Bicycle Film Festival Interview: Chris Carraway

The Bicycle Film Festival hits DC this weekend. It features movies touching all corners of bike geekitude including a first look at “The Cyclocross Meeting” to get you in the right frame of mind going into Sunday’s MAC finale at Reston. Take a looksee at the trailer and we will meet back here in two minutes and twenty-four seconds.

Now that you’ve watched that, watch this. Here’s the trailer for the festival. It’s good. The YouTube comments are even better. [You can click here to see them.] Lots of “hipsters on track bikes” talk. Isn’t that redundant?

BFF DC Producer Chris Carraway. Muddied up and ready to go.

In any event, the festival has more than that to offer. The full schedule of films and events is here. I spoke with BFF DC producer Chris Carraway to get the details. Chris races for NCVC and also authors the blog, Ride It Like You Stole It, where you can find even more BFF information and trailers.

What is the Bicycle Film Festival? How did it start? What is its mission?

Carraway: In 2001, Brendt Barbur, Founder and Director, was compelled to start the Bicycle Film Festival after being hit by a bus while riding his bike in New York City. Instead of being deterred by this experience, it inspired him to create a festival that celebrates the bicycle through music, art, and film. Now in its ninth year the festival is held in 39 cities worldwide. 250,000 people are expected to attend this year.

The Bicycle Film Festival celebrates the bicycle in all forms and styles. If you can name it—Tall Bike Jousting, Track Bikes, BMX, Alleycats, Critical Mass, Bike Polo, Road Cycling, Mountain Biking Recumbents—we’ve probably either ridden or screened it. What better way to celebrate these lifestyles than through art, film, music and performance?

This is the first year the BFF has come to DC and we’re all collectively saying “about time!” The screenings are Saturday at the Navy Memorial Theater which is located at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC.

What is your affiliation with the BFF? How did you get involved?

Carraway: I’m the producer for the Washington DC Bicycle Film Festival. My friend who rode across the country with me was just named producer for Denver, and I decided to get involved and shot them an email asking if they needed any help for DC.

What film are you looking forward to seeing the most? What’s it about?

Carraway: This year is all about Brian Vernor, at least for me. In the past he’s done “Pure Sweet Hell”, the famous cyclocross film, and he has two films this year. We’re showing a sneak peak of “The Cyclocross Meeting”, which is about the emerging cyclocross scene in both the United States and Japan, and also includes footage of when Barry Wicks went over to Japan to race. Vernor’s second film, “Where Are You Go” captures the epic 7,000 mile journey from Cairo to Capetown along side the Tour d’Afrique.

I was also one of the many that couldn’t make it to the sold out showing of “Road to Roubaix” in Arlington and am also excited for it to come back to DC as well.

Where can people go to find out more information?

Carraway: The full schedule, info on buying advance tickets, and more info can be found here. You can also check out my own blog ( for probably way too much information on all that’s going on this week too.

Will people need to bring their own chair?

Carraway: The Navy Memorial Theater has very nice auditorium seating for 250 people. You won’t need to bring a chair, but I would recommend buying tickets online early. The BFF has a reputation of selling out, and ticket sales in DC have been nothing short of amazing!

What will you have for breakfast opening day of the BFF?

Carraway: Usually before the screening I like to eat oatmeal (vegan, of course) about 3 hours before doors open. Then I’ll have a banana or maybe some Hammer Gel for that last minute bump before screenings start. Watching films can be exhausting. As we all know recovery is very important, so afterwards I’ll probably drink some chocolate Almond milk.

Anything else I need to know about this event?

Carraway: Of course! Did I mention we’ll have free bicycle valet parking at the screenings on Saturday courtesy of WABA? What about the parties? You can’t have a festival without a party, or two.

Friday night we’re having an awesome kick-off party at Asylum (2471 18th St NW) starting at 9pm. We’ll have everything from drink specials, to DJs spinning classic punk records, to goldsprints. Don’t know what goldsprints are? Get on the rollers (with a fork mount), go all out for 250 to 500m against your friend, and have people yell at you in a bar. It’s like doing the run up at DCCX over and over again, maybe more or maybe less beer though. Winners get free passes to screenings!

Saturday night we’ll be riding from the fest to the Gibson (2009 14th Street NW) for our after party with even more drink specials and bikes. No amount of rest will prepare you for Capital Cross this late in the game anyways, so might as well start your “off season” a week early with a late night on Saturday.

We also have some really amazing local sponsors including Bicycle Stations, a new shop which recently opened that’s also hosting the Adventures for the Cure screening. In addition the National Capital Velo Club and Hefler Performance Coaching have also given the DC BFF amazing support. But this fest would not be able to happen if it weren’t for the amazing volunteers that have offered to help. When you come to the fest, please thank them for their help!


2 thoughts on “Bicycle Film Festival Interview: Chris Carraway

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.