CHICAGO — A bike-related film fest is coming to Chicago this month for the first time.
West Town Bikes and Half Acre Cycling are hosting the Filmed By Bike fest on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. Proceeds will be donated to West Town Bikes' youth programs, which engage city kids with the benefits of riding a bicycle.
"The films show the joys of cycling and the freedoms it gives you, and the empowerment it can give to someone's personal and professional life," said Mike Young, a West Town Bikes youth program director and Humboldt Park resident.
The youth programs serve kids in Humboldt Park, Albany Park, Gage Park, Garfield Park, Austin, West Town, Pilsen and other city neighborhoods, Young said. He added that many are underserved youth who either aren't being "treated well at school or at home." Of the hundreds of West Town Bikes youth riders, a good percentage are girls, Young said.
"We use bicycles as a tool for empowerment and to offer youth opportunities," Young said. "There are so many young people in this city that need and deserve opportunities where there are none. You try to fill as many of those holes as possible. These young people grow up in our community, and [through the programs] they become stronger, more honest and more moral citizens, and they become better leaders."
Some of those young cyclists are about to work on their own film that will feature Chicago bike trails, city youth BMX riders and other cool Chicago cycling happenings.
Young said that film, which has yet to be named, could be in Filmed By Bike events next year.
"These are the people who are going to be riding on the street for the next 30 years," young said. "They are the future of cycling."
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