Filmed by Bike fest rides into town
It wouldn't be strange at all for someone to find Dean Dickinson in an empty, dirty, in-ground pool.
He might be with friends and a six-pack of beer, but most importantly and most certainly with ... his bike.
Riding a bike in empty pools has become an obsession for the 31-year-old BMX rider and Vancouver, Washington, native, who on a recent Thursday afternoon joined this reporter for coffee at the most appropriate café for a lover of all-things bike: See See Motor Coffee Co.
Dickinson is a participant in and also on the jury of the upcoming Filmed by Bike festival, a three-day event to celebrate all things, you might guess, bike and film. It takes place May 5-7 at the Hollywood Theatre, showcasing 80 films by 74 filmmakers in 18 countries.
Dickinson has a segment in the film "The Dirty Sniff," a product of Bone Deth Bikes, the shop he works with. His 2-minute and 24-second clip is up for a Local Award at the festival and will show on Friday, May 5.
That evening, he will perform a trick at the opening night Base Camp Street Party, free and open to all ages, starting at 5 p.m. at Velo Cult Bike Shop + Tavern, a block away from the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd.
He started riding bikes when he was about 10 and was inspired by three individuals: his Uncle Dan, Evel Knievel, and Pee-wee Herman, whom he is dressed as in "The Dirty Sniff," riding a bright red bike, the same color as Pee-wee's bike in the famous movies.
Dickinson did a tribute to Pee-wee at last year's Filmed by Bike festival. He supposes it's just the character he's becoming.
"Just in this weird way, I am becoming the weird Pee-wee guy on a BMX bike," he says with a laugh.
The millennial has stuck to his child roots, and remembers when he first wanted to ride seriously, at 13 or 14 years old.
"It all kind of came together at once. I got pretty tired of team sports," Dickinson says. "I really appreciate the leadership and the collaborative lessons that you learn ... but I got to the point where I was standing on the baseball mound, and I saw my friends were jumping their bikes on mounds of dirt on the baseball diamond."
Following high school, he went to Orange County, California, where he attended college for two years to get a film and video certificate. There he did a lot of bike riding and freelance work — things he's still doing now. He recently moved back from living in Austin, Texas, for two years.
He teaches photography and multimedia at Fort Vancouver High School when he's not riding bike, while also doing event production and creating online content for BMX brands.
He's excited about the debut of "The Dirty Sniff," a throwback to low-quality but full-of-fun skate and BMX videos from decades past. Fans of MTV's "Jackass" or "CKY" will immediately appreciate the aesthetic.
Fans of 4K, high definition use of drones for videos, however, should be warned of the purposeful low quality.
"Most of my film was shot in standard definition. Then you see these cinematic beautiful master shots with drones — it looks like they spent $100,000 on two minutes," Dickinson says. "Mine just comes from an era of skate and BMX videos in the '90s and early 2000s that showcase a lot of fun and energy."
There's plenty of loud punk music and women in minimal clothing, so those under 18 be aware.
And why called "The Dirty Sniff"?
"Some places are really dirty, and nitty gritty. We're always looking for new spots to ride. Back yard pools and cleaning out pools can be extremely dirty," Dickinson says. "The work you can do is extensive — you'll find syringes, broken bottles, human feces, all that fun stuff."
Not to mention the time he was arrested in 2006 on Christmas Day, or the injuries suffered over the years.
For this clip, though, he says he was pretty lucky. He might've "tweaked" his ankles, maybe broken a rib or two, but never went to the hospital.
"Just typical bruises and scrapes."
He keeps doing it for the thrill he gets out of exploring, being outdoors and traveling. Oh, and the adrenaline.
"The adrenaline you get from riding BMX bikes, the adventure. I'd say the chase is better than the catch in a lot of ways, as far as constantly seeking out pools and different things to ride," Dickinson says. "I'd say with all of the above, it's a big package."
Find out more and buy tickets at www.filmedbybike.org.