When World War I broke out in 1914, Joseph Pilates, a German citizen found himself…
Whether it’s to stay fit, boost your overall health, save some money, or reduce your carbon footprint to help save the environment, bicycle riding is a great activity for everyone. It’s also a good sport for men and women of different ages. And thanks to the film industry, there are some great movies depicting cycling that open our eyes to the exciting, inspiring, and quite often dramatic world of cycling.
So if you don’t feel like taking a town or countryside bike ride or even spinning on a bike trainer, settle on your couch for the meantime and get a dose of cycling films for motivation. Here’s our list of 10 inspirational cycling movies for cyclists, sports enthusiasts and film lovers like you!
This Italian classic is a simple yet inspiring story about a man in pursuit of his stolen bicycle, which he uses to work and support his family. This 1948 masterpiece is frequently included in top films of all time. It has influenced several film productions and remains a favorite among audiences and critics today.
A Sunday in Hell
Featuring the 1976 Paris-Roubaix race along the legendary cobblestones in Northern France, this Danish documentary captures the ambience and poetry of cycling. Here, you’ll see the crashes, the big wins, and the excitement of fans. There are spots documenting the cycling stars of that time including Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, and Roger de Vlaeminck.
Hollywood took advantage of the growing popularity of cycling in the U.S. and finally made a major film on the sport. This 1980 Academy Award winner for Best Screenplay follows the story of a boy from a small town in Indiana who dreams of becoming a professional cyclist in Italy. This coming-of-age film will inspire any cycling enthusiast.
Stars and Watercarriers
This documentary film made by Danish director Jorgen Leth paved the way for other cycling documentaries that followed. It presents the picture of the 1973 Giro d’ Italia, featuring star cyclists including Eddy Merckx and the lesser-known watercarriers, who played a crucial role in the race yet who generally never see the spotlight.
American actors Kevin Costner and David Grant star in this film about two brothers as they bond on a three-day Coors Classic cycling race through the Rocky Mountains. Steve Tesich’s screenplay for Breaking Away was better than for this film, but this has more realistic racing and inspiring location.
This 2010 film follows the 2009 Tour de France putting the spotlight on the Columbia-HTC team. It’s a thrilling window showing what the racers and the team leaders including Mark Cavendish and Jens Voigt do to keep everyone in jersey contention.
The Triplets of Bellville
This quirky French animated film is considered one of the best cycling movies of all time. It tells the story of a boy named Champion and his grandmother Madame Souza, who’s determined to train him to be the next winner of the Tour de France. There’s barely any dialogue in this film but the visuals and story line are enough to keep you entertained. This film won the Oscar for Best Animated Foreign Film in 2004.
Danny MacAskill – Riding the Ridge
Watch Scottish star stunt cyclist Danny Mac Askill as he takes on the treacherous landscapes of the Cuillin Ridgeline to return home to his native Skye. This documentary feature produced by BBC Scotland does an excellent job on those breathtaking shots.
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
Some say it’s “the greatest bicycling movie ever made,” while some just enjoy the silly antics yet lovable tales in this Tim Burton piece. This 1985 movie shows a great bond between a boy and his bike. Experience Pee-wee’s epic and hilarious cross-country journey as he tries to recover his vintage Schwinn.
BMX racers will love this cult film about a small-town rider who blows off his SATs to compete with professional BMX racers in the major Helltrack race. This film is light yet is still a good one to motivate you to reach for your cycling dreams.
The wheels and the reels do go together! These are just 10 films depicting cycling that can motivate all cyclists and film enthusiasts out there. Whether you’re into the sport or you simply love to ride your bike for physical outdoor activity, you’ll enjoy one or more films from this list!