Movie Reviews
The Very Best Bike Movies

Bicycle Dreams Bicycle Dreams

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Nine days and 33 minutes. That’s how long it took the winner of the 2006 Race Across America to bike 3,015 miles from San Diego to Atlantic City.

It would have been even quicker, however, if he hadn’t slept 12 hours along the way!

Released in 2009, when it scooped up many film festival awards, Bicycle Dreams skillfully chronicles this grueling race, which has been held annually since 1982 and could be the toughest sporting event in the world.

This riveting, sometimes hypnotic film captures the majesty of such an ultimate challenge. At the same time, it reveals how the riders are not only driven but troubled.

“These racers are not normal,” says one of the commentators. “They’re like gladiators who willing go into the arena with lions.”

And the support staff seems single minded too, pushing riders to keep biking even after they’re at the end of their rope.

Even for those who question the sanity of this race, this gripping film is a must-see. It moves quickly to the beat of an engaging soundtrack, the photography is stunning, and the editing is creative.

Its strongest feature, however, might be the way it portrays the racers in such a frank fashion, asking them open, direct questions, the most basic one being why they attempt such a crazy, Herculean ride, enduring sunburn and dehydration in 110 degrees, riding through the dark of the night and subjecting themselves to torturous sleep deprivation.

Their answers are profound. One racer says, “The pain goes away after the race is over but the accomplishment never does.”

Another answers, “In our society, we surround ourselves with comfort and security, but this race takes all that away.”

By eliciting such elegant sentiments, Bicycle Dreams shows there’s more to the Race Across America than bicycle nightmares.

Title: Bicycle Dreams
Year Released: 2009
Duration: 104 minutes
Language: English
Bike Content: 10/10 wheels

Posted by Greg Borzo on 09/03 at 10:02 PM