A great many of us love sports movies; they’re uplifting, inspirational, and often based on a true story that teaches us about a person and event we didn’t know much about previously. But one sub-set of sports movies that we don’t think about often is movies about cycling. But over the past several decades, there have been plenty of truly great movies with a cycling theme. If movies about cycling are of any interest to you, here are four great movies you should check out.
First up is “Breaking Away,” which is one of the first cycling movies Hollywood made, doing so in 1979, as cycling started to gain popularity. This movie is about a group of the friends with an interest in cycling, set against the backdrop of a small town in the heartland of America. The lead character, who is played by Dennis Christopher, is a promising amateur, but his group of friends is greeted with hostility from the small college town. “Breaking Away” experienced both critical and commercial success, winning the Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1980.
A few years earlier, there was a Danish movie about cycling called “A Sunday in Hell.” This was a great documentary that covered the 1976 Paris-Roubaix race. The cycling stars of that era are featured in the film, which is well known for its opening sequence in which a mechanic is cleaning his bike. “A Sunday in Hell” does a great job of taking an in-depth look at the stars of cycling in the 1970s, as well as the excitement and passion of the fans in that era, and is a great movie for any cycling fan that’d like to learn about the stars of yesteryear.
One movie that many people will be familiar with is “The Flying Scotsman,” a 2006 biopic about Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree. The film tells the tale of Obree’s attempt to use his bike, dubbed ‘Old Faithful,’ despite it being made of washing machine parts. This is a classic sports movie that just happens to be about a cyclist, as it’s one of the most inspirational movies in the sports genre in the past decade. It also features some amazing cycling scenes that set the bar high for displaying cycling on the big screen.
Finally, there’s a more recent movie with a cycling component with 2011’s “The Kid with a Bike.” It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who skips out on school to search for his bike after being abandoned by his father. Aside from the fact that the central focus of the movie is a bicycle, “The Kid with a Bike” features themes of love and family, and is a wonderfully moving and poignant movie that can be enjoyed by all audiences.