The Top 10 Cycling Movies to Inspire You

Cycling is well known for its intense passion and has inspired numerous movies, including some of the best cycling movies ever made. Cycling is also a lifestyle, fun, healthy, and you can see the outside world from a new perspective.


Without knowing how difficult it is to ride a bike sometimes, watching a movie on cycling may seem like an easy task. But a good cycling movie is hard to make, and more often than not, it ends up as crap.


Here we present you some of the best cycling movies that can inspire you to get on your bike and have some fun. Let’s have a look at them!

1. Breaking Away (1979) 

The movie follows youths in Bloomington, Indiana, who are trying to break away from their midwest blue-collar mentality and different ways they can do it. It stars Dennis Christopher as a high schooler who dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500 like Dave Brubeck. The film's highlight is the last cycling segment, where Christopher and his friends participate in a bike race against Italian professional cyclists.


The emotional part is the movie's ending when Christopher plays cat and mouse with his idol. The movie is the directorial debut of Peter Yates, who went on to direct "The Dresser", "Suspect", and "Year of the Dragon."

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2. Bicycle Thieves (1948) 

A man is trying to provide for his young son and wife by any means necessary, including stealing a bicycle. His theft gets him into a series of misadventures that leave everyone he knows thinking he's a criminal. De Sica was an Italian director whose post-war films were known for social realism.


The movie provides a stark look at poverty in post-war Italy. The movie got shot on the streets of Rome with non-professional actors, which resulted in real emotions and situations that make you feel like you're there with them.

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3. The Flying Scotsman (2006) 

The Flying Scotsman is a bio-pic of Scottish amateur cyclist Graeme Obree who set out to break the world record for distance traveled in one hour. The movie follows his struggle from poverty to glory, including his fight against bulimia and depression. In 1993 he beat the record on a bike he built with spare parts.


The movie is interesting because it shows how Obree's intense personality helped him succeed but was also responsible for his downfall. 

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4. Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) 

In this American comedy, Pee-Wee Herman embarks on a cross country quest to recover his stolen bicycle. The bicycle of the title, however, is merely a MacGuffin. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is more concerned with Pee-wee himself - his hunger for popular acceptance and his fear of growing up.


To accomplish his goal, he needs the help of many oddball characters, including Large Marge, who haunts him in his nightmares. This emotional centre makes the film so touching and gives it real resonance. Many consider the film a cult classic and played at midnight shows in some cinemas. 

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5. American Flyers (1985) 

Two brothers (Kevin Costner and David Grant) race each other across the American countryside to win a spot on the US Olympic cycling team. The film is known for its good pacing, beautiful filming locations, and one of Gene Hackman's best roles as their coach. During filming, co-star Kevin Costner's father died in a plane crash. William Petersen replaced him for the remainder of the shoot. 

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6. The Triplets of Belleville (2003) 

It is a French animated movie about Madame Souza, her dog Bruno and the Triplets of Belleville - 3 eccentric older women and cycling enthusiasts. The movie is loved by many but hated by others because it has gritty drawings and no dialogue for the first 20 minutes. It received an Academy Award nomination but lost it to Finding Nemo.

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7. A Sunday in Hell (1977) 

The French documentary is a must-see for all cycling fans. It follows the 1976 Paris-Roubaix race, known as the 'Hell of the North', from start to finish and shows some of its most important moments, such as Eddy Merckx hitting a fan with a pump or spectators forgetting to move out of the way.


It is beautifully filmed and shows French cycling icon Bernard Hinault's win and how it affects many riders' careers, such as Freddy Maertens and Lucien Van Impe, who were his main competitors that day. Many scenes from this movie can be seen in other movies about cycling today.

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8. Premium Rush (2012) 

In this American film, a New York City bicycle messenger picks up an envelope from a law firm and rushes to deliver it before the day's end. However, a dirty cop who wants that very same envelope attempts to track him down on his bicycle before time runs out.


The movie was filmed almost entirely in front of green and blue screens, with the real actors only being used in a few shots. It is worth watching but let's hope that it won't spawn a trend of making more movies about bicycle messengers. The main actor Joseph Gordon Levitt spent six weeks before filming practicing bike riding and doing stunt work until he could pull off all the stunts by himself.

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9. Where The Trail Ends (2013)

The American documentary follows a group of elite mountain bikers in Kyrgyzstan. They travel through the Tien Shan Mountains, and some scenes show what it is like to ride in that part of the world, including a scene where some members have to jump over a cliff because there is no other way down.


The movie was filmed in Kyrgyzstan and South Korea and at the Red Bull Rampage. The last scene sparked controversy because of its danger to the riders involved.

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10. Breaking2 (2017)

It is a documentary following the efforts of three elite runners, Lelisa Desisa, Eliud Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese, to break the two hour marathon time barrier.
The film follows them through training, sleep deprivation, injuries, and everything else required when trying to push your body beyond its limits.


The movie was filmed by a professional camera crew who had full access to what happened behind the scenes. The documentary is worth watching if you enjoy running or seeing what it takes to be the best at something.

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