First film in this list is American Flyers. This Hollywood endeavour from ’85 starring on screen veteran Kevin Costner adds some extra drama in a tale of two brothers who become fixated on cycling. Suffering from a medical condition that could prove fatal at any moment David encourages his brother to join him biking over the Rockies. Without telling him the real reason behind their bonding, a string of other problems aris as they continue along up and down a breathtaking landscape.
If long and intense rides are your thing then these guys will no doubt become your next heroes. In Bicycle Dreams a team of driven cyclists take upon themselves the mission to succeed in one of the most aggressive biking challenges the Race Across America. Beginning on the west coast, these borderline disturbed enthusiasts take up the challenge and head out to make it to the other side in just ten days. As if the physical drain wasn’t already a huge issue, something completely unexpected happens along the way that changes their mindset about the journey forever.
Starring a young Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley this tale of friendship won best screenplay. Set in Indiana in idyllic 1970’s America, Breaking Away follows a group of friends in the underclass who don’t conform to the norms and values of the snooty people they share their town with. Set to prove themselves in a an endurance cycling feat, the group aim to prove to everyone that they have something special about them too. This is a great throwback feature for those who want to revisit the hazy hay-day of past US summers.
A Sunday In Hell
Planted much further in realism, this oldie from 1977 shows just how long people have been punishing themselves in the saddle. Locking in on the Paris-Roubaix spring classic, this film is a no holds barred stare into the dedication and madness of the committed bikers who ride this torturous trail. Known for its unrelenting cobbles and treacherous terrain, this route is not even used by public transport anymore, which makes it a great (or terrible depending on how you look at it) place for a race. Follow the brave few from the pre-race preparations all the way to the finish line in this grueling documentary.
Last and definitely not least, streaming now on Netflix is a sport documentary like no other. This fantastically unwinding piece from Brian Fogel sets out to examine doping in sports. Beginning with him feeling like he was miles behind his competitors when he returned to cycling, Brian starts to look into how most people gain their advantage. Along the way he comes into contact with Russian Scientist Grigory Rodchenkov who slowly pulls away the curtain on the entire industry in a way that is no less than astounding. The shocking twists and disturbing factual revelations here will keep anyone intrigued to see where it ends as the actions of the film itself even begin to spiral out of control. A must see for anyone who likes sport, fairness, politics and conspiracy.