Film Review - Bicycle

Bicycle – A Great British Movement

Directed by BAFTA winning director and keen cyclist Michael B. Clifford, this documentary looks back at the history of the bicycle in Britain and explores the story of cycling, particularly its increase in popularity and why it seems to be back in favour again now. The film has a fantastic ‘cast’, featuring interviews with the likes of Chris Boardman, Danielle Khan, John Grimshaw, Chris Hoy, Carlton Reid and Mike Burrows, to name just a few. It’s easy to get absorbed in the conversation and feel as if you’re sat on the side lines privy to the discussion.

One of the greatest and most-prominent things about this film is the genuine love for the bicycle. You can see it in Clifford, those he interviews and it’s injected in little bursts throughout with short profiles from a myriad of everyday cyclists from all kinds of backgrounds. These particular interludes were actually one of my favourite parts of the film; honest accounts from people who quite simply love to ride and talk about their two-wheels like a friend – for which it is to many of us. I quote one lady who describes how she ‘holds hands’ every day with her bike.  Combine this with some fantastic animation and a fitting soundtrack and you have a seriously good watch.

The journey that Clifford takes us on in ‘Bicycle’ is balanced, considered and does well to capture such an extensive history in just 90 minutes. My only criticism was the slight lack of discussion on the bicycle as a form of transport. Whilst it does feature in the film it feels less explored than many other subjects that are dealt with, but I guess that’s the problem with trying to get a ‘long ride’ into a short amount of time?

A must for anyone who loves cycling and if you’re trying to get someone you know back in the saddle you’d do well to push the film their way too. The final scene might also bring a nostalgic tear to your eye… I won’t spoil it.

Watch the trailer here:

In selected cinemas across the UK now:
DVD release mid-September 2014