4 Greatest Cycling Movies Ever Made
Cyclist want to ride. They want to be out on the road, spinning their wheels and suffering their way up the next hill. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to step away. Weather, family, work, and recovery days all demand time away from the road . Or maybe you’ve already finished the Game Changer video that came with your earHeroes Sport earphones and you need something to watch on the trainer. Fortunately, there is no shortage of great films about cycling, so if you can’t get outside to ride your bike, at least you can watch movies about other people riding theirs.
With that in mind, we polled the earHero Sports team and now we’re bringing you (in no particular order) the 4 Greatest Cycling Movies Ever Made.
Breaking Away: 1979
Dave Stoller is obsessed with cycling. He dreams of one day racing with the elite professionals from Italy. He even learned to speak Italian and gave himself an Italian name. Unfortunately, Dave isn’t Italian and lives in a small town in rural Indiana.
None of that stops Dave from chasing his dream though and that’s what makes this one of the best cycling movies ever. How many of us spent hours as a child dreaming of being the next Greg LeMond or Miguel Indurain? Dave is no different. He’s driven and passionate about his bike and in this excellent coming of age story we get to watch Dave live out that dream.
Cyclists have long gravitated to scenes that perfectly illustrate the feel of open road riding (specifically when Dave drafts the truck). This is a movie every cyclist much watch.
Slaying the Badger: 2013
In 2011, freelance journalist Richard Moore published a riveting account of an unexpected rivalry that developed between cycling legend Bernard Hinault and pro peloton newcomer Greg LeMond. The rift between teammates began in the 1985 Tour de France (Hinault’s final Tour win) and continued on into 1986 (LeMond’s first). In 2014, ESPN turned the account into one of the better 30 for 30 documentaries.
With a running length of just over an hour we struggle to consider Slaying the Badger a full length movie. Nonetheless, Slaying the Badger warrants inclusion for an inside glimpse at the dark side of pro cycling and the rivalries that develop. Not only did the tensions rip a team apart in the 80’s, they still cause bitterness and resentment almost 30 years later.
Rising from the Ashes: 2013
The story of the Rwandan national cycling team. Cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda to help a ragtag group of young Rwandan cyclists chase their dreams. After surviving years of genocide these courageous young men dedicated their lives to a cycling team no one else believed in. Coming from poverty stricken backgrounds these young men and were unable to read or write. They lived with extended families in hovels that had no running water and constantly fought malnutrition. As the team began to succeed the riders never forgot where they came from, sharing their earnings with not only their families but their fellow villagers as well.
This heartwarming documentary chronicles the humble beginnings of the Rwandan national team and their inspiring journey to the ranks of professional and Olympic cyclists.
American Flyers: 1985
Breaking Away but with Kevin Costner and Russians. Two brothers journey across the country to race against the pros at a legendary Colorado bike race. There’s plenty of action, a love story and even some good, old fashioned cold war propaganda. (The Russians are the bad guys – surprise!)
Set against the backdrop of Colorado’s legendary cycling locales and featuring the real life 7-Eleven pro team, American Flyers has some amazing two wheeled action. Most of the racing scenes were filmed at the Coors Classic, a major stage race in the 80’s.
Almost no one saw this movie when it was released. Kevin Costner hadn’t become a star yet and the movie only made a little over $1 million. That doesn’t stop it from being a great movie featuring some fantastic racing and the gorgeous scenery unique to Colorado.
There are many more great cycling flicks of course (Ride the Divide, A Sunday in Hell, Rad, to name a few) but these are our favorites. So, the next time you have some down time, or need something to watch on the trainer, try one of these. You won’t be disappointed.