8 Grueling Cycling Movies that Are Sure to Inspire

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

People who take up road cycling and mountain biking become was amazed at all the things they see that they completely missed while driving in a car. So whether mountain biking, road cycling, or beach cruising is your thing, here are eight great films to inspire you to get out of the car seat and into the bike saddle.

1. Emmanuel’s Gift

Emmanuel’s Gift is the story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young man born in Ghana with a deformed right leg. Being born into a society with a belief system that considered people with disabilities to be useless, Emmanuel set out to change a useless ideology, turning it into a mind-opening triumph for himself, his nation, and people all over the world. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, this is one of those films that everyone should see.

2. Ride the Divide

Ride the Divide is about an epic mountain bike race that traverses over 2,700 miles along the Rocky Mountains’ Continental Divide, from Banff, Canada to the U.S.–Mexico border. Focusing on three racers’ trials and observations, the film intertwines beautiful mountain scenery with small-town culture and the personal growth of its heroes along the way.

3. Where the Trail Ends

There’s a little travel adventure / adrenalin junky in everyone and Where the Trail Ends speaks to those human instincts. The Endless Summer of extreme mountain biking, “Where the Trail Ends” follows some of the worlds’ top free-ride mountain bikers as they seek out some of the wildest, untamed mountain biking terrain around the world, pushing the envelope on what a human can do with their own muscle power, guts, and two wheels.

4. Half the Road

Half the Road is a documentary filled with inspiring race footage and interviews with some of the greatest athletes in the world who are unwaveringly dedicated to their sport. But what makes “Half the Road” different is that its athletes have to deal with the added challenge of the outdated gender inequalities that still exist in the world of professional cycling. The film shows how female cyclists train just as hard, compete as fiercely, and wipe out as painfully as their male counterparts, putting passion and dedication into their sport in equal measures.

5. The Day I Became a Woman

If being a competitive female cyclist isn’t hard enough, being a competitive female cyclist competing in a race in Iran is even more challenging. Not only will you have to forgo your streamlined Lycra in favor of a bulky long black gown, you may need to do so with a husband who is chasing you down on horse back because he is anything but supportive of your athletic endeavors. Linking three different stories, The Day I Became a Woman is the kind of film that reminds us just how lucky we are to have the simplest of freedoms and how the human spirit will always transcend societal norms.

6. Bicycle Dreams and Race Across America

We bundled Bicycle Dreams and Race Across America together because both are noted, award-winning films by Director Stephen Auerbach about the Race Across America, a 3,000-mile bike race that cyclists must complete within 10 days. These films are about mind over matter and triumphing in the face of tragedy and hardship.

7. Breaking Away

The one thing that all movie lists about cycling seem to have in common is the all-time favorite Breaking Away. We had to include it here because there are still actually people who haven’t seen this film! It’s a story about dreaming big, even if you’re a small town boy or girl, about friendship, love, growing up, and of course–speeding down the road on two wheels in a streak of unadulterated bliss.


Leave a Comment