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Bikes on Film

By Jeff Guerrero

To be frank, Rad is one of the worst movies to ever become a cult classic. The 1986 film exemplifies the cheesy love stories of the era, complete with lackluster acting, a predictable storyline and an absolutely awful soundtrack.

Although Rad was Hollywood’s attempt to cash in on the BMX craze, the biggest star they managed to cast was Talia Shire (she played Adrian in the Rocky movies). The movie also starred Bill Allen, who has yet to live down his leading-man role as Cru, and Lori Loughlin who later found fame and fortune playing Rebecca on the TV show Full House.

The one thing Rad did have going for it was some awesome BMX riding. The producers lined up an incredibly talented pool of riders, including factory pro riders Eddie Fiola and RL Osborn. Rad featured extended flatland, vert, street and racing scenes, which helped inspire an entire generation of cyclists. Perhaps because the film was directed by a former stuntman, Hal Needham, several of the BMX stunt riders were cast as characters.

Another high point for Rad was the cinematography—at least the action scenes. Artsy shots of flatland riding contrasted dramatic aerial shots. The director of photography was Richard Leiterman, a Canadian cinematographer who’s best known for his cinéma vérité documentary work.
Interestingly, Rad is not currently available on DVD. At least not officially. Bootleg discs are available, but because the movie rights are in limbo, nobody has stepped up and released an official DVD. Fans have organized an online petition to have the film officially released on DVD, which more than 22,000 people have signed.

Additionally, Bill Allen is still active in the BMX community. He maintains a fan site,, and makes appearances at numerous events every year. Watch for Supercross BMX to release a Bill Allen signature model later this year.