The twenty best bicycle scenes in cinema, ever

Categories: Events, Film, Lists

quicksilver bacon.jpg
Is that Kevin Bacon on a fixie? Yes, yes it is.
With rare exceptions for the Smart Car, the tandem bike and whatever those contraptions are in the Dr. Seuss books, the human evolutionary process basically stopped when mankind progressed from two legs to two wheels. If you need proof of the superiority of the cycle, look no further than film, where bikes appear in some of the coolest and most nostalgic moments in modern cinema, thanks to great riders like Pee Wee Herman, the Fab Four and a little-known alien who really, really just wanted to make a house call already.

In honor of the Bicycle Film Festival, which makes its way to Denver April 17-19, we pulled together this list of the best scenes ever to highlight the power of the bicycle. Don't try some of these moves at home.


20. Karate Kid
The real drama of Karate Kid isn't the karate as much as it is the bullshit assertion that motorcycles are better than bicycles. As we all know, though, in the end Ralph Macchio will deliver a badass swan kick to the face of Cobra Kai on behalf of bicyclists everywhere.


19. Transporter 3
Let's ignore the concept of "reality" here -- after all, the producers of this film already did -- and focus instead on how awesome this scene is. Jay Stay takes this unnecessary three-quel of a strangely Speed-esque action concept to new levels of awe and incredulity when he manages not only to keep up with a speeding car but to pass it up and kick all the asses involved. It rules.


18. BMX Bandits
Turns out Nicole Kidman is pretty tough, if for no other reason than she started her career with the Aussie classic (what else do they have that's classic, besides Mad Max?) BMX Bandits, the second-best '80s hack-job-functioning-as-an-excuse-to-show-a-bunch-of-awesome-bike-tricks ever put to film (see also: item #3). It features a BMX ride down a water-slide. That, and teenage Nicole Kidman, are pretty much the only reasons to see this film. And they're enough.


17. Now and Then
Nostalgia is a beautiful thing -- and this movie is all about that shit. The female '90s version of Stand By Me, it functioned as a saccharine escape from Spice World for preteens who found it believable that Christina Ricci's character could grow up to be Rosie O'Donnell. It was about truth-or-dare and sundresses, summer sing-a-longs and painted nails, ice cream and bicycles. In that last category, these girls had glorious ones (As queen bee, Thora Birch's is probably the most glorious), which they put to good use and even greater cultural reflection in the long-running Lifetime channel repeat.


16. Jumanji
If this scene played out in real life today, in a world where teens drive SUVs and do their bullying on cyberspace, it would be not only ridiculous but a total failure. But we've also never played a magical board game that sent our entire local zoo after us, so I guess we're even. Notably, it is only after these little jerks steal Alan's bicycle that he notices the drum beats, starts a game of Jumanji and loses thirty years of his life only to emerge a hairy beast man (Robin Williams). So the moral of this story is ... beats us.



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14 comments
rbrtpurcell
rbrtpurcell

Like many others I was going to say something about the omission of Breaking Away, but I'd also like to say something about the omission of the Bicycle Thief.


Peter Davies
Peter Davies

Clockstoppers (2002) is not on this list?!?!?

Josh Graham
Josh Graham

Nothing from "Breaking Away", the list is instantly rendered invalid

Christopher David
Christopher David

No kidding! They got some weird shit called "Un Chien Andalou" yet the only decent movie about cycling is omitted? That's like knowing a band's supremely obscure song without knowing their major hit.

cdenver
cdenver

effing seriously, nothing from Breaking Away? fail. 

J. Christopher McMath
J. Christopher McMath

agree with someone who commented on the article- breaking away has some great scenes, also american fliers

wyrob
wyrob

I was going to say the same thing.


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