Cycling On Film
The bike is back! British cycling is enjoying a 21st-century renaissance, so what better time to celebrate a century of cycling on film?
Cycling was enjoying its first 'golden age' while film was in its infancy, which helps explain early filmmakers' fascination with bicycles. French pioneers the Lumière brothers filmed a trick-performing bicycliste as early as 1897, while two British films from the 1890s highlight the role of the bike in women's emancipation. Our tour of cinematic cycling has three stages. In Setting Off we capture the thrill of that first bike, the joys and perils of learning to ride, and all manner of adventure on two wheels. The romance of the open road is the focus of Freewheeling, a selection evoking a leisurely ride on our rural backways. Finally, Pedal Power changes gear as we look at cycling's competitive streak, as would-be champions push their two-wheeled machines to the limits. All in all, it's a selection to get even the weariest rider back in the saddle.
Drama196528 mins Location: Hartlepool
Ridley Scott's first film features his younger brother, the late Tony Scott, as a schoolboy playing truant for the day to meander around Hartlepool on his bicycle, lost in his own thoughts.
Amateur film194925 mins Location: Ben Nevis
Join four clean-cut intrepid youngsters on an awfully big 1940s adventure as they sing and cycle their way around the youth hostels of scenic Scotland in glorious colour. Tally ho!
Travelogue195615 mins Location: Rugby
A wonderful short film, produced by British Transport Films, about travelling around Britain by bicycle - with the help of the odd train.
Remember your first bike? Those first faltering moments after the stabilisers came off? A lifetime of cycling starts here.
Riding to the challenge: the competition to be the best, toughest or fastest on two wheels.
Freedom is two wheels and an open road. Take a blissful ride through cycling's golden past.