(Day Three: Sao Paulo)
Wow ... wild day.
Jacob found these people - or really they found him because they saw his trailer for With My Own Two Wheels on Go Outside's website - who wanted to ride with him. So I tagged along on a bike we scored last night. We met outside our hotel at ten a.m. for an urban ride around the city. We didn't really know what we were getting into, but of course were game.
Four Brazilians met us - two couples, all good riders. The leader was a guy named Ian (see above) who was riding a multi-speed cruiser and he showed up with another bike that he guided through the streets and through Sao Paulo traffic. (By the way, they said that the traffic on Friday was at an all-time record here - with around 225 kilometers of backup - crazy).
Two of the other riders kicked off our ride with a cigarette, and the last one - Ian's girlfriend - was on a fixed gear bike, which was pretty rad. They basically toured us all over town, showing off Sao Paulo from a biker's perspective - which is an interesting one - given that there is very little bike culture here. The people we were with are extremely passionate about bikes, but also so ahead of their time that they make their own bike lanes by actually painting bike symbols on the roads here themselves. It was great to be around people who believed in bikes so much in a place where that is a very hard thing to do.
I told the riders when we started out that I wanted to get a helmet, but none of them had one (Jacob had packed one, along with his own pedals) and it seemed a bit much so I figured the riding would be mellow. I was wrong! We were dodging traffic, riding along sidewalks and passing buses all day long. We also went into this really cool park that had an outdoor gym with concrete weights.
We finally stopped for lunch around two and had Feschauda, a traditional beans, rice and meat stew they serve on Saturdays. We also had some beers and some fierce fire water that was quite something. We returned to the hotel - a little buzzy (good idea there) - to get warmer clothes and then headed out to go to the screening, again riding through some crazy-ass traffic.
The screening was at Brazil's version of central park, and I have to say I was kind of blown away by what they put up there. They have a 46 foot screen with a major projection tower and an impressive backstage area including a green room.
The audience that turned out tonight was between 700-1000 people. The Rocky Spirit Festival warmed up with a band led by Andrea's boyfriend.
Then we played a bunch of films ending the first half with Lifecycles. The second half closed with Kadoma and you could hear people gasping when they find out about the croc - quite powerful. After the screening we did a Q&A. Ben and Chris said it was the best Q&A they had done anywhere, which was kind of remarkable. It helps that Ben speaks pretty decent Portugese, that really warms up the audience. I talked to a lot of people and they seemed really into the films.
All in all, a really memorable day and now it is late and I am crashing (better into my bed then into a car in SP).
Hope you all are well,