It is well known that New York City is the birthplace of the bike-messengers and RAW Cycling Magazine is always up to date on everything that happens and comes from the Big Apple.

A few days ago, Rick Jaques sent us his latest work. A video called Fixed by Henry Leyva and Cooper Ray crossing NYC in the night from China Town to the Oculus, in the heart of Manhattan.

In this video, Rick and his staff have managed to transmit peace and tranquility of New York night and the frenzy and speed of the messenger’s time trial race from one side to another of the city. Rick told us that after the great reception of the project, they are considering the possibility that it becomes a night race TT Here is…

How did this project born?

“Originally, riding in the FiDi and Chinatown late at night was something therapeutic for me. After work hours, any New Yorker knows how quiet it can get down there and it provided a place to clear my mind. The more I would take these joyrides I realized how cinematic the setting was from the cyclist’s perspective.

I reached out to a courier friend, Cooper, and told him a few spots I wanted to start, end and hit along the way, he ran with it, designing the route. Cooper knows the area like the back of his hand and offered really helpful advice about places where you can build up speed, take a fast corner or simply iconic settings to film in.”

The making of…

“The first night of filming with the riders, we walked the course with the RED camera, vintage zeiss lenses and a tripod focusing on corners or parts of the route with nice architecture or movement. My friend and I filmed lights and supporting footage on our own the weekend before and after.

The following night, we followed Cooper and Henry on a motorcycle. My Assistant Director drove the triumph and I filmed from the back. It was exhilarating and an experience I look forward to building on.”

What’s the essence of Fixed?

“Overall, we were trying to communicate speed and light. We wanted to show the spontaneity of the road that couriers deal with on a daily basis. The pedestrian in the first minute is an example of that. While I would have liked to avoid it, the man was not there when we set up the shot and talked about where Cooper and Henry would ride. By the time they got their running start and rounded the corner from East Broadway he was there. “

Anything else? Maybe is a race coming soon?

“At the end of the project, Cooper and I plan to make this route an annual “alleycat” type race. The intention is that we each reach out to a few friends and see who can ride it the fastest. Hopefully riders will see “Fixed,” try the course this spring and the film can have some presence in real life.

In postproduction, NYC agencies were eager to help us sort and color this footage. We were lucky enough to have a feature film colorist, Tom Poole give it a pass as well as Louis-Philippe Charette from Rock Paper Scissors edit the piece. Me and my band scored the film as we do with all our video endeavors. “

Author: Stefano
Photographer: Rick Jacques (@rickjacques)
Translater: Sandrine