There hasn’t been a cycling movie out there in the last twenty years that’s been worth while. There was a time though that there were two. Some of you know and others maybe not. Chances are if you’ve ridden a bike with boyhood dreams (or girlhood) and a whole lot of ambition trying to find your place in this crazy world you’ve at least heard these titles. I’m talking about the cult classics “Breaking Away” and “American Flyers”. Watching them now may seen a little outdated but they are still required reading for anyone who throws a leg over their two wheeled machine.
I’ve always seemed to find that there are two camps on these films. There’s the “Breaking Away” crowd and the “American Flyers” crowd. I found myself in the “Breaking Away” crowd from day one. I was once a college lad who thought cycling was the coolest thing that nobody knew of. I’d love to wake up early on a Sunday and ride a distance that was a little longer than the last. I’d come back to my closet of a dorm room and hit the cafeteria with all the college bros who had just awoke. While I couldn’t get enough of the cycling world I quickly found out others outside of cycling weren’t too responsive. Let’s just put it this way, the ladies I’d try and impress with my stories of riding through mountains and bumping elbows were usually met with “where’s the kickstand?” and “what’s up with those shoes?” So I struggled with conveying my joy and love of the sport and activity, we’ve all had that experience but that’s kind of what these films are tying to say. Cycling to me always evolves, matures, and comes of age. If you haven’t seen “Breaking Away” or “American Flyers” do yourself and favor and do it, and I mean do it in the next half hour. You’ll feel better.
So what’s your pick? Are you a “Cutter”? of more of a “Flyer” type? Also what’s your best cycling youth story? We’ve all got that sophomoric, idiosyncratic, hopes dashed, or liberating and realizing moment that drove us to our particular spot in the cycling world. Share them. Ciao!