The Movies Where Bikes Played a Starring Role
Few things capture the imagination of a young person quite the same as a bike. In those years leading up to getting your driver’s license, a bicycle is the biggest symbol of freedom someone can have. It isn’t just kids who are buying them though; according to Bloomberg, more electric bikes were sold in the US than electric cars, showing that there is a growing interest in these vehicles.
The love of bicycles extends into the world of TV and film, as well. Dating all the way back to 1934 when screwball comedy 6 Day Bike Rider was released to the public, bikes have been a heavy influence on popular culture. Some of the most iconic moments in cinema history have involved bikes, and here are a few of our all-time favorites.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Though bikes don’t feature heavily in the plot of this science fiction classic, which is about an alien trying to get home and the young boy who is trying to help him. However, the scene toward the end of the film where Elliot and ET fly across the forest on a bike, with the moon looming in the background, has become one of the most iconic moments in cinema history. With a cast that includes one of the most successful Hollywood actresses of her generation, this movie, and the bike ride that became so well-known that it would become the symbol for Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment. Sadly, the video game wasn’t quite the success, with millions piled in a landfill after release. Still, it did have a positive impact on bicycles, if not home computing!
The original Jumanji film has become a surprising and popular franchise and features one of the most fun bike chase scenes of all time. The scene features a selection of vintage bicycles as a young Alan flees from a pack of bullies and is one of the most iconic scenes in a film that became a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 1995. It has since remained a popular brand within movies and games. As well as a host of sequels starring Dwayne Johnson, there’s been a Jumanji board game, and even an online slot machine. It boasts high-resolution graphics and sound, according to Gala Spins, certainly more so than the original video game, released on Microsoft Windows in 1996. Its massively popular to this day, which makes the bike chase scene even more iconic. Subsequent films have seen more games released, but they’ve never managed to put a bike front and center.
Few movies sum up the freedom that bikes give young people quite as well as The Goonies. With no car and limited parental supervision, the cast takes to their bikes and gathers their friends in their quest to find One-Eyed Willy’s lost treasure. The scene where The Goonies gather together is one that every kid has played out with their friends after school and that is a big reason why the scene holds up so well in popular culture. With the quintessentially 80s soundtrack of Cyndi Lauper playing in the background, it is tough to find a more iconic scene for the era.
If you’re a fan of bikes in film, be sure to check out One Two Eight, a short film that follows Philip Fagerberg as he rides around his small town in Sweden.