This film is part of Rentals

Cyclists Abroad

A British Cyclists' Touring Club party explores 1950s Salzburg and the Austrian Tyrol in this lesser known British Transport Film.

Documentary 1957 15 mins

Director: Tony Thompson


A party of cyclists set out for an Austrian tour in this colourful and evocative but lesser-known British Transport Film. On the boat-train from Victoria to Calais their bicycles are carried in a specially-equipped van. In Buchs the party start their tour of the land of Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, pausing on the way to enjoy the local sights and sounds - and tuck into some hearty Austrian food.

Following the popularity of BTF's Cyclists Special (1955, also on BFI Player), which championed the special railway vans adapted to carry bicycles on cycling excursions, the unit was invited to travel further afield to make a film about the railway’s continental tours. The film unit didn't have the resources to accompany the riders on the trip, so members of the cycling club were equipped with 16mm cameras and BTF's editors assembled the resulting footage later. Which makes this an unusual hybrid - an amateur film cut by professionals.