According to Slate, however, Hollywood’s been using biking to work as shorthand for ‘loser’ for quite a while. Tom Vanderbilt’s article argues that Hollywood, existing in the heart of car-heavy LA, can’t conceive of a person willingly biking to work. If they aren’t driving it’s because they cannot afford a car, are socially oblivious or lost their license.
For example, take Steve Carrel’s character in The 40 Year Old Virgin:
Steve Carell is that rarest of filmic creatures: a bona-fide bike commuter, shown pedaling to work, navigating the various hazards of the traffic landscape. A boon for alternative modes, perhaps, except for the fact that the bicycle, like the character’s penchant for collecting action figures and his virginal status, is treated with a certain condescension. “I’m not the only person in the world who rides a bike,” he protests to his co-workers, one of whom replies: “Yeah, everyone rides a bike, when they’re ******* six.”
Obviously our commitment to bicycle-based IT means we think otherwise. Every member of our team owns a car and can drive, but actively decides not to use it for work. We do this because of our commitment to sustainability and providing the front range with carbon neutral IT support.
We in the lab couldn’t think of a single bicycle commuter portrayed positively in any movie. Can you? Share in the comments below!