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Matthew Modine rallies support for “Bicycle For A Day”

Matthew Modine founder of the advocacy group "Bicycle for a Day" held a fundraising party for this project last night at Solar One, the City’s first solar-powered “Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center.” Modine plan's to recycle New York City's junk bikes and distribute them around the world so more people will be able to participate in "Bicycle for a Day." This project will debut in Iraq and Afghanistan. Modine was also joined by a whole host of cycling enthusiasts and promoters from the Consulate General of the Netherlands to Grammy Award winning beatbox artist Rahzel. Here is some what they have to say.

[music]
Matthew Modine: [0:00] I don't think there's any argument anymore that man's impact on the environment has put the world in a delicate balance, so Bicycle for a Day is going to be a day when the whole world, all faiths and religions, all political beliefs, can get together and just do something fun. Just get on a bicycle and ride.

[sound effect]

Matthew Modine: [0:34] Bicycle for a Day is a global bicycle initiative to try to get everybody in the world to ride a bicycle.
Darren Flusche: [0:39] Cities that we know about, like Portland, San Francisco, and New York have all been able to measure increases in ridership.
Matthew Modine: [0:47] The last year, we had our first Bicycle for a Day event, and 14,000 people came down and learned about one thing that they could do to improve the environment.
Hugo Gajus Scheltema: [0:55] I put on my bicycle clothes for you, especially, tonight. I'm not really joking, because in Harlem, bicycling is not just fun, it's also a normal means of transport to go to your work. In Harlem actually, as you may know, we have more bicycles than human beings.
Rahzel: [1:19] And so, I'm out here today supporting the bike thingamajig, because I have my own bike. I take mass transit. I mean, who needs a car?

[sound effect]

Matthew Modine: [1:48] You can't have a global bicycle day if people don't have bicycles. So, since our country has been at war for the last -- it seems like forever -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, I felt that would be a great place, as a symbol of peace, as an olive branch, to reach out to the women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan and be able to bring bicycles to them.

[2:10] So, we have a Bicycle for a Day container project. We're going to take a bicycle around the New York metropolitan area, and get old, broken, discarded, disuse bicycles. We think we can get about 900 bicycles into one container. We're going to ship that container to Iraq and Afghanistan, where it will meet two other containers.

[2:27] We stack them side by side, and one up on top, so one becomes the bicycle repair shop where we'll teach women and children how to repair and build bicycles. This one will be a store where they can sell, and gift bicycles to kids to learn how to build them. And up on top, it will be kind of an educational center.

Colin Weatherby: [2:46] Bikes can do anything. You can hook up anything to a bike and it will work. You can turn a bike into a bandsaw. You can turn a bike into a boat. It's a bike bender.

[music]

Speaker: [3:03] Bike [inaudible] .
Speaker: [3:04] Very nice design.
Speaker: [3:05] We need bikes adapted to New York, so it must be solid, dynamic, electric, nice, fashionable design.
Rahzel: [3:14] Well, if you want to get a car and have spinning rims and smoke up your neighborhood, don't do it. Get a bike.
Matthew Modine: [3:22] So, your car is... Every one that rolls off the assembly line is another nail in our global coffin.

[sound effect]

Rahzel: [3:34] I'll be outta here.


Elizabeth Press is a Filmmaker for Streetfilms. She joined Streetfilms in 2007 to focus her video work on advocating for better biking, walking and mass transit.

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  • let the sunshine in

    I'm all about seeing the positive, but it seems to me Matthew Modine's time and money would be better spent if he focused on working with preexisting cycling and advocacy organizations. And he should wear a helmet.

  • Gene Easton

    I'm proud of you man. This is totally "on point" for you. My regards to the family.

    Gene.

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  • Guest

    How about collecting the bikes and giving them to those children in the United States that do not have one? Why is it that we always think of every other country except our own.  The commercial I just watched did nothing but enrage me.  Are celebrities so out of touch with the real world that they believe every child in the United States owns a bike and therefore we must ship a container full to another country?  Just something to think about!!!