|Opening title shot from the 1960 version|
of You And Your Bicycle.
One thing that makes You And Your Bicycle unusual among bike safety films was that the producers must have been so convinced of its appeal that they actually made the film twice. That's right. You And Your Bicycle was first produced in 1948 (making it one of the earliest films of the genre that I've found), and then re-made almost shot-for-shot with only minor revisions in 1960. Although a couple of sequences simply recycled the exact same footage between 1948 and 1960, the biggest difference between the two versions seems to be the era of the cars that put the hapless riders in peril.
Though no riders ever seem to get seriously injured in the films, the narration seems to highlight -- and even overemphasize -- the potential for death or dismemberment.
|The 1960 version encourages viewers to pick up a safety manual, like the one shown, from their local police department.|
|"Another death that might have been avoided." Yikes!|
|"Handlebars should be approximately as wide as your shoulders." Maybe so, but if the bars on that American heavyweight bomber are shoulder-width, then that kid must be the Hulk. The narrator recommends checking occasionally that the bars are tight.|
|"Never ride a bike with pedals in this condition. Your foot can very easily slip off, causing a spill. Or you may gouge your leg on the bare metal." They forget to mention that you could be crushed under a truck, but they're saving that for later.|
Now that we've made sure our bikes are safe, it's time to get some riding lessons.
|Here, a police officer explains to kids the relationship of "reaction time" to "stopping distance."|
|Don't get "doored" 1948 and 1960.|
|"An automobile is not as maneuverable as a bike. So don't swerve in and out of traffic. Follow a straight line and avoid being run down." Holy cow.|
|"Don't be a bicycle hitchhiker. An unexpected turn or stop can mean sudden death."|
|"Riding two on a bicycle means double trouble. You can't see or balance yourself with the efficiency you need for safe travel. Your passenger may stick his heel in the spokes, wrecking the wheel and killing both of you."|
|My favorite part of the whole movie!|
. . . as well as recommending that riders cover their bikes in a "coat of white enamel" to help them be seen.
|The filmmaker must have had some financial backing from the makers of Krylon.|
|After admonishing kids about riding in the schoolyard, the narrator adds, "Above all, NEVER be a show off. It just doesn't pay."|
There are copies of You And Your Bicycle available on YouTube, as well as on the Prelinger Archive. However, I've found that they often tend to be mis-identified. That is, the 1960 version is often identified as 1948, and vice versa (I'd think the cars would be a pretty clear giveaway which is which). Online copies of the 1960 version that I've seen tend to be pretty poor quality, but there's a pretty decent quality copy of the 1948 edition from YouTube that you can watch right here: