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Add your favorite bicycle movie!


Bicycle Movies (link to article)

Bicycles will overrun the Champs-Élysées this weekend in Paris as the world’s most prestigious and grueling road race concludes its three week journey across France on Sunday.

For many Americans, the Tour De France is as foreign a subject as Francois Truffaut but the two share something in common. Both bike races and bike movies are perfect to enjoy without moving a muscle.

You may notice that the majority of films on this week’s list were released in the early '80s.  Thankfully, our culture’s apathy in cycling recently came to an end, simply because of a little yellow bracelet.


Lance Armstrong’s seven consecutive Tour de France titles (1999-2005) launched an American renaissance in the sport.  I’d say Hollywood is due to produce a new wave of cycling films of the same caliber, if not better than the following. Whether you’re a fan of bike riding or not, tell us what you think.

1. "Breaking Away" (1979): “They’re gonna keep callin’ us ‘cutters’” – Mike

2. "American Flyers" (1985): “Enough of this Sunday stroll…let’s hurt a little bit!” – Muzzin

3. "Pee Wee’s Big Adventure" (1985): “I’m a loner, Dottie.  A rebel.” – Pee Wee Herman (this love story about a man and his bike could have also been called “The Bicycle Thief”...not really.)

4. "Quicksilver" (1986): “I go as fast as I like” – Jack Casey (checkout the trailer dubbed by the late Don Lafontaine...”In a world where the pressure’s off”...classic 80’s movie trailer.)

5. "E.T." (1982): Makes the list because the film’s climax allows every kid to imagine their bikes soaring off the ground.  These iconic images still play before Amblin Entertainment’s films.

Honorable Mention:

  • "BMX Bandits" (1986): This Aussie import revolves around a criminal ring of Walkie Talkie smugglers.
  • "Easy Rider" (1969): “You know Billy, we blew it.” – Captain America (They may not be riding bicycles but it’s the best movie on two wheels, so it makes the cut.)



My addition will be the movie 2 Seconds

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  • One Got Fat (1963)  The Ultimate in cheesy 60's B&W bike-safety movies aimed at kids.
Chasing Legends (2010) Director: Jason Berry Chasing Legends

Have a look at this list from my favorite video shop in Champaign/Urbana:

Road to Roubaix, a documentary about the Paris-Roubaix race is worth seeing.   I also enjoyed a couple of videos of Tours du Pont from about 20 years ago,  "Hammer and Hell" and "Zuperman".  Not exactly movies in the general sense though.
I've never heard of "10 Speed".  Did you see it and would you recommend it?  I'm really interested in the cycling culture of the seventies.

Laurie Chipps said:

Have a look at this list from my favorite video shop in Champaign/Urbana:

The Bicycle Thief?

"You must plant your seeds in another field. Do you understand what I mean?"

I've never seen Quicksilver but it's on my list.  

How about "The Flying Scotsman" about Graeme Obree and his quest for the one hour and other records?

If anyone wants to organize a grass-roots bike film night, Bike Winter has a large screen that's available and there are several projectors around the community.  I'll bet Jack's Tap would offer up their party room for next to nothing.

My fave that isn't listed, goes back to the early talkies. 6 Day Bike Rider starring Joe E. Brown from 1934. An era when bicycle track racing was as big a spectator sport as baseball.

This is fun, fast and exciting: Red Light Go - As if their day jobs weren't dangerous enough, the hardest of hard-core New York City bike messengers seek out even more thrills in their off time by organizing wild-and-wooly street races. This documentary follows a small group of these riders. The result is an intimate portrait of the madmen (and women) who risk life and limb in a series of harrowing races, culminating in the annual Halloween night Alleycat race through rush-hour traffic.

Not a terrific documentary but worth watching a demanding effort by mountain bikers: Ride the Divide - Starting in Banff, Canada, and ending at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Great Divide mountain bike race extends 2,700 miles along the Continental Divide. This scenic documentary follows three determined cyclists attempting the grueling ride.

As a photo-cyclist myself, I liked this docu-bio of a New York legend: Bill Cunningham New York - Living simply and using a bicycle to get around New York, 80-year-old photographer Bill Cunningham tirelessly records what people are wearing in the city -- both out on the sidewalk and in the salons of the wealthy.



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