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Review: Bicycle, the film of a British passion

By Bonnie Friend

As popular as cycling is in 2015 it seems impossible to imagine a world without it. We think of Chris Hoy, Victoria Pembleton and the disgraced Lance Armstrong and it’s tough to imagine a point just 30 years ago when the British government thought that cycling would cease to exist.

In a film by award winning producer Pip Piper and double Bafta winning director Michael B Clifford, Bicycle a Great British movement, is told the story of this humble machine, from its initial design that has largely gone unaltered because, as one interviewee succinctly puts it, “it works”, to today’s Olympic heroes.

The film looks at the social impact of the bicycle (broadening the gene pool thanks to the ability to move from county to county with greater ease would you believe it!), and meets the creators of the British Cycle Network, which in my total naivety I had assumed had been around for decades. In fact it was an enterprising labour of love that has had a growing impact through the 1990s converting disused railway lines, and taking hold after a National Lottery millennium grant in 2000.

Made through sponsorship and crowd funding, Bicycle shows the history, technology and passion of a changing pastime that’s gone full circle in its popularity to become a mainstream sport and mode of transport because of the sheer enjoyment of it, and perhaps also because of the ‘near perfect exercise’ that it provides.

The film is clearly made with passion, love and intelligence, and whether you’re interested in cycling or not, it’s a fascinating and inspiring insight into a beautiful piece of technology that’s stood the test of time.

You can rent the movie Bicycle – a Great Britsh movement on the page http://bicyclethefilm.com. It costs 3.99 dollars. Alternatively you can get the DVD for 12.99 British pounds from the same page.