That's not the only time I've gone off-point with the movie stars that I've had the chance to talk to over the years (Zach Galifianakis, an avid cyclist, told me about pedaling his bike through Malibu, sweat pouring off of him, to meet his Due Date costar, Robert Downey Jr., for the first time), but for the most part (Inquirer editors take note) I've been diligent about my work. I've been lucky to write about film for a living. It's something I love.
But the bicycle is something I love, too. I live in a city that's easy to get around on two wheels and that has become increasingly accommodating to those of us who do so. It's not Amsterdam, but here in Philadelphia there are times when you find yourself falling in with a makeshift peloton of commuters and students and families, and it feels very civilized.
Which is how William Holden must have felt, tieless, his shirtsleeves rolled up, cruising past the Paramount arch, or Olivia de Havilland, in slacks and spectator shoes, riding through the fake city streets on the Warner Bros. back lot, towing her Capt. Blood trailer loaded with script and makeup (and perhaps, as one wise-guy friend noted, with Errol Flynn's empties, too). In the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, the studios stocked fleets of Schwinns, Shelbys, Raleighs, and Rollfasts so actors, writers, and crew could get from one giant soundstage to another, zip back and forth from dressing room to commissary, or just take a break between scenes. It was Hollywood's idea of a bike-share program, long before Paris implemented Vélib'. Look at the shot of Jimmy Stewart with his Rear Window costar, Grace Kelly, dangling her legs from the top tube - the guy spent hour after hour trapped in a wheelchair, a phony cast on his leg, doing Hitchcock's bidding. Just think how liberating it must have felt to flee the scene and take his British-built three-speed for a spin . . . with one of the most beautiful women on Earth along for the ride.
So, movies. So, bikes. So, why not both?