‘Pls Do Not Count This’—A lesson in Hazardous Commuting

Thought you were deft on your fixie?

You know that feeling when you’re bombing a steep hill on your bike, hovering on the precipe of complete facial reconstruction via a nasty confrontation with the bitumen?

Get ready for that same adrenalin rush (but one that lasts close to six minutes) in Pls Do Not Count This, a short film by Jonathan Pinkhard and Adam McConnachie that follows Johannesburg cyclist Wandile Msomi playfully weaving through swarming traffic on a fixie with no brakes, no helmet.

Filmed over a period of six months, the self-funded film is an exhilarating, sweeping journey through the city captured by just two filmmakers riding around on the back of a motorbike. The steel frame Mancini track bike was originally made for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, on that Msomi apparently has complete faith in as he manoeuvres through traffic like sand slipping through cracks.

Msomi, a 34-year old skate shop owner, said that the sessions were completely impromptu: “It was just the three of us, Jonathan wielding the camera off the back of the motorbike with Adam manoeuvring the motorbike through the traffic to put them in position to get the shot while I did my thing. It was a dance. In the random bustle of the traffic there was no way to plan our lines. The choreography was purely intuitive.”

The film finishes with a feet-off-the-pedals hill bomb, with Msomi seemingly swerving into oncoming traffic as if it were a game of chicken. He said that it was on this day, during Friday afternoon rush hour, that they got this footage. “The traffic was at a standstill,” Msomi said. “We nearly called off the session because it looked unrideable, but we said fuck it let’s go anyway. When we got to the summit of Twist the traffic opened up just enough and we bombed it and it all just came together.”

Check out more work from Pinkard and McConnachie, right here.

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