Actor Dennis Christopher is returning to his role as a bicyclist to participate in the Eroica California vintage bike show and ride in April.
Christopher, 57, played a young cyclist in the 1979 coming-of-age movie “Breaking Away”, in which he and a group of friends figure out their roles in life after high school.
Known as “cutters” in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, the four go on to win the Little 500 bicycle race at Indiana University. Great film.
Christopher’s character is obsessed by the Italian cycling team, a passion that drives his father nuts, like when he sees his son shaving his legs. Stoller actually wins an Italian-made Masi bicycle that he rides across the Indiana countryside.
When he appears at Eroica California, he’ll be sponsored by Masi Bikes and will ride a vintage Masi similar to the one he rode in the film.
The Eroica California runs from April 8-10 in downtown Paso Robles. It opens on Friday with a showing of “Breaking Away” at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. Christopher will appear at a VIP event before the movie and a Q&A afterwards.
The next day, Christopher will participate in the Concours d’Elegance of vintage bicycles.
There are four choices for Sunday’s vintage bike rides — 38, 65, 85 and 120 miles. All pass vineyards in the countryside around San Luis Obispo County and include some mountain climbs and gravel roads.
Unknown actors at the time, all four “cutters” have gone on to careers in Hollywood. Christopher was joined by co-stars Dennis Quaid and Jackie Earle Haley at a reunion at Interbike in Las Vegas last year; David Stern was unable to attend.
Christopher has said he wasn’t used to bicycling when he got the role. He was tutored by cycling coach Garry Rybar to the point where he was able to do 85 to 90 percent of the cycling shots on his own. A couple of years ago, he told Entertainment Weekly:
“There’s a couple of shots where you see massive calves—that was not me. When they cut back to the skinny calves, you know that it’s me.”
Registration has opened for the Eroica California. If you register, just remember the scene with Stoller’s dad in the used car lot if you ask for a refund. Refund?!