A Virus

Ate My Movie! — And other truths from the pandemic

So. . . what’s your major?

Ah the good ol’ days. Remember when you actually used that question — What’s your major? Maybe to a member of the opposite sex at a freshman mixer? Hoping your amazing conversational skills would be noticed by her. Or him.

Other questions along those lines you may have used:

  • How long have you been in L.A?

Ok maybe that last one dates me but whatevs. You know the drill. You were there.

So what’s the new one? The 2020 version?

Yep you guessed it —

So. . what’d you do during lockdown?

Aww, thanks for asking.

I wrote a book.

35,000 words of storytelling that I never thought I could write. Then again when I laid down my BMX bike company in 1995 I never thought 27 years later I’d be telling the story. In movie form, no less.

But that’s what happened.

30 Bikes: The Story of Homestead Bicycles (2020) official poster

I made 30 bikes in 1991.

I made a movie about those bikes and the people who rode them in 2018.

I released the movie in 2020.

Then the virus.

So what now?

Now I get the fun-fun-fun-till-your-daddy-takes-the-t-bird away job of getting people to actually read it.

Fortunately I got a blast from my LA — screenwriting days past to read it.

That’s important.

At least to me.

“Alden has written a fun, thoughtful, and educational Golden Fleece! This deeply personal and transformational journey leaves the reader compelled to reconnect with their own passion and delivers the educational tools to write their own life’s story.” — Jason Kolinsky, Save The Cat!

Thats from the back cover of the book. Thanks Jason.

I also got Damian Fulton — of Radical Rick fame — to draw the cover:

Talkin’ bmx and graphic design over pizza and ipa’s in El Segundo
Damian Fulton at work

And thank you Damian.

But why does this matter? Why list any of these helpers and contributors? Why tell you about them and their offerings?

Because the old me never would have.

The old me wanted to do everything on my own.

You think America is individualistic? I was that to the power of 100.

Growing up on my own gave me a solo chip on my shoulder that I wouldn’t shed until my 40’s.

Truth.

This new way? This way of working on a project together, enlisting quality people to help and yes pay some of them — but to get people to contribute their own talents and use their strengths towards a project they believe in?

Shooting in Santa Cruz with the brothers Flint
Alden and Bob on location in Encinitas
Lifelong friends enjoying 30 Bikes, pre-pandemic

Way more fun.

So get yourself a book — I really, truly believe you will enjoy it.

Or write one.

Follow your dreams.

Or, wait 27 years and try again.

It’s a great story.

My first bike. Sonoma Calif., age 5 1/2

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Alden Olmsted

I was born in a small town in Northern California just another latch-key kid obsessed with BMX and Tom Petty. Now I make films and travel and write when I can.