Cycling through Netflix

We all need a little down time every now and then.  From the die hard uber-trainer, to the guerrilla urban assault advocate and commuter, to the be seen classic cycle fashinista.  All of us will find our collective bums on a sofa instead of a saddle from time to time.

So the question is – how do you best spend that down time?  Why, watching cycling movies of course!

Thanks to our high-bandwidth fed culture, many of us now can have movies streamed directly to our living rooms on demand.  Netflix is undeniably the king of this realm, and they have a reasonably good selection of movies for the cycling enthusiast.  Here I’m focusing only on the streaming, or “Watch Instantly” selections and not movies that are available only as DVDs mailed to your home.

Breaking Away

There are a fair number of people that will cite this movie as the movie that turned them on to cycling.  While the overall story line is fairly common – lower-middle class local boys vs. affluent college kids – cycling is center stage.  Set at Indiana State University, the climax of the film is essentially a dramatic representation of the real life Little 500 race.  A must see.

American Flyers

Before he was a Postman, or a strange mutant fish-man, Kevin Costner was a cyclist in the other major entry into the American dramatic cycling movie category.  Costner plays a US professional cyclist who reunites with his somewhat estranged younger brother to have a go at the major American stage race called The Hell of the West.  (The name apparently has nothing to do with the real life triathlon event of the same name.)  Professional rivalries combine with family conflicts to create the dramatic elements of the movie.  Oh yea – and they’ve thrown in a “fat hairy Russian” just for fun, as referenced by that other Just Another Cyclist.

Hell on Wheels

This documentary covers the 2003 Tour de France, with a primary emphasis on the T-Mobile team.  This one has to be required viewing for any Ullrich or Zabel fans.

The 9 Ball Diaries

This documentary piece follows Tim Johnson and his team during his attempt at the National Cyclocross title.  While by no means unpolished, the filming style of the documentary comes off as “just a guy there with a camera” that brings a very honest and realistic representation of the athlete’s life – both on and off of the cyclocross course.

The cut: Sevenvision

Looks to be a collection of downhill / mountain bike footage.  I haven’t actually watched this one yet, so I can’t comment.

Hardihood

Wake up men – chicks ride mountain bikes too.  And judging from this video, they’re pretty damned good at it too.  Another one for the documentary / race footage category.

There you have it – anything cycling related that is available through Netflix’s online service that I am aware of.  If you are more into the physical DVD side of things, there is actually a whole bunch of Tour de France race footage available as well.

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