The Great Muppet Caper
Another regression to childhood nostalgia. ‘The Great Muppet Caper’ featured a cycling-inspired musical number called ‘Couldn’t We Ride’, performed by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. The entire gang enjoyed the lead duo as they pedalled on a number of different bike-shaped objects. It’s a fun moment, not least for the fact that we get to see Kermy and Piggy, and co pedalling away, proving that they’re real, after all.
The original 1995 version starring the wonderful Robin Williams features a bike chase scene with a selection of American schoolboy favourites. The protagonist appears to be riding a Raleigh Sports, with the main bully on a Chopper-style Sears Screamer and his gang on Schwinn Stingrays. The scene is great fun, and the Raleigh Sports appears elsewhere in the film, too.
The majority of bikes on the list so far have been either generic models that fulfilled a function or those were made for their respective films. With the classic road racing movie ‘American Flyers’, however, there were some specific and real bike models. Many that were ridden by the main characters were steel-framed early Specialised Allezs. The film still carries so much influence that there remains a movement of retro bike lovers out there creating their very ow old-school red-painted Specialised road bikes as a tribute. Even the company Specialised joined in the fun at the 2010 Tour of California when it issued a fleet of American Flyer-red SL3s to Saxo Bank. Granted, they weren’t made of steel, but carbon.
Kevin Bacon plays a commodity trader who decides to become a cycle messenger. The film isn’t the greatest in the world but it does feature a car/bike chase scene, with the young Keven even starting the scene with an impressive track stand. The bike appears to change throughout the film from a fixed-gear, messenger-perfect, steel framed Raleigh to a gear-shod, steel, framed Raleigh. It’s worth watching just to spot that poor piece of continuity.
The Flying Scotsman
When Jonny Lee Miller agreed to play Graeme Obree, he didn’t simply have to convince as the cycling legend, he had to give the impression that he could ride in perfect position on the Old Faithful bike that was made any Obree himself. Each of the two replicas that were used in the film can be found at Glasgow’s Riverside Transport Museum, with the original residing in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland.For those preteens who managed to convince themselves that the Christina Ricci character could grow up to be none other than Rosie O’Donnell, this film was enjoyable enough. The film was about ice cream, painted nails, summer sing-a-longs, sundresses, truth or dare, and, of course, bicycles. Thora Birch’s character was probably the most glorious character and was put to good use. The film offers a fantastic look at ‘90s nostalgia and offers an escape from that other ‘90s girl film, Spiceworld.