Biker Fox falls for Slamdance film
BY ROBERT W. WELKOS
PARK CITY, Utah–Biker Fox has taken a tumble for Slamdance.
The Oklahoma muscle car guru with Technicolor riding gear who has long been an irritant with the Tulsa police for engaging in occasional brushes with the law, stood at the top of Main Street waving a hand at an approaching car to watch out. Then he began peddling, slowly descending the hill, until the bike he was riding tipped forward and Biker Fox was launched head-first over his handle bars into the street. For a moment he laid motionless, then a loud scream of pain echoed off the storefronts and the nearby Egyptian Theater.
Seconds later, he was up, his publicity stunt at an end.
What better way to drum up interest in a documentary film about yourself called, what else, “Biker Fox.”
The film, which is screening this week at the Slamdance Film Festival–the edgier, smaller cousin of Sundance–is the story of Frank P. DeLarzelere III, a.k.a.Biker Fox, who in his zeal for spreading goodwill, sometimes goes over the line.
Jeremy Lamberton, who made the film, noted that Biker Fox has been arrested about 10 times in Tulsa for creating havoc in traffic.
“I first discovered him on the streets of Tulsa like everybody does,” Lamberton recalled. “He was weaving through traffic. It was gridlocked, 5 o’clock traffic at the most dangerous intersection in Tulsa. One day I pulled over into a Taco Bueno parking lot to try to meet him and try to figure out why he was doing what he was doing. The first thing he did was ask me if I was married. So, I thought, maybe there’s something to this guy.”
Lamberton, who is director of the Tulsa Overground Film Festival, thought Biker Fox was fun and interesting “and when I went to his house, I found out that he feeds 60 raccoons on his back porch. As we were making the film, he actually trained them to come into his house and sit on his lap and eat dog food. We both share this obsession of worship of wildlife. I live on a 500-acre ranch in Tulsa and his property backs up to 40 acres of wilderness. So, we both shared similar experiences and experiments with video and wildlife.”
Biker had been trying to making a movie about his life for sometime, the director said. “He’d been working with other production companies who were just kind of ripping him off, kind of making fun of him,” Lamberton said. “I knew that if you were willing to delve below and peel back the other layers there was a real story and a real complex character–everything from his muscle car parts business that he operates over the Internet to his obsession with health and fitness, his biking, it was multidimensional.” “What I did, 10 years ago, I lost 10 pounds riding a bicycle,” Biker explained. “And during that time, I broke my right shoulder twice and I wanted to find a way at age 41 to go over the handlebars without hurting myself. So, I started practicing crashing over the handlebars if you can believe that? So,now, if I crash over the handlebars, I’m relaxed…so I won’t hurt myself.”
Biker claims that world-reknowned cyclist Lance Armstrong taught him how to crash and not hurt himself. “We’re good buddies,” he says. Even if he did come off as a misunderstood motivational biker, Biker would still be nothing less than eccentric, as the film points out.
“(The film) is about my life–I sell muscle car parts worldwide,” he said. “I’ve been doing that 22 years. It’s about my raccoons. I’ve got probably about 70 or 80 pet raccoons. They’re in my house. And it’s about conservation and just enjoying life, my friend. Whatever you tell yourself, whatever vibes you tell the cortex of your brain, that’s exactly how you’re going to feel. So enjoy life, be positive, you only live once.”
Lamberton said the movie started out as kind of a “fun, little kind of psychedelic thing. We were thinking about doing shorts on a DVD or a website, but then he kept getting arrested. He was charged with three felonies, which is serious stuff. He actually had the former mayor of Tulsa represent him. Most of the charges were thrown out of court. One is still pending. The charges were far-fetched. A felony charge of throwing things at a moving vehicle. That’s for people who, like, throw things off bridges or throw things at cars. But people were actually trying to run him off the road and he has this technique where he jumps off the bike and throws it and rolls into the grass. So, the cops who don’t like it, don’t like his message and don’t like him out in the streets, were just deciding to give him tickets. He got over 50 tickets and threw him in jail.”
Lamberton realizes he may be creating a monster. If he gets more famous, he may branch out to other cities, even other countries. “He may go to Sweden,” Lamberton laughed. “He’s big over there, we hear.”