Films that include cycling as a main feature
Here is a listing of films that either feature a bicycle, are about
cycling or in some way involve cycling. Descriptions have been taken
from a variety of sources (many are listed at the bottom of
the list). If you can think of other relevant films please
e-mail me and let
me know about them.
|(click here for links related to cycling in Champaign County)
Laurie, a downhill racer gets fired because of her slight overindulgence
in irresponsibility. She meets Lorenzo, a cranky, ex-racer who owns
a bike shop. The two become friends. Laurie gets a job with a local
bicycle courier company, but the group is intent on shutting her
out of their circles, making her life difficult and sad.
Solo: One Man's Quest for a 7th World Title (2007)
24 Solo follows the gut-wrenching story of Chris Eatough on his quest for a 7th World Title in the unforgiving discipline of 24 Hour Solo mountain bike racing. In the face of increased pressure from sponsors, new competitors to the sport and a pregnant wife, Chris focuses his entire season on one race. Dark horse Australian National Champion, Craig Gordon challenges Chris to a level of intensity and exhaustion that leaves one rider with severe blood poisoning.
(available from the 24 Solo web site)
Cycles (1965) -- Dir: Jean-Claude Labrecque
The eleventh St-Laurent long-distance bicycle race, in 1965, with
participants from thirteen countries, and with 2 400 km of the Québec
Gaspé countryside to cover in twelve days--a course longer
than those of Italy, Belgium or Spain. With the curving landscape
of this most picturesque province as backdrop, you see here a sports
event where the challenge seems more personal than competitive.
(available from the National
Film Board of Canada on VHS)
|El Amateur (2000) -- Dir: Juan Bautista Stagnaro
Anything is possible if you have the heart! Alberto"Pajaro" Romero (Mauricio Dayub), a young man marginalized from society, is given a shot at glory when he tries to enter the Guinness Book of Word Records: He has to peddle 130 hours on his bicycle over the course of six days, with 20-minute rests every four hours! When he's not on his bike, Alberto pals around with his best buddy Lopecito (Vando Villamil), a meatpacker, and lusts after La Mora (Alejandra Puy), an attractive circus acrobat. You will laugh, cry, and be inspired by the struggle of an average Joe chasing after legendary recognition with the help of a loyal best friend and his true love. Todo es posible cuando le ponemos corazón! Alberto "Pájaro" Romero, un joven marginal, es dado la oportunidad de entrar el libro Guinness de los récords mundiales al pedalear 130 horas en su bicicleta durante 6 días, descansando 20 minutos cada cuatro horas! Cuando no monta su bicicleta Alberto está con su mejor amigo Lopecito, o sino con La Mora, una atractiva acróbata de circo. Usted reirá, llorará y se inspirará por la lucha de este simple mortal que busca un reconocimiento legendario con la ayuda de su mejor amigo y su gran amor. In Spanish With English Subtitles.
(text taken from amazon.com)
Sports physician Marcus persuades his unstable brother David to
come with him and train for a bicycle race across the Rocky Mountains.
He doesn't tell him that he has a cerebral tumor. While David powerfully
heads for the victory, Marcus has to realize that the contest is
now beyond his capabilities. Features great views of the Rockies
and an insight in the tactics of bicycle races.
Note: Eddy Merckx is present (albeit briefly)
to start the "Hell of the West" race.
of Burden (1993) -- not available
It depicts the hard side of the bike messenger's life and society.
It may be realism, with emphasis on the unhappy side, but it certainly
makes you want to avoid that life. It shows drugs and alcohol, insufficient
money, an alienated approach to living, a very hard job.
Beijing: young men in packs, machismo, class divisions, violence,
and indifference. Guei arrives from the country: toothbrushes, hotel
foyers, and Qin, a rich neighbor in high heels, dazzle him. He gets
a job as a messenger. The company issues him a bike, which he must
pay for out of his wages. When it is stolen, Guei hunts for it.
A student, Jian, has it; for him, it's the key to teen society -
with his pals and with Xiao, a girl he fancies. Guei finds the bike
and stubbornly tries to reclaim it in the face of great odds. But
for Jian to lose the bike would mean humiliation. The two young
men - and the people around them - are swept up in the youths' desperation.
|Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels (2000)
At the end of the 19th century, many military experts believed that the bicycle could replace the horse as a means of transporting troops. The colored 25th Infantry was chosen to test that theory. On June 14 1897 a small group of African-American soldiers, led by white officers and accompanied by a local newspaper reporter, departed Fort Missoula, Montana. Forty-one days and over 1,900 miles later, they reached their destination--St. Louis, Missouri--after traveling over every possible type of rugged terrain and enduring every kind of bad weather. This documentary film looks at how the Bicycle Corps came into being, and details the progress and hardships of their amazing journey.
|Bicycle Dreams (2009)
The Race Across America is an epic, 3000-mile bicycle race from the Pacific to the Atlantic. First held in 1982, RAAM is considered the most challenging sporting event in the world. Top riders finish in under 10 days, riding over 300 miles per day and sleeping only a few hours per night. Amid the sleepless grind, riders must endure the searing heat of the Mojave Desert, the agonizing climbs and descents of the Rockies, the driving winds of the Great Plains, and the twisting switchbacks of the Appalachians before the final sprint to the finish line in Atlantic City. With little prize money at stake, the fundamental goal of the race is simply to finish, a challenge half of all riders fail to meet.
(visit the Bicycle Dreams website)
Antonio Ricci, unemployed for over two years, is overjoyed when
he's finally given a job putting up posters. There's a catch, though
- he needs a bicycle as a requirement of the job, so he pawns the
family linen to get a pawned bicycle back. He goes off to his first
day's work, truly happy for the first time in years - and the title
of the film gives away what happens next...
Bandits (1983) -- not available
Two BMX expert bikers and a friend of theirs (Kidman) become entangled
with a group of bank robbers after discovering a carton of walkie-talkies.
Boy, A Girl, and a Bike (1949)
When a local cycle club, invite a couple of new members to join
them, little do the club realise, that they will soon be involved
in a couple of illegal bookmakers putting the squeeze on the son
of one of the Members, a stolen bike, a deserting soldier on the
run from the police, and a love triangle, that's bound to lead to
trouble. During the late 40's and the early 50's, there seem to
be hundreds of these clubs. This film shows a fascinating look at
a North Country mill town, with a refreshing absence of traffic
jams, yellow lines , traffic wardens, and other things we have become
accustomed to seeing on our roads today. (more)
One reviewer subtitled it, the Boy Who Wanted to be Italian. The
Stollers only child has graduated high school and (along with
three friends) must decide what to do with his life. He won
a bike in the year before opening scene and has become very good
at racing, winning all the local trophies. His heroes are the Cinzano
racing team from Italy. He begins listening to operas, learning
Italian, and finally shaving his legs to cut down wind resistance.
All of this is driving his father crazy. He even pretends to be
an Italian exchange student when he meets a college girl. Set in
the area around Indiana University, it dwells on the alienation
between the college students and the locals, who are called 'Cutters'
(as in Stone Cutters). How the four Cutters take on the
fraternities in the yearly bike race, earning not only the college
students' respect, but their peers as well is the focal point of
the film. Summary written by John Vogel.
Interesting info tid-bit: One of the riders on
the Italian team is Champaign-Urbana's own Chris Gutowski (who
now operates VeloVacations
in the sounth of France).
Away (1980 - 1981, TV series starring Shawn Cassidy) -- not available
This failed TV series was a direct spinoff of the very successful
movie (Barrie, Haley and Ashton continued their roles).
Four buddies live in Bloomington IN, facing life as working class
"cutters" in a college town. Focus is on Dave and his $1200 La Strada
|Contested Streets (2006)
"Contested Streets" Explores the history and culture of New York City streets from pre-automobile times to the present. Central to the story is a comparison of New York to what is experienced in London, Paris and Copenhagen and how limiting automobile use has improved air quality, minimized noise pollution and enriched commercial, recreational and community interaction. London's congestion pricing scheme, Paris's BRT (bus rapid transit) and Copenhagen's bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are all examined in depth. 57 minutes
(visit the Contested Streets web-site)
Course en Tete (Head of the Field)
This outstanding film follows Belgian cycling star Eddy Merckx
at the peak of his career through Europe's best races. "A glorious
study of a rider who dominated an entire cycling generation... A
must-see for cyclists of all ages. It's inspirational: a study in
determination for some viewers and much needed classroom instruction
for others. Overall, it's a fine piece of alternative entertainment."
- Bicycle Guide
Straight from the WCP
archives, an eye-popping, jaw-dropping show that will leave you
in pain. You'll see crashes from the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia,
the Spring Classics, and even crashes from the 50s and 60s! Here
are some of the worst sprint crashes ever recorded, including Abdoujaparov's
unforgettable crash on the finish line of the Tour de France: he
looks like a rag doll sliding accross the pavement. Plus, Jalabert's
crash at the Tour, which left a policeman with a broken leg. How
about Hincapie going head over heels into a ditch at Roubaix, Gianni
Bugno punching a fan with his bike wheel, and Andy Hampsten punching
a fan with his fist on his way up Alpe d'Huez? Eddy Merckx runs
over a dog, riders run into cars, and more. In glorious color, full
speed and slow motion. 85 minutes.
Cyclist (1987, Iran)
The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill.
He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells
does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit promoter
who sells tickets to watch Nasim ride a bicycle continuously for
a week. The promoter brings in sick and aged spectators, haranguing
them to find hope in Nasim's strength. Aided by his son, who feeds
him as he rides, Nasim grinds out the days and shivering nights.
Local officials believe this may be a plot and Nasim may be a spy;
they try to sabotage him as do those who bet he won't finish the
week. Will desperation alone get Nasim the money? Is any triumph
Day I Became a Woman (2000, Iran)
This is the story of women at three stages of life in Iran. The
first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is
told that she can no longer play with the boys she had been playing
with only the day before because she is now a "woman".
Told from the perspective of a nine year old "woman" who
does not feel like or know what that label refers to, we see how
devastatingly this affects both the girl and the boy with whom she
had been friends. The second part is about a young woman who decides
to enter a bicycle race against her husband's wishes. As first the
husband and then increasing numbers of men from the village ride
beside her to convince her to return home, the race begins to symbolize
a freedom she desperately wants from the limitations which have
been placed on her. Finally, the third part shows us an old woman
who has come into some money and is now free to do what she wants.
The way she chooses to use this freedom, however, makes one wonder
just how free she is.
Day Out (1972) (TV) -- not available
Alan Bennett's first work for television is a beautiful, simple
picture of a Halifax cycling club's outing to Bolton Abbey in the
summer of 1911. It is a hot summer day, and not much happens - but
the play is packed with incident as the club members from across
the social spectrum interact with each other and the locals they
meet. the naive optimism is countered by a brief epitaph in 1919,
as the survivors of the World War commemorate the dead. The black
and white drama is doubly nostalgic, not only with the near perfect
portrait of 1911 Yorkshire, but also of the high-quality early efforts
of Bennett and Stephen Frears at the beginning of their careers
over 30 years ago. Well worth watching. (Dir: Stephen Frears)
Gift (2005) (Doc)
This film chronicles the life of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young
Ghanaian man born with a severely deformed right leg, who today,
against incalculable odds, is opening minds, hearts and doors-and
effecting social and political change throughout his country. Emmanuel
begins his quest with a bicycle ride, over 600 kilometers, across
Ghana with one leg-and continues to spread his vision with grit
and resolve. Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern have been documenting Emmanuel's
plight for over a year, having shot over 100 hours of powerful imagery.
The film includes original footage shot in Ghana, California, Oregon
and New York, as well as photographs and other acquired film/video
of Emmanuel's early years. Through it all, they have created an
intimate insight into the mind and heart of a visionary whose unforgettable
journey transcends continents and cultures and becomes each of ours
to share. (paraphrased from www.imdb.com)
Coppi Story / Jacques Anquetil: the Man, the Mystery, the Legend
World Cycling Productions' DVD of The Fausto Coppi Story / Jacques
Anquetil is a combined edition of two programs on one DVD; each
program had previously been sold separately on VHS. This DVD "double
feature" offers an interesting documentary look at two of the
legends of professional bicycle racing: the Italian Fausto Coppi
and the French Jacques Anquetil. (from DVDtalk.com)
Flying Scotsman (2006)
The Flying Scotsman is a feature film based on the remarkable true
story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree (played by Johnny Lee Miller). In 1993, and as an unemployed
amateur, Obree broke the world one-hour record on a bike of his
own revolutionary design, which he constructed out of old BMX frames, scrap metal
and parts of a washing machine. His record was beaten by Chris Boardman just one week later.He went on to regain the title a year later. (read about Graeme Obree on wikipedia)
Lambert's Bicycle (Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert)
In the 70s, there was Merckx and there were the others. Ghislain
Lambert was one of the others. This is his story, a quite simple
one. The story of a modest Belgian bike racer. His greatest ambition
in life? To become a champion. His greatest tragedy? Not having
the legs his heart deserves.
Greatest Show on Earth: The Story of the 1974 Giro d'Italia
Made more than 20 years ago, this brilliant documentary shows the
majestic beauty that is the Giro d'Italia. It's said that Eddy Merckx's
Molteni boss wept like a child in the arms of his beaming star,
who went on to win cycling's magical triple crown by taking the
Tour de France and the World Championships. Experience the riders'
anguish and joy; the organizers' difficulties; and the adoring tifosi's
passion. With stunning cinematography, this epic film goes inside
the Giro's heart and soul, from its opening sequence of the Pope
blessing the riders through Merckx's awesome battle with Gimondi
to win his fifth Giro by a mere 12 seconds, equaling the record
held by Alfredo Binda and Fausto Coppi. This cinematic masterpiece
might be the greatest ever made on bicycle racing.
|Hammer and Cycle (2004)
“Hammer and Cycle: The Habitat for Humanity Bicycle Challenge Documentary” weaves together the accounts of four riders as they endure myriad difficulties and celebrate thrilling triumphs with the entire HBC crew. While they wear the same jersey and ride for the same cause, these four Challengers reflect the genuine diversity that the Habitat Bicycle Challenge embodies. (more)
In this documentary over ten women are chosen to make a commentary
on female athletic performance. Over a period of 2 seasons, HARDIHOOD
examines female downhill mountain bike racers. Beginning with Monday
and ending on Sunday; animation's, weather reports, and the girls
daily process, honor the seven successive days (1 week). Join Missy
Giove, Marla Streb, Jacquie Phelan, and other brave women in their
natural environment: the dirt. Some of them, like Missy and Marla,
take on the pro downhill mountain biking circuit - flying down steep,
gnarly trails at 50+ mph on tricked out custom bikes. When they're
not racing, they endure the tedium of travel, training, hanging
(check out the official Har-di-Hood
THE HARD ROAD follows a first year professional cycling team through
an entire season, documenting their struggle to pursue a dream at
any cost. While the canvas of the film is the gritty subculture
of American professional bike racing, what arises are issues of
loyalty, integrity, commitment, and self-knowledge in a singularly
self- sufficient world in which justice is meted out by the sport
itself. Follow the riders into their homes and hotel rooms; along
in the van and behind the scenes of the races for an inside look
at their camaraderie and triumphs, as well as their disappointments,
hardship and sacrifices. Two grizzled veterans mentor six rookies,
as they try to break into the ultra-elite hierarchy that is pro
cycling. For the team, financial reward, a certain future and social
normalcy are some of the things that must be sacrificed in exchange
for a soul-deep engagement with something essential in themselves.
(check out "The Hard
Road" web page)
(Hell on Wheels) (2004)
The world's most famous bicycle race, Le Tour de France, celebrated
its 100th birthday in 2003. Pepe Danquart's film records the centenary
race in all its glory and its harsh reality - the fierce competition,
the pain, the courage, as well as the triumphs - all of it set against
the spectacular beauty of the French countryside. The film also
surveys the genesis and history of the race, and looks at the gigantic
organisation behind it. Pepe
Danquart won an Oscar in 1994 for his short film, BLACK RIDER. His
other documentaries, including HOMEGAME (2000), have won many other
Magic Pump -- not available
Hugo is the winningest 6-day racer in Italy, beating everyone, including
the Mafia's 'Fixed' riders. To stop losing gambling moneys, the
Mafia decides to wear Hugo down by throwing beautiful women at him,
hoping to reduce his endurance and stamina. This Adult movie from
the late 70's was Competitive Cycling Magazine's choice for best
cycling footage in the era before 'Breaking Away'.
(does anyone own a copy of this? will you make me a copy? e-mail me)
Impossible Hour (1968)
Follow Danish racing star Ole Ritter as he tries to regain his record
for the hour ride. He had set the record in 1968, only to have it
shattered by Eddy Merckx in 1972. A film about human limits and
the quest for the heroic. Directed by Jorgen Leth.
(currently available from World
Cycling with "Stars and Watercarriers")
the Thunder Dragon (featuring Kris Holm)
Unicycle.com's newest video
from the talented filmmaker Sean White, featuring unicycling masters
Kris Holm and Nathan Hoover. Men's Journal (Dec 2005 issue)
names Into The Thunder Dragon one of the 20 best adventure DVDs
of all time, alongside such films as Brad Pitt's A River Runs Through
it and Touching the Void.
Brown, 6 Day Racer (1934) -- not available
A 1940'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. (AKA "6 Day Bike Rider") -- posters available through moviegoods.com
de Fete (1949)
Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'.
All inhabiters are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems
not to recognize. The rising of the flagstaff under his direction
nearly leads into a catastrophy - but everybody tells him, how important
his work is. Sneering up Francois continues in the evening of the
festive day. Made drunk, some 'friends' persuade him to watch a
short-movie in a tent. This film is a stunt-show, covered as 'The
modern delivery-techniques of the US-post. Francois takes it serious,
not recognizing being teased. Next day, after getting sober in a
goods wagon, he reorganizes his own delivery-methods. He has not
the equipment, as his ideals in the short-movie have, but using
only his bicycle, he makes good, funny progresses.
|The Kid with a Bike (2011, Belgium)
Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hairdresser agrees to foster him on weekends.
(not yet available)
Klunkerz is a fast-moving documentary that traces the global rise of mountain biking from it’s Marin County roots, a gonzo sport long favored by fearless iconoclasts. An outgrowth of the Bay Area’s late-’60s early-’70s hippy counterculture, mountain biking got its start right in MVFF’s backyard. Pot-smoking adrenaline junkies from Mill Valley, Larkspur and surrounding towns took their pre-World War II bicycles known as klunkerz due to their fat tires to the top of Mt. Tamalpais. Then hurled themselves down dirt paths, risking life and limb in search of a killer high. People formed amateur bike leagues and tricked-out their two-wheelers with junkyard finds; spectacular wipe-outs made local guys national legends, and this mud-splattered hobby became an international craze and Olympic sport. Archival footage, rare photos and interviews with klunkerz trailblazers merge in this terrific film that races downhill toward mountain-bike bliss. Starring: Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Alan Bonds, Charlie Kelly, Tom Ritchey, Russ Mahon, Bob Burrowes, Wende Cragg, Charlie Cunningham, Otis Guy, Jaquie Phelan, Steve Potts, John Finley Scott, Robert Stewart, Fred Wolf
|Last Ride and/or The Great Vermont Bicycle Toss
This very special film features bicycle mechanics who once a year meet in the dense Vermont hinterland to smash, clash, and trash bicycles in order to rid themselves of their frustrations. The theme behind the film, illustrated by the mechanics who design, costume and destroy their outlandish bicycles, is the chasm between creativity and destruction.
(available from Edwards Films)
Miss Marker (1980)
A depression era bookie (Walter Matthau) gets stuck with
a little girl, left as an IOU (marker). Only about 5 minutes
of 6-day racing in this one. The track is a portable one, built
by the same builder as the portable Atlanta Olympic Velodrome.
Maryada Ramanna (2010)
Goodhearted but unlucky bicycle-deliveryman Ramu learns that he owns five acres in his parents' hometown in Rayalaseema, and sets out to sell the land. He befriends his fellow train passenger, the beautiful and charming artist Aparna, called Appu for short. Appu's family welcome him, before realizing he is a descendant of their sworn enemy from a violent long-standing family feud. The family's own strict rules of hospitality require them to treat Ramu well while he remains under their roof, but they plan to kill him the moment he steps over the threshold...
Watch the trailer on YouTube.
|Need for Speed (2000)
So you thought you knew New York? Well, get to know an entirely different New York, seen through the eyes of the city's hippest sub-culture: the hard core bicycle messengers. They adhere to only one motto, 'Either you get better or you get dead'. THE NEED FOR SPEED propels you into the fast and dangerous lives of these adrenaline addicts and their personal struggle for freedom and independence. They are the last free spirits in America, or as Steve 'the Greek' puts it, 'I'm Marco Polo, doomed to New York!
(director Katharina Otto's biography)
Road to Athens
This feature length documentary follows the top US pro mountain
bikers around the world for six months as they chase international
points that determine who will represent the United States at the
2004 Olympics. Off Road to Athens offers the viewer an unparalleled
cinematic glimpse into the high-states, high-stress, high-energy
world of professional mountain biking.
(visit the official Off
Road to Athens web site)
"One Less Car" is a whimsical celebration of the 40,000 New Yorkers who regularly forego gas guzzlers in favor of "zero emissions vehicles" (also known as bicycles). One of over 6 films commissioned for the Live Earth concerts and awareness events of July 2007. Shown on the Sundance Channel and MSN.
(visit the official One less Car web site)
Tired Guy (2001)
OK, this isn't really a bicycling film -- but, it's a uni-cycling
film (and the only one I'll include on this list). KRIS
HOLM defines new freeride mountain unicycle standards in this
extraordinary collection of action and adventure films. ONE TIRED
GUY features:"SKILLETTO" - Winner of a Jury Award at
Telluride Mountainfilm '01, this film highlights Kris riding the
Vancouver North Shore, urban trials, and very scary slickrock
atop the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, BC. "WHITETRAX"
- Think that mountain unicycles are only good for rocks and dirt?
Think again. Watch Kris tackle mogul ski slopes, steep hardpack
and a snowboard terrain park in Whistler. Winner, Jury Award,
Banff Mountain Film Festival '03. "UNIZABA" - An adventure
on Mexico's highest volcano, El Pico de Orizaba. Kris is joined
by Nathan Hoover as they ride terrain ranging from rooftops in
Mexico City to rock-strewn slopes on a wild descent down Orizaba's
south face. Winner, Jury Award, Telluride Mountainfilm '02 and
Kendall Mountain Film Festival '02. "FAT TIRE FURY"
- Kris ups the ante with more big drops, narrow logs and high
exposure on the guard railing of the Burrard Street Bridge. Plus
interviews, outtakes, bonus footage and more!
(for more info on Kris Holm check out his web
“Instant Classic” Documentary Tracks Team CSC’s
2004 Season. One of the best cycling films in decades is now available
through WCP. Danish filmmaker Tomas Gislason spent last year’s
cycling season, including the Tour de France, capturing the joys
and sorrows, the triumphs and the disappointments, the dogged pursuit
of endurance and the emotional highs and lows of the team members
and directeur sportif Bjarne Riis, whose impact on the sport continues
significantly after his career as a top cyclist. The film, aptly
titled “Overcoming”, presents in moving yet excruciating
detail the pain and glory that characterize one of the world’s
most popular sports. Not since Jorgen Leth’s classic “The
Hell of the North” has there been a film that so perfectly
distills the rich essence of cycling into gripping, cathartic cinema.
|Pagan Rites in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom
An English professor relates the destruction of bicycles to rodeo cowboys and the medieval "Feast of Fools;" an American Studies professor sees the bike toss as a criticism of capitalist society; an economist explains the theory of motivation behind actions, while an anthropologist sees these "rituals" as a return to certain tribal customs, which may very well be necessary (and almost lost) in modern society. A spoof on creation and destruction--forces inherent in all of us.
(available from Edwards Films)
|Pedal (Book + DVD)
In Pedal, Sutherland documents bike messengers competing in the 2005 Cycle Messenger World Championships in New York City. Going straight to the center of this urban subculture, Sutherland serves up compelling portraits of the competitors from dozens of countries, in motion and at ease, checking out each other’s bags, lingering over modifications to bikes and bodies. Between events like sprints, distance racing, and skid contests, Sutherland shows us the riders’ elegant physicality, complex individuality, and unique community that crosses boundaries of race, gender, age, and class. And he doesn’t shy away from the blood and bruises that come part and parcel with the messenger’s life. Sutherland delves deep into the world of the messengers—a world usually seen from the outside—and returns with a dynamic document that evokes the unbridled anarchy and energy of its inhabitants. (more)
This 38-minute documentary follows the adventures of S.C.A.B. (Skids
Creating Apocalyptic Bicycles), a roving gang of bicyclist-
artist- philosophers hell-bent on ridding the world of automobiles.
Using trash nabbed from the Madison streets, S.C.A.B. recycles junked
ten-speeds and kids' scooters into nightmarish vehicles of urban
terrorism. Between infiltrating events sponsored by tamer bicycle
enthusiasts and wedging ill-fitting Huffies together with hacksaws
and butterknives, S.C.A.B. members find time to muse on anarchy,
consumer culture, proper bunny-hopping technique, the failure of
the media and the purpose of art. "It's an experiment in phenomenology,"
says S.C.A.B. co-founder Michael Spelman, "but it's also nice
to piss off cars."
(visit the official Pedalphiles
Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
The love of Pee-wee Herman's life is his bicycle. When it is stolen,
he is send on a wild cross country adventure after a fortune teller
tells him his bicycle is in the basement of the Alamo. Along the
way, Pee-wee encounters an escaped convict, a waitress with wanderlust
and a jealous boyfriend, and a mysterious female truck driver.
un Maillot Jaune (1965)
A wonderful film of the 1965 Tour de France made by acclaimed and
Oscar-winning French film Director Claude Lelouch. The film is unique
in that it has no narration, only beautiful images of the Tour to
tell the story! Recognized as one of the best films ever made about
the Tour, "Pour un Maillot Jaune" has everything the Tour
was in the 1960's and reveals the heartbreak and drama. Enjoy this
loving testimony to the enduring appeal of the world's greatest
(description taken from Vintage
Premium Rush (2012)
Wilee is one of 1,500 bike couriers in Manhattan who rides on the edge by having a bike with no brakes. On this day, Wilee has a delivery that is so valuable that a corrupt NYC Detective, who needs the money, begins to chase Wilee throughout the city to get it before the envelope is delivered. Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
(official Premium Rush website)
A Feature Documentary
"PRO" takes viewers on an unforgettable ride into the ultra-elite
world of the superstars of professional bike racing: Bobby Julich,
Chris Horner, Freddie Rodriguez, Mike Sayers, Gord Fraser, Henk
Vogels, Mark McCormack, Jonas Carney, Trent Klasna, Michael Creed,
Erik Saunders, Tim Johnson and more. These superstars and their
teams star in "PRO", director Jamie Paolinetti's follow up film
to the cult phenomenon, The Hard Road.
(check out the official "Pro"
Pleasure and pain, glory and defeat, mud and...more mud, Pure Sweet
Hell tells the story of cyclocross, a sport that has emerged as
bike racing's punk rock cousin. Told from an insider's perspective,
the filmmakers traveled to 'cross competitions throughout North
America, dug up vintage photos and film footage, and followed 'cross
luminaries Justin Robinson, Gina Hall, Barry Wicks and Rick Hunter.
Shot entirely on Super 8 and supported by experimental rock music,
Pure Sweet Hell surfaces both the strong community behind the solitary
sport and the grace that arises amidst all of its grit.
The Giro Italia is arguably one of the most difficult stage races
in the professional cycling arena. The Quest takes a behind the
scenes look at one of the worlds top cycling teams and finds a family
underneath. Nine riders, one manager, three directors, three mechanics,
five souginers and a bus driver journey for twenty-three days and
live the drama, the dream and excitement of every pedal repetition,
all selflessly fighting for Gilberto Simoni to realize his dream.
Simoni, after winning in 2001, had the race ripped from his hands
in 2002 by accusations of drug use. Ultimately exonerated, he has
spent a year waiting to unleash the fight for redemption on his
home arena and hoist the trophy of champion aloft for those who
never stopped believing in their star. Heros storm the century-old
roads of this most majestic country and fight to see who will be
crowned the king. From the shores of Sicily in the south to the
viciously steep Zoncolan in the north, these men seek victory and
the Maglia Rosa for 2003. Along the way see the reigning World Champion,
Mario Cippolini; make history by winning more stages in the Giro
than any other rider and Marco Pantani wage what will be his last
battle on the world stage of professional cycling. The passion,
drama and excitement of this Grand Tour are played out across one
of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire world. Narrated by
Phil Liggett. Italian with English subtitles.
(Check out the official Quest
|Quest 2 (2006)
After the success of the first film, Greg St Johns (part of the CSI production team) takes us on a behind-the-scenes journey following the Saunier Duval team and including the 2006 Tour de France. See behind the scenes, with interviews with the entire team, plus interviews with Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Chris Horner, and Cadel Evans. Tons of great Tour footage!
A much anticipated sequel to first film, THE QUEST
Jack Casey (Kevin Bacon) used
to be a hot-shot stock market whiz kid. After a disastrous professional
decision, his life in the fast lane is over. He loses his nerve
and joins a speed delivery firm which relies on bicycles to avoid
traffic jams of New York City. He soon is attracted to a fellow
bicycler, Terri, and befriends Hector, a budding entrepreneur. Can
Jack regain his nerve and his self-respect, and rebuild his life
on a more sound basis?
|Race Day with Robbie Ventura (2007)
Using bike-mounted cameras, this ground-breaking training DVD places you alongside pro-coach Robbie Ventura in an elite-level, national criterium race. You've never trained like this before, and once you have, you'll never want to go back to the old way. (link)
The story of Cru Jones, a young man who can overcome all obstacles
that prevent him from participating in the BMX race "Helltrack."
As he works towards his dream, Cru falls in love with Christian,
an amateur racer. With the help of Christian and his friends, can
Cru's "Rad Racing Team" defeat the top BMX factory rider, Bart Taylor?
Light Go (2002)
After getting to know a select group of hardcore NYC bike messengers,
they and their fellow riders are followed on a series of harrowing
races through the streets of New York City. The story culminates
with the annual Halloween night Alleycat, a long and brutal race
through rush-hour traffic.
(visit the Red Light Go
Red Zinger/Coors Classic: Where it All Began (2007)
For the first time ever, a collection of Red Zinger and Coors Classic highlights from 1978 to 1988 and never-before released historical cycling films are available in one DVD set! After emerging from the Red Zinger, the Coors Classic became the ultimate forum and standard for stage racing in the U.S. The race was a career catalyst for some of world's greatest cyclists, such as LeMond, Hampsten, Carpenter, Twigg, Grewal, Phinney, Bauer, Phil Anderson, Alcala, Longo, and Heiden. This collection features a core sample of world-class, pro-Am men and women's racing throughout Colorado, California, Nevada, Wyoming, and Hawaii, in what was considered the fourth biggest race on the world cycling calendar. And at the time it was also the single biggest women's race ever held. Includes short films spanning the Red Zinger years shown in movie theaters; Coors Classic CBS, NBC, and ESPN network coverage; and Denver TV specials, documentaries of Bernard Hinault's 1986 win, the BMW motos used at races, and other race-associated projects like the bizarre Euro sport Cycleball.
Michael Aisner and VeloGear)
of the Scorcher (1992)
This movie was made by bicycle activist Ted White to show the superiority
of the bicycle to the automobile, with scenes from all over the
world. One of its claims to fame is that it's where the name "Critical
Mass" comes from.
(visit the Ted White's "Return
of the Scorcher" web site)
The 52-minute European version of the groundbreaking documentary
covering Lance Armstrong and the 2001 U.S. Postal Team over 27 days
in April as they prepare to win a third consecutive Tour de France.
Never-before-seen footage takes you inside team meetings and along
for the ride in the team car during some of cycling's greatest races,
including a down-to-the-wire Amstel Gold Race and the most hellish
Paris-Roubaix in years. Unprecedented access to Lance allows us
to follow him on reconnaissance rides in the Alps, on the very stages
that would come to mark his dominating performance in July. Road
to Paris also explores the strategic thinking of one of cycling's
top directeurs, Johan Bruyneel. For both the avid cyclist and the
casual fan, this DVD provides a rare look into the world of professional
cycling. The DVD also includes 47 minutes of bonus footage and profiles
of the 2001 U.S. Postal Team riders. Approx. 100 minutes.
|The Road to Roubaix (2008)
Masterlink Films and directors, David Deal and Dave Cooper, bring you a film that goes beyond the limits of what broadcast television can offer. Road To Roubaix tells the story of the riders, mechanics, fans, and the brutal, unpredictable landscape that is the stage for Paris-Roubaix. The film combines rare, behind-the-scenes footage, stunning panoramic views of the race, and a collection of contemporary photographs, as well as rare historic archival photographs that most people never see. The film features the 2007 edition of Paris-Roubaix—the hottest in over 100 years—but the main character of the film is without a doubt the cobbles. (more)
|Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1961)
|Six Day Bicycle Races (2005)
The riders were some of the best paid and most respected athletes during the golden era of sports…the Jazz Age. It was a seen and be seen event every year in all the major metropolitan areas of the United States and Canada. Movie stars, politicians, and gangsters mixed with everyday sports fans to create an atmosphere not found in any other sport. (more)
and Watercarriers: 1973 Giro d'Italia
This extraordinary film by Jorgen Leth recreates the magic
of the moment as Merckx drops, on his way to victory, such luminaries
as Basso, Gimondi, Battaglin, Fuentes, and a young Francesco Moser,
bringing the Giro's thrills and disappointments home to every viewer.
Stars and Watercarriers is considered one of the best films ever
made on professional cycling.
(currently available from World
Cycling with "The Impossible Hour")
We Ride (2004)
On Friday August 27, 2004 just days before the start of the Republican
National Convention, a massive police operation was underway. By
the end of the night 264 people were arrested. It marked one of
the largest mass arrests in New York City's history - and the arrested
had done nothing illegal. For many New Yorkers, August was the first
time they heard of what has become a monthly ritual for New York
City's bike community; a free-forming ride called Critical Mass.
"Still We Ride" is a documentary that captures the joyous
atmosphere of this August ride before the arrests began and the
chaos that followed.
(visit the "Still
We Ride" web site)
Sunday in Hell: 1976 Paris-Roubaix
Highly acclaimed Danish director and documentary filmmaker
Jorgen Leth brings you the drama of Paris-Roubaix in a film that
became a foreign classic in the U.S. "A Sunday in Hell"
is a psychological and dramatic study of the battle between Merckx,
DeVlaeminick, Marten and Moser. Over 90 minutes of spine-tingling
suspense that leave the viewer limp from vicarious excitement. "Merckx,
De Vlaeminck, Martens and Moser - a gallery of great names clash
in battle over the pave. We are mesmerized by Leth's perceptive
vision of what a spring classic means. A true masterpiece of cycling
cinematography. This is a must-have video for every cycling fan's
collection." - Winning. Directed by Jørgen Leth.
Two advertising executives compete in a 400-mile bicycle race from
San Francisco to Malibu. Directed by Steven A. Hull, starring Patricia
Hume and William Woodbridge.
Going from a complete outsider at the start of the race to standing
atop the winner's podium at the finish, Scott not only filmed the
race, he became part of it! Along the way he met and captured on
film exclusive "behind the scenes" interviews and events
that make the Tour de France so special. Scenes include Lance Armstrong
in his hotel room, Robin Williams, Jean Marie Leblanc (Director
of the Tour de France), Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, crazed tour
fans, US Postal Riders in the team bus and in their hotel rooms,
getting up close and personal with the podium babes, Lance and Pantani
battling it out atop Mt. Ventoux and the after race parties in Paris.
(visit the Tour Baby!
|Tour Baby Deux! (2007)
Scott does it again! Join him on another amazing adventure deep inside the 2005 Tour de France in this long awaited sequel to The Tour Baby! Scott lives every cycling fan's dream by following the entire Tour de France from start to finish filming all the craziness that makes the Tour the world's greatest sporting event. From mountain-top madness in the Pyrenees to partying with Podium Girls in Paris, Scott does it all. The film includes amazing behind-the-scenes footage with Lance Armstrong and his Discovery Channel team as he conquers the Tour for the seventh time, Cadel Evans, Robbie McEwen, Freddie Rodriguez and their Davitamon-Lotto Team and Carlos Da Cruz, Sandy Casar, and Bradley McGee and their Francaise des Jeux team. The film runs 97 minutes and is full of fun and surprises!
(visit the Tour Baby! web site)
De France Centenary Film 1903-2003
The great cycling competition Tour De France turned 100 in the year
2003 and as a way to commemorate this legendary athletic event,
the folks behind the cycling competition offer TOUR DE FRANCE CENTENARY
FILM 1903-2003. This is a history of the event filled with images
and footage of great events, starting with early, rough films in
1903 and continuing to Lance Armstongs fifth straight victory in
2003. Armstrong, cancer survivor extraordinaire, is the perfect
narrator for this celebration of strength, endurance and inspiration.
of Belleville (Belleville Rendezvous)
Madame Souza raises her grandson Champion and tries to make
him happier with a baby dog, Bruno. However, the boy remains sad,
and the grandmother gives a tricycle for him. The boy gets excited
with the gift, and trained by Madame Souza along the years, he finally
competes the Tour de France. When Champion is kidnapped by two MIBs
from the French mafia, Madame Souza and Bruno travel to Belleville
to rescue him, with the support of the elder singers, the Belleville
(Note: Lots of references to Jacques Tati and
What compels three friends from Utah to bike 4800 miles from Venice
Beach, California to Springfield, Massachusetts on a budget of $10
per day? 'We wanted to see if the country was as good as we thought'
say Dan Austin, the Director of TRUE FANS. Dan takes the audience
on an uplifting and humorous 100 day ride across America following
in the tradition of 'On the Road.' This fast paced documentary won
the 'People's Choice Award' at the Banff Mountain Film Festival
and a 'Special Jury Selection' at MountainFilm in Telluride.
(available from BuyIndies)
and Down (1992)
Partly inspired by Dadaist playwright Alfred Jarry's The Passion
Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race, "Up
and Down" follows a group of cyclists as they struggle
up the winding slopes of the Alps. Some cheat; some conduct business;
and one wears a tutu! Written and directed by Luc Moullet, with
Jean Abeille, Clement Bourtterin, Claude Melki, and Luc Moullet.
When the USSR collapsed, Cuba lost 80% of their oil supply. This movie documents how they bought 1.2 million bicycles, switched 5 bus factories to bicycle manufacturing, educated riders on how to ride, changed the city of Havana to accommodate bikes, posted bicycle signs, did job swaps to reduce length of commutes and in the process created more human interaction and community A truly inspiring video. (27 minutes)
le Tour (1962, Louis Malle)
An often-amusing study of the 1962 Tour De France cycle race by
director Louis Malle.
aren't Blocking Traffic) We are Traffic (1999)
Chronicles the history and development of the "Critical Mass" bicycle
movement, one of the most spirited and dynamic social/political
movements of the apathetic 90's. In over 200 cities in 14 different
countries, Critical Mass has now become a monthly ritual of reclaiming
the streets by bicycle activists riding en masse.
the Ted White's "We
are Traffic" web site)
|Wheels within Wheels (2008)
"A big-hearted, emotionally-charged tribute to British road racing cyclist Tom Simpson from actor Simon Dutton who visits his friends and family before attempting to ride up Mont Ventoux himself to pay respects at Simpson's memorial......one of the most enjoyable cycling films to date." Derek Adams,Time Out
"Wheels Within Wheels" is made with heaps of enthusiasm, as actor Simon Dutton [recently on BBC 1's "Not Going Out"] goes in search of his sporting hero Tom Simpson with a genuine passion. This entertaining documentary has more appeal than just an out & out sports piece of film making. It has human interest at it's heart! " Steve Dixon
From a pool hall in London's famous Portobello market, via a dressing room in a small theatre in Glasgow, to the mountains of Provence, France, 'Wheels Within Wheels' is the epic journey, actor Simon Dutton ( now appearing with Lee Mack in the hit BBC comedy Not Going Out - BBC 1) took, in search of his boyhood sporting hero, Tom Simpson, one of Britain's greatest ever cyclists.
This fascinating documentary, made over a four year period, chronciles Dutton, who, in a mid-life crisis decides to go off in the tracks of Simpson, the legendary cyclist who tragically died on Mount Ventoux in the 1967 Tour de France.
The film follows Dutton on what turns out to be a sort of pilgrimage of sorts, where, as well as discovering the truth about Tom Simpson, finds out about himself as well. Along the way we have humour, pathos, and some vintage footage all backed by an eclectic musical soundtrack.
Jersey (PBS documentary) -- not available
A PBS Documentary from the Early 70's, showing the trials of
the American team at a stage race in Canada.
few) Honorable mentions:
ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Il Postino (1995)
She's Gotta Have it (1986)
Wizard of Oz (1939)
Film Festival - in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Universe - A good, but shorter, categorized list -- sometimes
it has more information about individual movies
Bromley Video - An excellent
source for cycling films in the UK (has lots not available in
the US -- all PAL format, though)
Never - very complete listing/article on cycling films and films
with bicycles by Séamus D. King
League of American
Bicyclists - Working for a bicycle friendly America
- a wikiwkiweb site (editable by anyone) on cycling and
- Better Bicycling for Massachusettes
- cycling chat board
The Bike in Film - An
annual festival of bike films in Philadelphia which shows many short
films which aren't listed here
World Cycling Productions
- lots of bike films on DVD and VHS
|Cycling Book Resources:
|Cycle Publishing -
We publish books on bikes & biking, selected other sports, and manufactured housing.
Human Kinetics - The Information Leader in Physical Information (link directly to HKs cycling related books)
Velo Press - an endurance sports publisher focusing on the sports of cycling and triathlon
Wilms on Wheels - The most complete cycling book database on the internet.
what it's worth, That's Rentertainment has a Cycling
Film section (not for the films listed above but rather for
the Spring Classics and other race films). It's in with the
other sports titles. For a list of titles click here.
check out our Champaign County Cycling page
for links to local cycling related things (and a few not so
local cycling related things).