May is national bike riding month. Time to pull those shorts from the back of the drawer, oil up that chain and hit the trails. In honor of the bicycle here are a few bike themed movies and songs:
Queen - Bicycle Race, opens a new window: On the album Jazz, opens a new window, this is the quintessential bike riding song. Freddie Mercury will give anyone the motivation to “get on your bike and ride.”
Pee-Wees Big Adventure, opens a new window - This was one of my favorites as a kid. Pee-Wee chases a spectral bicycle thief across the country. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll blow your nose.
Pixies - Tony’s Theme, opens a new window: On the album Surfer Rosa, opens a new window. The Pixies deliver their sonic mix of surf punk and pop in what may not be their strongest album, but certainly contains some gems. This can definitely get your blood pumping on the bike path.
Rad - This was another iconic movie for kids of a certain age. Mixing BMX racing with pubescent romance. I had to wear a neck brace for a month when I was eight after trying to copy one of the stunts in this movie. Definitely one to show to your kids.
Shellac - Riding Bikes, opens a new window. On the album Dude Incredible, opens a new window (on order). I don’t know a lot about this band, honestly. But I like this song. Prominent bass, subdued but driving drums, spoken-sung lyrics. Kinda reminds me of a mix between Primus and Cake.
-This is a somewhat sappy slice of Americana. Nonetheless it is a heartfelt movie that mixes sports and family in a poignant if predictable way. If you’re a Kevin Costner fan you’ve probably already seen this. If you’re indifferent to him it’s probably still worth a watch.
Skylar Grey (feat. Eminem) - C’mon Let Me Ride, opens a new window: On the album Don’t Look Down, opens a new window. It’s a fun, hip pop song about wanting to ride on her boyfriend’s bicycle. I’m positive no innuendo is intended.
E.T., opens a new window - Come on. Of course I had to include E.T. Who doesn’t want to ride a 70s Schwinn into the air silhouetted by the full moon?
So dust off that banana seat and ride your bike down to your local Saint Louis Public Library branch to pick up one of these or any other music/movie that will get you off your winter duff and back onto the bike paths.