What do all the following have in common?

An ambitious journey by bike across the harsh desert landscapes of Oman; a New Zealand woman road cyclist who believes in the power of bicycles; double-trouble with twin uni-cyclists strutting their stuff; Kiwi BMX riders with a passion to see the youth of today succeed; a beautifully charming narrative that shows an artisan Italian frame builder who puts his heart and soul into building bespoke bike frames; and the remarkable story of an American cellist who challenges the notion of limitations by travelling more than 6000km by cargo bicycle.

Okay, the obvious answer is they all involve bikes, of course.

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And … well, they're all part of the 2018 season of The Big Bike Film Night, a showcase of short cycling films from New Zealand and around the world.

"It's a privilege and an honour to present our 2018 collection. This is our fourth 'vintage' and we have a stellar line-up with a smorgasbord of stories, a treasure trove of tales for those with an appetite for everything on two wheels," says TBBFN director and curator Brett Cotter.

"They're a great reminder of why we love to ride our bikes, a celebration of the fun, adventure and inspiration that cycling enables.

"At heart, these films draw upon true stories with universal human traits - those of character, hope, courage, discovery, and much, much more with the humble bicycle the unifying factor throughout."

A panel of Kiwi film and bike buffs helped selected the line-up. That included me and I agree with Brett. Expect action, drama, humour and plenty of inspiration in the 2018 compilation.

There are 13 short films being shown ranging from two to 26 minutes in length, including a number of New Zealand premieres and international award winners.

The Big Bike Film Night returns in May. Photo/The Broject
The Big Bike Film Night returns in May. Photo/The Broject

"Mountain bike fans are also in for a treat with two movies featuring arrestingly beautiful landscapes and world class riders," Brett continues.

"To see these on the big screen is something else, they're mesmerising."


Brett's particularly excited about screening Escape, a Canadian short documentary on JaBig, a Montreal-based DJ, and his winter ride across Canada, coast to coast to coast.

"JaBig buys a single speed fixed-gear bike on a whim and then decides to beat the world record for the longest continuous bike ride in a single country. This movie, however, isn't about the quintessential hero or the quest to break a world record, it's about vulnerability, and what we do with the weight of the expectations in our lives."

For Brett, The Big Bike Film Night recognises cycling in all its glorious shapes and forms.

"There's some cool stuff here I think everyone should see, it'll whet your appetite for all things bicycle related."

I've known Brett since the first TBBFN at the Rotorua Bike Festival in 2014. He's driven this project out of his passion for bikes and on his own dime - support the event, support him.

The 2018 season will screen in Rotorua on Thursday, May 10, 7pm. The venue is The Blue Baths with food and beverages available.

For more information and tickets: www.bigbikefilmnight.nz

Give something back and get some trail-building therapy on the next working bee, Sunday, May 6, kicking off at 9am. Check back here next Saturday for the specific trail or see Events on 'Ride Rotorua' on Facebook.