Here’s the link for this thing if you want to watch it after you read this: http://vimeo.com/album/2200561/video/83930653
I didn’t really know what #SVENNESS was as I entered the experience, and I still don’t know what it is now. one of my coworkers is inexplicably fascinated with this series of videos (and cycling in general). So, despite his intolerance for nuanced film discussion, I decided to take the higher road and assess the amount of green pigment in the plants growing on his lawn.
#SVENNESS appears to be a compilation of the coolest parts of a bike race. I guess. It ostensibly tracks the progress of a man named Sven, easily the least exciting competitor singled out in the 18-and-a-half minute video. I actually did learn a little about cycling and cycling strategy, such as the fact that these guys don’t ride as hard as they can at all times (heck, sometimes they even get off their bikes and run). I learned cool lingo like “pumps” and “handups.” And I learned bikes are hard to ride in mud! The question is, did I actually need to know all of this? Maybe not, but I also didn’t suffer from the experience.
This thing isn’t really designed for the layman. There’s no sense of the importance of this race. It could be the Tour de France for all I know. Or it could be taking place in someone’s backyard. There’s no context. And that’s the reason I don’t think the sport will ever really catch fire here on Earth.
The video is scored with several hip indie songs that just aren’t my thing. How much more epic would this video have been if we had been listening to some Led Zeppelin as the backing track?
Watching this was a lot like watching a video on YouTube of some guy doing a speed run of a video game. The only real difference is that the guy who made this video might be a little less socially awkward. But the video game guy probably puts a little more effort into the production value. Both of them are equally uninteresting to watch, however. Especially if you don’t care about the subject matter.
Ultimately that is the problem: cycling just isnt really my thing. I don’t plan on getting into the sport, but I do feel a little more worldly for watching it. I’m sure #SVENNESS is like porn for bicycle-heads (shoutout to all the fans of Niels and Stybar – they seem like solid dudes), but in my eyes this wasn’t the best bike race I watched today. It’s not even seccond-best. But nothing can really live up to the sweet bike action in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, so the comparison might be a little unfair.