I am riding my bike a lot on the trainer and watching too many movies. So I figured I would share a few of my favorites with ya!
10. The Race of Truth
My Dad would probably hate that I included a film he made when he was only 26 on here, but hey it’s a fun film! He filmed and produced this "Colores" episode for New Mexico PBS way back in 1991. It’s a cool film that focuses on the 40 Km Time Trial Record as well as the general training, lifestyle, and gear involved with cycling in the early 90's. The audio online isn’t great (To many dubs probably) but it’s a fun time capsule! Also my Mom was driving the car for most of the riding shots.
9. The Stars and The Water Carriers
Eddy Merckx is a God among cyclists and 40 years after his retirement he is still the bench mark professionals are compared to. This film shows what it's like to race the 1973 Giro d’Italia in all its miserable glory. It's been 45 years since the race but the film still leaves you on the edge of your seat.
8. Slaying the Badger
Greg Lemond is one of the greatest American Cyclists every, probably only after Major Taylor. Slaying the Badger tells his story of dethroning Bernard Hinault, France’s last Tour de France winner, in dramatic fashion. The high production quality and excellent storytelling brings a cycling story for the ages to the masses.
7. Ride the Divide
When I first saw this film in middle school my life changed. I saw what I wanted to do in life and that was to win the Tour Divide. The film can be a bit dramatic at times but it does a great job showing the beauty of the Tour Divide and the toll racing nearly 3,000 miles takes on a person. This is a great film to watch while spinning away on the trainer.
6. Working Dogs
Sam Smith is known for his excellent cyclocross coverage through the Behind the Barriers series as well as numerous mini-docs. Working Dogs is an example of his excellent work. The film follows Canadian cycling legend Geoff Kabush through the 2010 mountain bike race circuit as well as a sled dog team in Quebec. Sam seamlessly blends the two stories and creates a film with lots of laughs and great insight into what makes a high caliber athlete tick.
5. Transition: An American Cyclocross Season & Transition 2: ‘Cross the Pond
Although technically two films, these Sam Smith productions can't be separated and live together on this list. The first Transition Film follows the 2004 North American cyclocross series and all the characters who raced in it. Looking back on it now and knowing where these cyclists ended up is really fun. Transition 2 focuses on some of those riders from the first film as they travel over to Europe to race cyclocross in the “Homeland”. If you love rooting for the underdog and the weird sport that is cyclocross these are great films to watch. Also Sam Smith is really freaking good at his job and these films are no exception.
4. A Sunday in Hell
Paris Roubaix is a badass race! Cobblestone roads from hundreds of years ago and a freaking Velodrome finish! Commonly known as the Hell of the North not only due to the rough conditions or the roads but also the hellish landscape of the area after World War I. This race has become one of the most noteworthy and legendary races in the cycling calendar. A Sunday in Hell follows cycling legends Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Freddy Maertens, and Francesco Moser and their respective teams as they prepare for and race the Hell of the North in 1976.
3. Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist
Drugs, Passion, and Beauty underline the tragic story of Marco Pantani, one of Italy's greatest cyclists. Pantani was at the height of his career when outside pressures and inward struggles caused his untimely death. Marco showed the world what pure talent looked like and the damages the cycling world can do to it.
2. Breaking Away
I was a kid in the midwest who raced on an old steel bike and was learning French so I could go race in France, Dave Stohler was a midwest kid who raced on an old steel bike and was learning Italian because he idolized Italian racers. It was a match made in Heaven! Breaking away spoke to me not only as a cyclist in the midwest but also as a kid who was trying to find my place in the world and grow up in a college town like Dave did. This film is not only a great cycling story but an even better coming of age story. It will bring smiles, tears, and cheers and is a necessity for any cycling lover and film lover alike.
1. The Road From Karakol
Pure inspiration. When I feel low or want to watch something to keep my stoke level up this is what I turn to. Kyle Dempster was adventure personified. He made first accents in regions many humans have never been to as well as document his numerous travels. In this film he goes on a solo climbing trip to the breathtaking land of Kyrgyzstan. But instead of using a helicopter or jeep to get to these remote places he uses an old mountain bike to travel some 1200 km in two months. Kyle has a way with words that instills a sense of adventure and wonder that no one else has ever done for me. Kyle sadly passed away a few years ago in a climbing incident and this film lives on as an amazing tribute to him.
Do you disagree with my list or have any other favorite cycling films you want to recommend? Add them in the comments below!