The film has interviews with many of the influential BMX company owners from all over the US. So I got an idea on how not just FBM, but companies like Terrible One, S&M, Fit, Hoffman, Mirra Co, and United operate. I have a lot of respect for anybody who works in BMX.
What are you goals for the film?
My biggest goal would be that it could be a film that kids who ride bikes can take pride in and something that anyone outside of the culture can really respect and relate to.
How did you get involved with the BFF Philly? Have they had a festival before?
This is the first year the Bicycle Film Festival will be in Philadelphia June 26th and 27th. My film was accepted into many of the BFF cities. I called BFF up one day to see if they were doing Philadelphia this year. Turns out they were and needed help getting stuff together so I offered to help.
Whats planned for the festival?
The first night will be an opening reception at 6pm at Moore College of Art and design. It will also be the Opening of Ryan Humphreyâ€™s piece â€œFast Forward.â€ Which is a sight to see. â€œFast Forwardâ€ involves ramps that are set up in the gallery, and during the reception dudes will be riding them.
Following the Reception is the Philadelphia Premier of I Love My Bicycle starting at 8pm.
June 27th there will be films starting at 2 along a street party 2-6 with Music, bunny hop contest, mixed class foot down, and Pedal Coop is holding a hauling contest. Awesome Dudes Printing and Brutaltron will be holding an alley Cat of sorts.
After parties both nights.
Who is expected to show up?
Hopefully a bunch of awesome people. The event is being sponsored by 2×4 Bike shop, Awesome Dudes Printing, and Pedal Co-op. I know Ryan Humphrey will be there, 80â€™s BMX legend Dizz Hicks, and some local Philly Pros will be there.
What is the biking scene like in Philly? the BMX scene?
Thereâ€™s a pretty big bike scene in Philadelphia. The city is really just the easiest city to get around on a bike. Thereâ€™s really no reason to drive a car to work in Philadelphia. BMX in Philadelphia is pretty great. Great Street Riding and FDR park. There are a lot of amazing bike riders from the area.
Do you think the BFF will inspire more people to ride bikes?
I hope so.
How is Philadelphia as a city for biking? What most needs to improve?
Again thereâ€™s no reason for folks to drive to work in that city. Itâ€™s real easy to ride through. Just have to keep your eye out for Taxiâ€™s and never expect anyone to ever use their blinkers.
What do you think of the rise in freestyle fixed gear riding? Does it contrast or compliment BMX? Will it last?
Iâ€™m not to sure what it says about BMX. Iâ€™m not really in that scene. I suppose itâ€™s true that there are different bikes for different styles of riding. At the same time, it is what you make it. I do know doing tricks on bikes is fun. And if thatâ€™s the bike you ride then have fun with it.
What are your future film making goals?
Iâ€™d love to just make work that people really enjoy. I have some new ideas for future films, music videos, and video art installations that I am excited to start on. As for now though Iâ€™m fully focused on looking for a distributor or going solo in packaging and distributing I Love My Bicycle out there and available before the end of the year.
What are your future cycling goals?
Iâ€™d like to put out a video part in the next year or so when it comes to freestyle. I also wouldnâ€™t mind embarking on a long distance cycle ride.
Anything you wished I’d asked you?
Iâ€™d just like to say thanks to everyone who is pumped on my new film. Iâ€™m super grateful that not only the BMX community but also the biking community in general has been getting behind the film and are excited about it. Thanks to everyone who was involved and contributed to make the film what it is.
Thanks a lot Joe. Should be a great time in the city of Brotherly Love.
I also came across this article in the local Philly, “City Paper” form a few weeks back. I thought it was a good insight into the local bicycle goings on and its got a picture of naked people on bikes.
How to make Philly a cyclist’s paradise.
by Isaiah Thompson
(image by: Neal Santos
Cyclists: Alex Schuetz and Christina Carbone)
Yeah, we know. You â€” that is, some of you out there â€”hate bikes. More specifically, you hate bikers. All of them. You don’t discriminate.
We know, because you announce it, over and over, like a vendor hawking fruit from a truck. It happens pretty much any time any of us at City Paper write something about bicycles. The comments are always the same: “Bikers have no respect,” “bikers break the law,” “bikers deserve to suffer bloody, horrible deaths at the front end of my car, which I love.”
So let’s get this over with, bike-hater. Are some bicyclists assholes? Absolutely. Some are nice little old ladies, too; some are businesspeople, some are blue-collar workers, and some are hot chicks/dudes whom you may not want to curse out just yet.
We could spend the next few thousand words arguing about the voluminous ways that you, driver, hate bikes.
The thing is, that conversation is old. And boring. And, increasingly, irrelevant.
Because right now, more Philadelphians are biking than at any time in recent memory, possibly ever. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the number of riders here has doubled in just three years. You can gripe, but biking is here to stay.
Also J. David Goodman of the NY Times wrote this article on how the race got started and why its got the nickname, “the skinscraper.”
A Harlem Tradition: Risking Scraped Skin for Cycling Glory
(photo by: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times)
Josiah Strawn, a 5-year-old, his race number still pinned to his shirt, leaned against one of the barricades that encircled Marcus Garvey Park as a pack of fast-moving racers hummed by.
â€œHe rode the race,â€ his father, Ray Strawn, said, beaming. â€œFirst time without training wheels! He fell down once, but he got back up and finished it.â€
Josiah was one of the hundreds of local and international racers of all ages and abilities who descended on the three-quarter-mile circuit around Marcus Garvey Park on Fatherâ€™s Day for the Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic, the cityâ€™s oldest continually held bicycle race.
This weekend there was a ton of stuff going on.
Thursday was a private party for the Bicycle Film Festival at the beautiful Angel Oransanz Gallery in the Lower East Side. The festival director Brendt Barbur and his staff had a nice reception for friends of the festival. Hosted by their new sponsor who seems to be down with bikes: 42 Below Vodka.
Wait, Vodka sponsor, bikes and Brendt’s got a busted arm? Remember kids, if your going to drink, bike responsibly.
She gave a short speech praising the festival and promoting the hard work of the DOT, bring more bike infrastructure to NYC.
It was a nice coming together of the bicycle community from all flavors. Transportation Alternatives provided valet parking.
In attendance were many of the film makers from this year’s festival including:
Brian Schoenfelder, who made the documentary “Third Wheel” about the struggle for pedicabs in NYC.
Peter Meitzler, (on the left) who owns Manhattan Rickshaw one of the key people to bring pedicabs to NYC and film maker Brian Schoenfelder.
Here is his trailer.
Also there was Noah Budnick of the Alliance for Biking and Walking to promote an event to coincide with the BFF this year.
42 Below Vodka is sponsoring the 42Ride Pedals Challenge: (from the website)
“42 riders are heading south to Philadelphia and then will split into two groups of 21 riders heading westwards, one touring the north and one touring the south. Participants will pedal an impressive total of 4,017 miles across the country from New York City to Los Angeles, witnessing some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer.”
Then Jon Spencer played the South Street Seaport:
(image by: mfortki)
Their were some gold sprints at the official after party:
(image by trudatnyc)
The festival letters had some beef with Brendt because Wonka was riding on them…
(image by disconnec)
Saturday, there was an outdoor block party that kind of got rained out, but there was still some street skills to be had on fixed gears and BMX.
(image by: mikeywally)
There were two alleycat races: Bridge Battle 5 and Global Gutz (NYC)
Steve posted some videos that I got off of Prolly’s blog.
Then on Sunday there was a last chance to see the Joy Ride art show attended by a really cute baby.
(come on, it’s Father’s Day)
and of course, Bike Polo.