Riding to the challenge: the competition to be the best, toughest or fastest on two wheels.
For some cyclists, a leisurely ride from A to B will never be enough. They need challenges: to be the best, the toughest, the fastest on two wheels. This collection of films celebrates cycling's sporting champions, from a simple informal Edwardian street race to the bright lights of the velodrome during the 1920s cycling boom, and from the endurance athletes of the Tour of Britain to some more unusual feats accomplished on a bike. Although some of these contraptions might test your definition of 'bike'... These films highlight challenges for filmmakers, too. The Topical Budget newsreel proudly unveiled a special new camera for its coverage of bank holiday racing at London's legendary Herne Hill in 1924: the results are stunning, even 90 years later. Not all filmmakers managed to keep up with the blur of speeding wheels - but that just adds to the furious energy of it all. Ready... steady... GO!
Non-Fiction19743 mins Location: Gloucester
Gloucester's answer to Evel Knievel may not be able to afford a motorbike but he won't let that deter him...
Race for the Muratti Cup at Manchester Wheelers' Annual Meet (1901)Race for the Muratti Cup at Manchester Wheelers' Annual Meet (1901)
Non-Fiction190115 minsSilent Location: Manchester
Exciting scenes of amateur cycling's 'Race of Champions' at Manchester's Fallowfield track.
Sport19062 minsSilent Location: Brighton
Innovative early 'trick' film showing the popular 'flying the foam' stunt performed on - or rather off - Brighton's West Pier.
Non-Fiction19271 minsSilent Location: Herne Hill
The adrenaline rush of a race at South London's famous velodrome at the height of a cycling boom.
Non-Fiction19291 minsSilent Location: Herne Hill
Women cyclists go for gold! Singer Gracie Fields presents the grand prize at South London's premier women's cycling event.
Non-Fiction19622 minsSilent Location: Felixstowe
Cyclists and Cinzano! An interesting mix of competitors and sponsors take to the road for the exciting three-day, three-stage, 350-mile Tour of East Anglia.
Non-Fiction19281 minsSilent Location: Herne Hill
With neither gears nor lycra to help them, the cream of Britain's cyclists battle it out at the Herne Hill velodrome ahead of the 1928 Olympics.
Leeds Athletic and Cycling Club Carnival at Headingley (1902)Leeds Athletic and Cycling Club Carnival at Headingley (1902)
Non-Fiction19027 minsSilent Location: Headingley
Athletes and acrobats wow the crowds at the annual Cycling Club carnival.
Speeding wheels and speedy reels… Thrilling scenes of high-speed cycle racing are captured with a super-fast film camera.
Non-Fiction19291 minsSilent Location: Dover
Take to the surf with valiant French 'hydro-cyclist' Aimee Pfanner, as she gamely pedals from Calais to Dover.
Non-Fiction19021 minsSilent Location: Leeds
Edwardian ladies work their pedals, eagerly watched by workers and an attention-seeking dog.
Amateur film19626 minsSilent Location: Great Yarmouth
The dedication and enthusiasm of Club cyclists is put to the test big time at the early season Kermesse on Norfolk's chilly east coast.
Edwardian cycle racing at its best - albeit a little fuzzy! Riders take on all comers on an intriguing variety of bicycles.
Non-Fiction19241 minsSilent Location: Herne Hill
Stunning, 360-degree action of the speeding wheels at London's premier cycling circuit.
Ashlee Family Films: Whirling Wheels, Bexley (1963)Ashlee Family Films: Whirling Wheels, Bexley (1963)
Amateur film19637 minsSilent Location: Kent Street
Lycra-clad cyclists take part in a fierce race around the London-Kent borders, diligently filmed by a Bexley amateur film-maker.
Weston-super-Mare hosts 1962 Tour of Britain cycle raceWeston-super-Mare hosts 1962 Tour of Britain cycle race
News19623 mins Location: Weston-super-Mare
Ready, steady, go! Europe's best cyclists arrive in Weston-super-Mare to complete stage 6 of the 1962 Tour of Britain Milk Race.
Drama192215 minsSilent Location: Sunningdale
Dastardly deeds are afoot when rivals for the hand of a young woman vie against each other in a bicycle race.
Non-Fiction19706 mins Location: Wolverhampton
A tough training regime for a cycling world champion. Although it helps that he goes home to a fellow Olympian.
Non-Fiction194714 minsSilent Location: Sheffield
Rare film of an exciting sprint and cycle racing event just after the war, capturing most of the large expectant crowd and many competitors.
British Cycling Federation National Road Race ChampionshipBritish Cycling Federation National Road Race Championship
Amateur film196011 minsSilent Location: Blaydon
Blazing saddles on the 140-mile Blaydon route of the 1960 British National Road Race with one of the greatest amateur road cyclists of all time.