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A Film By Eric Matthies

Words & photos by Eric Matthies

LA County has a flavor that everyone tastes differently. We all come to it for different reasons, united by the bicycle. For some, LA might be a Bukowski poem or a passage from Fante. For others, it’s a Tom Waits song. It can be punk rock, it can be competitive, it can be political. It’s serious road racing, hot and sweaty mountain biking, the birthplace of BMX and a frontrunner in fixed gear trickery. From El Segundo, Glendale, Hollywood, Whittier, Alta Dena, Santa Monica—the county holds power over the city itself. The LA bike scene is vibrant, full of good times, activism, participation, community and it’s own cottage industry. Cycling offers escape from the daily grind of Los Angeles, and a way of accessing different views of it. This film is a smattering of those perspectives; a documentation without the subjectivity of interviews or agendas. The imagery was approached photographically, the narrative unfolding within the context of each sequence. This is a film of people met through shared passion in locations familiar to those who ride here. The music was created to form a soundscape that compliments the naturally occurring whirs, pings and voices found in the images. Countywide is a celebration of cycling in LA and of Los Angeles itself. It is not attempting to speak for every corner of “the scene,” nor is it meant to exclude anything. It highlights some variations that our scene has to offer, and glimpses the unique aspects to cycling here that I’ve rolled across over the years. 

Myriad folks ride or “train” on this beautiful and dangerous stretch of costal road. Malibu is the hub, the destination, the branching point to a variety of steep climbs and twisting descents.