February 14th, 2012

Author Steven Rea will share photos and discuss his new book Hollywood Rides a Bike at PUBLIC HQ on February 24. Hollywood Rides a Bike shows classic stars from Shirley Temple to Brigitte Bardot and Humphrey Bogart to Kevin Bacon all on the best bikes Hollywood has to offer. This book is inspired by Rea’s popular movie star and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

6-8pm, Friday, February 24 at PUBLIC HQ in 123 South Park, San Francisco, CA
General Admission: $10 (Pre-registration guarantees seat for you. $10 will be credited with purchase of book if available)
General Admission + Signed Book: $25 (Pre-registration guarantees book & seat for you)

Use this Pre-Registration link

We asked Rea a few questions in anticipation for our Feb 24 PUBLIC Pre-Oscar Party: Hollywood Rides a Bike.

Who are the most famous living Hollywood celebrities you know or heard of who rides a bike?
I know Russell Crowe has commuted to the sets of some of his films on a bike. Ewan McGregor, in addition to being a motorcyclist, has a cool vintage Jack Taylor and does a lot of cycling. Robin Williams is a serious road cyclist, as you probably know, since he’s a San Franciscan. Matthew Modine, Zach Galifianakis, Natalie Portman, are a few others I know of.

If you could only show three photos from your collection, which would those be and why?
Lauren Bacall, just 20, in 1945, with her screen debut “To Have and Have Not” just about to be released, leaning against a bike on a studio soundstage having a cup of coffee and looking totally cool. And because it’s so rare, and awesome, Olivia de Havilland, stopping on the backlot with her bike and bike trailer, during production of 1935’s “Captain Blood” with Errol Flynn. The trailer has her name painted on it, as well as the title “Capt. Blood,” and carries her makeup, her script and whatnot as she commutes between dressing room and soundstage. And Susan Peters, astride her Monark bike, looking out from the Santa Monica Palisades to the sea. She was nominated for a best supporting actress for “Random Harvest,” a terrific 1942 amnesia melodrama starring Ronald Colman. A few years later she was in a hunting accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down, so this gorgeous photo is tinged with tragedy.

What’s your favorite city or cities to explore by bike and why?
Montreal is certainly one — a great network of dedicated bike lanes, and a real cycling culture. And Amsterdam is cycling heaven.

What was the biggest challenge putting together your book?
Determining the provenance of some of the photos. Especially with the older images, many came without snipes or captions or any sort of credits. I watched a lot of old movies trying to determine what film, what year, particular images came from — if they came from a specific film, or if they were “candids” taken during a production.

After this book, what’s next for you and Rides a Bike?
“Rides a Bike 2”? I have some really wonderful images acquired since the book went to press, so, who knows. I can dream, right?