Brian and his bike

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Why Does Brian Ride Around In Circles OverAndOVer OnHisBike?

Post by guest! » Aug 5th 2003, 3:05 am

seriously. let's here some theories here. i think maybe he's just so obsessed with angela that he wants to stay right in front of her house in case she comes out side. any other ideas?

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Post by Leb » Aug 5th 2003, 7:16 am

yeah, i think you´re quite right with brian´s obsession. he can also be seen skating on the street in some episodes (father figures is the one i think about). probably because he doesn´t want to miss anything. or his reading place in the tree, where he even has a holder for his flashlight...
but we know that he doesn´t have to many friends, (so/because) he is studying most of the time, and we know his parents: i can imagine them calling him in his room:"brian, we appreciate the fact, that you study a lot, but you shouldn´t stay in your room all the time, why don´t you get out a little..." something like that. :wink:
by the way: isn´t it unusual, that there aren´t any other kids on the street? i mean, you should expect this neighborhood to have some other youths in the same age who live there! :?:

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Post by Sascha » Aug 5th 2003, 7:23 am

I think you hit it already on the head :) Brian just wants to use any chance to have a glimpse at Angela or to know what's going on in her life. And riding on a bike looks less "conspicuous" than walking up and down in front of her house :-) Other than that, he's probably someone who likes to ride a bike, he's a young boy.

I tend to do the same thing when I was a lot younger - just driving on my bike through my neighboorhood looking if someone was around that I knew. Of course I spent particularly more time in the neighboorhood of the girl(s) I had a crush on - maybe one could meet "coincidencial" ... ;-)

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Post by seedman » Aug 5th 2003, 9:43 am

I agree with the above points, but there is also the obvious symbolism that has been discussed on the this site in various forums.

Brian and the bike represent childhood and Jordan and his car represent the adult world. One of the primary themes of MSCL is Angela's struggle with the passage from the one world to the next. Brian is her childhood friend and neighbour. Their relationship is something she feels she wants to move past. Jordan is her first true adult relationship, which is where she thinks she wants to be.

The other great thing about the omnipresence of Brian's bike is the layers it adds to scenes in later episodes. Like when she has to borrow Brian's bike to go confront Jordan about the sex issue. And the spectacular final scene in Pressure where she is riding a bicycle (presumably Brian's) with no hands and talks about learning how being yourself is enough. Not to mention the final scene of the series where we have the ultimate reinforcement of the theme with both Brian and Jordan and the bike and the red car prominently juxtaposed.

Awesome stuff.



Post by Guest » Aug 9th 2003, 5:48 pm

I agree with what seedman said. A good point is brought up in that post. I was thinking maybe Brian circling the bike symbolises his thoughts of Angela. Has anyone else noticed the cycle? Brian obsesses about Angela, looks at her house either through a telescope or while riding his bike, etc. Then he makes up a lame excuse to go and visit her house just to see her. He even goes and talks to her to express his true feelings, but can't express the one true feeling that is probably the most important to him -that he loves her-. I believe that this is apparent in the episode, "In Dreams Begin Responsiblities." He is circling on his bike as usual, then Angela approaches him he hits the brakes on his bike. He keeps trying to avoid the situation of the letter ever being written by him when it slips out that he "meant every word." Maybe this is showing that he finally got through to her. Which I think he did, look at the expression on her face. Just like Brian is obsessed riding in circles on his bike in front of Angelas house, he is also obsessed with Angela. Remember he admitted this in "The Life of Brian." Not only does this show his obsession with Angela, but maybe the repetitive circling as monotonous as it is shows the monotony of his life. "In my life, it's automatically true that nothing actually happens." Then, he walks over to his bike. Both times when something exciting happened to him with a girl his bike was not in motion.[/quote]

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Post by dTheater » Aug 12th 2003, 8:21 pm

It's good excercise.
- Jim

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Post by Nostradamus » Aug 13th 2003, 8:24 pm

dTheater wrote:It's good excercise.
Good call! Nice to see Occum's Razor in action...

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Brian and his bike

Post by joeymichael » Jan 9th 2009, 12:13 am

So what is up with Brian always riding his bike in the same areas outside his house? Especially at nightime. Also, why was he reading up in a tree in the pilot episode?

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Re: Brian and his bike

Post by Stick » Jan 9th 2009, 7:11 pm

This has been touched on here, but let me throw my two cents in. (I can't find it in search but I know it's here)

A) I think a lot of what Brain does is motivated by his obsession with Angela. His tree spot and bike riding are probably a way to make sure he sees her everyday (I think Duckie did the bike ride-by in Sixteen Candles too), much like how he keeps coming up with excuses to show up on her doorstep.

B) He may just like riding his bike. I did it a lot more as a young kid but, as a teenager, I still like riding my bike around town. Depending on what size town you live in, it can appear that you're stalking someone very quickly. I mean, there's only so many places you can go.

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Re: Why Does Brian Ride Around In Circles OverAndOVer OnHisBike?

Post by Leb » Mar 4th 2009, 12:04 pm

another quite reasonable explanation:
he doesn´t want to stay at home, because his parents suck!
so he get´s out! and what to do: ride bike, sit in the tree, watch people.
okay, and meet angela. sure. :-)

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Re: Brian and his bike

Post by redordead » Mar 26th 2009, 4:48 pm

I love the idea of the symbolism between childhood/bike and adulthood/car. I think it's in Pressure when she says driving the car is like having to much freedom, that she's not ready for it yet and we see her riding the bike no-hands with a great sense of freedom. But in the end, when she knows Brian has written the letter and she seems to be choosing, she gets into the car with Jordan and keeps her gaze on Brian as if she's driving away from more than just him. She seems to have grown so much, and the relationship she has with Jordan is now on a much more even keel, so she could be capable of making such a decision. How different from the girl who first got into his car!

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