The Bicycle in Film


For millions of people around the world, a bicycle represents recreation, transportation, and even the source of their livelihood. Its importance grows every year due to its affordability, from cost of acquisition to cost of maintenance. Here we’ve put together a list of our favorite bicycling films you may enjoy. These films represent the range of uses and importance the bicycle represents around the world.

1.) With My Own Two Wheels (2011)

No film depicts the range of importance the bicycle represents to people around the world than Hubub Films’ excellent With My Own Two Wheels. Here is the synopsis…

For many Americans, the bicycle is a choice. An expensive toy. An eco-conscious mode of transportation. For countless others across the globe, it is much more.

For Fred, a health worker in Zambia, the bicycle is a means of reaching twice as many patients. For Bharati, a teenager in India, it provides access to education. For Mirriam, a disabled Ghanaian woman, working on bicycles is an escape from the stigma attached to disabled people in her community. For Carlos, a farmer in Guatemala, pedal power is a way to help neighbors reduce their impact on the environment. For Sharkey, a young man in California, the bicycle is an escape from the gangs that consume so many of his peers.

With My Own Two Wheels weaves together the experiences of these five individuals into a single story about how the bicycle can change the world—one pedal stroke at a time.

It’s a beautiful film and well worth seeing.

2.) The Flying Scotsman (2006)
Winning is tough enough, but when you start by building your own bike from old washing machines parts, special recognition is in order. That’s what champion cyclist Graeme Obree did, however his title gets stripped from him and causes he mental health problems later on.

3.) Road to Roubaix (2008)
Paris–Roubaix is a one-day professional bicycle road race in northern France near the Belgian frontier and is most likely the most prestigious cycling race in the world. The race passes through rough terrain and cobblestones, and is affectionately known as the “Hell of the North,” and :Sunday in Hell.”

4.) A Sunday Day in Hell (1976)
Director Jørgen Leth’s film also targets the Paris-Roubaix spring classic as its subject. The film zeros in on the race’s cobbled roads of the Belgian frontier which are “no longer used for traffic, but only for transporting cattle – and for cycle races.”

5.) Pedal (2001 )
This film looks at the New York City subculture of bike messengers who endure some rather thrilling action segments as they weave their way though city traffic to make deliveries. Low-budget cinema at its best.

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