Breaking Away is a classic coming-of-age movie from 1979 where the protagonist (Dave) is obsessed with cycling. He and his contemporaries (including Dennis Quaid as Mike) deal with the transition to adulthood in different ways.
Though the movie isn’t really about bikes, cycling permeates the storyline. Not only is it Dave’s passion, but there is also a pro race that comes to town (where Dave become’s somewhat disillusioned with his favorite Italian pros) and the Little 500 where the locals/townies (called “Cutters” in the film because many of the locals worked in the quarry cutting stone) face off against their college student rivals.
The Little 500 is a real race. Teams comprised of four racers compete against each other using single-speed bikes for a 200-lap race held at a velodrome at Indiana University. It’s been going on since 1951 and is fashioned after the Indianapolis 500 car race.
Breaking Away is a classic movie and great for viewing on these cold winter days/nights. If you haven’t seen it – you should watch it. If you’ve seen it, then you know it’s fun to watch again and again. The pace is a bit slow for watching while training, but it certainly goes well with a cold beer or glass of wine.
Check out the original trailer below: