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From docs to dramas to adventure epics, here's a selection of bike-related films that are well worth a watch...

If you've got a couple of hours to kill while you recover from your latest big ride, what better way to fill the time up than watching one of these cycle-themed films and documentaries?

We've done a whip-round of the road.cc team and friends of the site and come up with our list of recommendations that are currently listed on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Enjoy! 

Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story (2014)

Recounting the story behind what many regard as the biggest sporting fraud in history, this documentary explores how dastardly Lance duped the world and became an icon, only to eventually admit to being part of a doping program in 2013. Director Alex Holmes interviews former friends, colleagues and team members to reveal the full extent of the lies, bullying and cover-ups that went on during Armstrong's ascendancy from cancer survivor to seven-times Tour de France winner before the truth came out.
Available on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

American Flyers (1985)

This 80's classic starring Kevin Costner tells the story of sports physician Marcus (Costner) who persuades his unstable brother David (David Grant) to head out with him to train for a bike race across the Rocky Mountains; but tragically and unbeknown to David, Marcus has a cerebral tumour and has to come to terms with being unable to compete as his brother heads for victory. Powerful stuff and a masterclass in bike race tactics, with some stunning views of the Rockies!
Available on Amazon Prime Video

The Kid With a Bike (2011)

This touching French language film directed by the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne tells the story of 11-year-old Cyril, who is abandoned by his father and left in care before befriending a local hairdresser. Not strictly about bikes, but the closing scene where Cyril rides away is certainly shocking and memorable.  
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Icarus (2017)

A film that was originally going to be about director and amateur bike racer Bryan Fogel trying to get better at cycling through taking performance-enhancing drugs, only for him to happen across one of the biggest doping scandals the world has even known. This Oscar winner has to be seen to be believed...
Available on Netflix

100 Metros (2016)

Based on the true story of multiple sclerosis sufferer Ramón Arroyo, who was told he wouldn't be able to walk 100 metres after his diagnosis... to which Arroyo responded by completing an Ironman. Technically about triathlon, but obviously Ramon has to cycle a fair bit throughout the film. 
Available on Netflix

Bicycle (2014)

Director and avid cyclist Michael B. Clifford tells the story of cycling in the UK, back where the modern bicycle was invented. It takes a humorous look at the sport of cycling, charting its Victorian origins up to the present day. Features cameos from Sir Dave Brailsford and Chris Boardman amongst other well-known faces. 
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Pedal the World (2015)

It's pretty self-explanatory, but this documentary tells the story of Felix Starck's 18,000 kilometre journey through 22 countries as he pedals his way around the globe in 365 days. The whole doc was shot, directed, edited and produced by Felix himself.  
Available on Netflix

Blood Road (2017)

Blood Road follows the journey of American ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal is to reach the site of where Rebecca's US Air Force pilot father was shot and killed in 1971, making the journey all the more poignant as she discovers how the Vietnam war shaped their lives along the way.  
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

This classic post-war Italian film tells centres around Antonio and his young son Bruno. Antonio is long-term unemployed but is elated when he finally finds work in Rome, only to get his bike stolen on his first day. Antonio and Bruno embark on a frantic search for the bike, that he needs more than anything in order to continue in work.  
Bicycle Thieves regularly features in must-see lists, and was even named the greatest film of all time by Sight and Sound magazine in 1953. 
Available on Amazon Prime Video

Murder of Couriers (2014)

An unusual title and unusual subject matter, Murder of Couriers tells the story of a group of cycle couriers over a three year period. Some of the stars of the film tell how they escaped a life of crime and drug abuse by replacing it with the thrill of getting out on their bikes and getting paid for it...  
Available on Amazon Prime Video

 

What have we missed? Let us know in the comments!

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017 having previously being Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine, and reports on all things tech as well as editing road.cc's live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

17 comments

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peted76 [1585 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

More recommendations like these please! I'll eat these all up in a couple of weeks  1

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StoopidUserName [699 posts] 2 weeks ago
3 likes

There are a number of classic docs on youtube - A Sunday in Hell, Stars and Watercarriers, La Course en Tete and so on shot during possibily the golden age of cycling in the 1970's and featuring many of it's star names.

 

Suprised there's no mention of 'Breaking Away' - not seen it myself but heard many amercians talk about it. Basically a teen comedy from 1979 about a fanatical italian obsessed bike racer. 

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OldRidgeback [3225 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

There are a number of classic docs on youtube - A Sunday in Hell, Stars and Watercarriers, La Course en Tete and so on shot during possibily the golden age of cycling in the 1970's and featuring many of it's star names.

 

Suprised there's no mention of 'Breaking Away' - not seen it myself but heard many amercians talk about it. Basically a teen comedy from 1979 about a fanatical italian obsessed bike racer. 

Yep, I'd have added Breaking Away too. It's not a truly great film, but it's not a bad one either.

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efail [158 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Bicycle Thieves, absolutely brilliant. I watched it about 15 years ago, by chance. Available on Youtube. If you watch it, and it has sub-titles, try to look at the backgrounds and the people on the edges. 

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michophull [160 posts] 2 weeks ago
7 likes

I strongly recommend Belleville Rendezvous.smiley

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ktache [2135 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

I was going to recommend BBC4s Pedalling Dreams: The Raleigh Story, but it is no longer available on iPlayer (though someone has put it on Youtube)

A Sunday in Hell is on Youtube and REALLY worth the time, of course.

It's the non charged for stuff I really do prefer.

 

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zanf [1031 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Some others:

Janapar

Tom Allen a some friends go on a bike trip around the world and it ends up in an unexpected place.

There used to be a Hackney Bicycle Film Society (they're now called Radical Film Club) that used to show lots of cycling films. If I get the time, I'll compile a list of what they showed.

 

The last ones they showed were:

The Impossible Hour is a concentrated study of Ole Ritter's attempt in Mexico City in 1974 to set a new record for the hour - described in the film as "the noblest, most difficult record that can be set on a bicycle".

Vive le Tour, Louis Malle presents his energetic evocation of the Tour de France.

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jerome [81 posts] 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Lacking "Jour de fete" from Jacques Tati. A true classic about a french postman.

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leaway2 [117 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

1, breaking away.
2, premium rush.

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brooksby [5037 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes
leaway2 wrote:

1, breaking away. 2, premium rush.

I didn't want to be the first person to mention Premium Rush  3

Its popcorn fluff, but I like it!

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Dr Madvibe [12 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like
jerome wrote:

Lacking "Jour de fete" from Jacques Tati. A true classic about a french postman.

That's what I was going to say. A superb film.

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benbrangwyn [10 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

Quicksilver, anyone?

Kevin Bacon doing his own tricks in a New York warehouse apartment - very cool. Nice opening scene where first African American cyclist to win an olympic medal goes head-to-head with a taxi. 

Whole thing is as corny as hell, but good entertainment all the same.  

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Gstev68 [9 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Tour de Pharmacy, is available on YouTube and Google play and is a hilarious mockumentary with a genius cameo from Lance Armstrong.

 

I can't find it on any of the streaming formats sadly but MAMIL the film is available on DVD  from Amazon.  A load of us from the club watched it together and it is brilliantly (sometimes uncomfortably) funny as it reflected so many of us.

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StraelGuy [1746 posts] 2 weeks ago
1 like

'The Stars and The Water Carriers: The 1973 Giro d'Italia' ? Brilliant flm. Watched it a few times.

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The _Kaner [1201 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Gstev68 wrote:

Tour de Pharmacy, is available on YouTube and Google play and is a hilarious mockumentary with a genius cameo from Lance Armstrong.

 

I can't find it on any of the streaming formats sadly but MAMIL the film is available on DVD  from Amazon.  A load of us from the club watched it together and it is brilliantly (sometimes uncomfortably) funny as it reflected so many of us.

 

T deP - Currently on Netflix (Ireland) at the moment.

 

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Mybike [71 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
StraelGuy wrote:

'The Stars and The Water Carriers: The 1973 Giro d'Italia' ? Brilliant flm. Watched it a few times.

  you can see it on u tube

      The bicycle thief  is my pick.

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zoxed [68 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
StoopidUserName wrote:

... A Sunday in Hell...

Without doubt my favourite cycling film - brilliant atmosphere, very laid back feeling!