Here in the US, bicycles generally fall into the category of “alternative transportation”… meaning an alternative to a car. Bikes are also alternatives in Rivas, Nicaragua… but, in their case, it’s an alternative to walking. Decades of war and political strife in the Central American country have left basic infrastructure and economic opportunities in ruin; in Rivas, providing citizens with bikes — about 20,000 over twenty years — has allowed them to create opportunities for themselves uncommon in many parts of the developing world.
The documentary THE BICYCLE CITY focuses on the role these bicycles have played in reinvigorating this coastal town. Currently in post-production, director Greg Sucharew’s film tells the story of how non-profit Pedals for Progress brought all those bikes (generally used ones from the US) to Rivas… and how they’re changed the socio-economic outlook for its residents.