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Your choice in cycling movies/film/cinema/documentaries

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Hi All!

Most avid cyclists seem to be drawn to films where bicycles play a role or even a central role. Unfortunately, though they have bicycle content, not all are well-done. Still, when the weather is simply to bad for cycling, it is nice to throw another log on the fire, slip a DVD into the player, and lean back in a comfortable chair with a hot mug of tea and watch something bicycle-related.

An amazing number of these can be purchased from eBay or

Here's my quick list, with brief synopses. Did I miss any? Of course I did! That's why I'm looking forward to your choices/picks/recommendations for bicycle-related films. My list is just a starter.



American Flyers (1985)
Two brothers tackle the Hell of the West through the Rockies. Thin on plot and fairly unrealistic portrayal of racing tactics, but a lightning-fast wheel change by Rae Dawn Chong is worth seeing, as well as the old US 7-Eleven team and Coors Classic footage. Kevin Costner sports a moustache in this one.

Beijing Bicycle/Shiqi sui de dan che (2001, Chinese)
A seventeen-year-old country boy working in Beijing as a courier has his bicycle stolen, and finds it with a schoolboy his age.

Belleville Rendezvous (UK title; see "Triplets of Belleville" listing below)

The Bicycle Thief/Ladri di Biciclette (1948, Italian)
Poverty-stricken Antonio needs his bicycle to do his new job. But the same day he buys it back from a pawnshop, someone steals it, prompting him to search the city in vain with his young son.

Breaking Away (1980)
Working-class cycling youth from middle-America's car-culture enters collegiate bike race for the glory and honor of the home-town crowd.

Cyclo (1995, Vietnamese)
Young man needs a bicycle taxi for survival, but it is stolen. A dark and depressing film set in saigon's criminal underground.

The Day I Became a Woman (2000)
Three short stories about women in modern Iran, one about a woman who wants to enter a bicycle race and her husband who is very much against it.

Dead Certain/Un Affaire D'Hommes (1981, French)
Architect joins a bicycle racing group where a detective is member. He uses this friendship to cover the murder of his wife. Final confrontation is done using bikes, not guns.

The Flying Scotsman (2006)
Dramatized life story of innovative Scottish racer, Graeme Obree

Ghislain Lambert's Bicycle/Le Velo de Ghislain Lambert (2000/1)
French/Belgian comedic portrayal of Ghislain Lambert, a fictional road racer and team "water carrier".

Jour de Fete (1949)
French filmmaker/comedian Jacques Tati is a bike-riding postman attempting to modernize delivery service.

Jitensha (2009, Japan)
Story of a young man struggling to find meaning in life. In th emidst of utter despair, his bicycle begin to disappear, one part at a time. In respoonse to a note, he receives one in turn offering it back a piece at a time. As he puts his bike together piece by piece, he and his life are also reassembled.

The Kid with a Bike (2011, Belgium)
CTC's current recommendation, about a fatherless young man who falls into the care of a hairdresser, his most valuable possession: A bicycle.

Messengers (1999, Japanese)
Young career woman works for Italian fashion house -- till it closes. Making a run for it with the last company asset (a red Alfa Romeo) she collides with a bike messenger. Unable to pay the damage settlement, she works as a bike messenger.

Nebraska Supersonic (1999)
Three Nebraska three slackers start a bicycle courier service. Despite overwhelming naivete and odds, their business becomes a resounding success.

Quicksilver (1986)
Newly destitute ex-floor trader decides to become a bicycle messenger in NYC.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Pee-wee Herman embarks on a nationwide search for his beloved bike after it is stolen while he was visiting his friend.

Ride of My Life: The Story of the Bicycle (C4TV, 2010)
Travelling author Rob Penn embarks on a world-wide search for the best hand-built parts, with which he plans to build his dream bicycle. Along the way he charts the social history of the pedal-powered conveyance, and explains why it is one of humanity's greatest inventions.

6-Day Bike Rider
A 1930's bike messenger wins the big 6-day race. A hard to find B/W film from the 40's. Lots of 6-day footage, starring era comedian, Joe E. Brown. A personal favorite of mine, 'cos I knew Freddie Schultz, who was one of the standout riders in the film, and have recordings of the tales he told me of his years as a Six-Day Rider and the making of the film. Riders in the film were supplied with premium tubular tires, handmade by Mrs. Pye in her New Jersey basement. Whenever they got a puncture, they were given new tires. Some of the riders helped the process along by secreting straight pins in their jerseys, deliberately puncturing their tires in the aftermath of frequent falls on the board track. Fred also gave me the little Motobecane U-frame Folder I restored for my father. I was proud to find and give his daughter a copy of the film, which she watched with Fred before his passing. See: Fred, you were a legend, and I miss you!

The Triplets of Belleville (animated, 2003, French)
Thinly veiled homage to cycling great Fausto Coppi; determined grandmother tries to rescue her cyclist grandson after his kidnapping at the Tour de France.

20 Shades of Pink (1976)
A middle-aged house painter, goes through mid-life crisis and takes up cycling for exercise, meeting an attractive young bike racer. The painter thinks she is interested in him on a personal level when she really only wants to help him prepare for an age-group bike race.

Bicycle Dreams: The True Story of the Race Across America (2009)
Engaging documentary about this ultramarathon, cross-country road race and those who participate.

The Hard Road (2003)
Follows a first year professional cycling team led by two veterans through a year on the American racing circuit.

Middle of the World/O Caminho das Nuvens (2003)
Freely-adapted true story of a man who takes his wife and five children on a 2,000 mile bicycle trip across Brazil in search of a decent job.

Return of the Scorcher (1992)
Bicycle activist Ted White made this short (27min) film to show the superiority of the bicycle to the automobile, with scenes from all over the world; source of the term "Critical Mass" as applied to bicycle demonstrations.

Ride the Divide (2010)
A small group of adventurous bikers travel over 2,700 mi/4,300km from Banff, AB, to the Mexican border in an attempt to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the longest bike route in the world, according to the US' Adventure Cycling Association. Official trailer here:

Stars & Watercarriers (1973 Giro d'Italia)

A Sunday in Hell (1976 Paris-Roubaix)

Hi Dan
I'm going to stretch the topic slightly to include a short video.  I think this is beautiful: Proem- When frailty fails.

See it at



--- Quote ---I'm going to stretch the topic slightly to include a short video...
--- End quote ---
Oh! What a nice and welcome addition, Ian; well done! It is stunning in its simplistic beautify and purity of line and form. It is hard to believe so many Big and emotional concepts can be captured and portrayed so minimally.

I think it's a great idea to include YouTube and Vimeo videos in this category, as well.



This is one of my favourite racing videos.   Cancellara’s Descent « An Ordinary Cyclist.

See it at


This one is a beautiful piece of Tour history. Vive le tour! 1966 and all that. If you love toeclips, bar end shifters, tubs, wooly shorts, riding to the point of collapse, amphetamines or brandy you'll love this.

See it here



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