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6 Cycling-Inspired Movies to Watch When You Are Too Tired to Ride

By Charlotte Murray

Let’s face it: the short and gloomy winter days don’t always inspire to get out there and enjoy your daily ride. These movies might help you do just that or simply enjoy anything cycling-related from the warmth of your home.

1. Outskirts: Route 66 (2018)

Winter can leave you longing for adventure and this film by Rapha will help fill the adventure void for a mere 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Outskirts: Route 66 follows four cyclists as they ride the still-famous but slightly outdated 4,000 kilometres from Chicago to Los Angeles that make up Route 66. The film is the first in a series of three films, which follow bicycle-driven adventures along the world’s most famous roads. They meet a variety of characters during their ride, and highlight the importance of a bike being a disarming tool, and as a way of connecting with a variety of people.

The makers describe the film as ‘a combination of raw storytelling and visual style with exploration of the most challenging and recognised roads in the world.’ Something to capture the minds of the adventurous souls during the winter season.

2. E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

No, it’s not a ‘cycling’ movie as such but there is a bike in it, and it’s a timeless classic that should be revisited on occasion over the snowy period.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 40 years, then you might be forgiven for missing this Steven Spielberg story.

E.T. follows the journey of a lost alien and the young boy he befriends. Elliot wants to help the friendly alien return home, and the resulting story will be bound to pull on your heartstrings.

Did you know that they required about 25 bikes because of how many different scenes and props there were? Bikes played a big part in this much-loved movie. It’s even said that the film could be responsible for inspiring thousands of youngsters to start riding BMX bikes.

Give it a watch!

3. BMX Bandits (1983)

One for the kids or the adults who wish they were still kids. BMX Bandits reminds us just how great bikes can be.

The story follows three teenagers who find some walkie-talkies and decide to sell them to make some cash. Unfortunately, the walkie-talkies belong to a gang of criminals who need them back and will do anything to get them.

Starring Nicole Kidman, as one of her earliest appearances, BMX Bandits will provide a laugh if nothing else.

BMX bandits
Nicole Kidman made one of her first appearnces in the movie. © Profimedia

4. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

An animated, sing-song of a film with a rating of PG-13. It sounds bizarre for a cycling movie but it’s a heart-warming tale.

The Triplets of Belleville tells the story of Madame Souza who helps coach her grandson, Champion, to race the Tour de France. The French mafia kidnap Champion whilst competing at the Tour and his grandmother goes in search of rescuing him.

It is a truly original movie and will be a warm welcome on a lazy weekend afternoon. Enjoy!

5. The Least Expected Day: Inside the Movistar Team (2020)

OK, well, this one isn’t technically a movie but it is a good watch. One for the true cycling nerds, this Spanish series will need English subtitles but is sure to provide an interesting insight into the Movistar Team, focusing on the three Grand Tours. It’s a documentary series produced by Netflix that currently has three seasons with a fourth set to be announced.

If you’ve ever watched a big bike race and wondered about the highs, the lows and everything in between – then this will give you a great insight into the world of professional cycling. It might not be one for the whole family, if they’re not as bike mad as you are, but it’s one to absorb you for as many hours as you can sit in front of your screen! Might be one for the turbo?

6. Thereabouts (2014)

Thereabouts comes from brothers Angus and Lachlan Morton, exploring the impact that racing had on their lives. The pressure, it seemed, ruined their love of the sport and so they sought a way to reignite their passion for cycling.

This short film makes humans out of these professional cyclists. We see them journey the 2,500 km from Port Macquarie to Uluru over 12 days in an attempt to reconnect with the simple pleasure of riding their bikes.

Another one of those films that will have you longing for the summer and the joy of an adventurous bike ride.