This film is part of Free

National Bicycle Week Begins

Speeding wheels and speedy reels… Thrilling scenes of high-speed cycle racing are captured with a super-fast film camera.

Non-Fiction 1923 1 mins Silent


The fastest thing on two reels? These super-sharp images of high-speed cycle racing were brought to British audiences courtesy of a special, super-fast camera. Released in May 1923 by Britain's leading newsreel, Topical Budget, the film marked the start of Britain's first-ever National Bicycle Week. Look carefully, though, and you might feel there's something 'not quite British' about it...

It was quite common for British newsreels to buy in footage from foreign companies to illustrate stories or cover events taking place elsewhere. In this case, the film seems to have originally come from the American company Kinograms. The relatively casual dress of the spectators, alongside the presence of what appears to be a furled stars-and-stripes flag, certainly suggests that the race event took place in the US.