Sign up FAST! Login

The BMX Boys of E.T. by Emon Hassan

Stashed in: Are You Not Entertained?, Cycling!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The moment that remains seared into the minds of audiences around the world is the pivotal chase scene near the end, when Elliott, withE.T. tucked in a basket on the front of his red bike and covered in a white sheet, is followed by his 16-year-old brother Michael and their three friends, Greg (“Can’t he just beam up?”), Steve and Tyler as they outwit and outrun government officials—all the grown-ups of the world, really—and fly away.

The famous chase scene.

In the coming months, as adults and kids of all ages flocked to see the blockbuster, that chase sequence inspired thousands around the world to ride BMX bikes. Such bikes, or Bicycle Motocross bikes, are designed for dirt and motocross cycling. What sets them apart from “normal” bicycles is their ability to withstand the impact and rough terrain of a motocross track as well as the gyroscopes that allow their handlebars to spin freely. One of those thousands of BMX newcomers was Chris Hoy from Edinburgh, Scotland, who later went on to become one of the most successful Olympic cyclists of all time. “I was watching E.T. when I was six years of age,” Hoy told the Telegraph in an interview when he retired from cycling earlier this year. “I’d never seen a BMX bike before and it was the scene at the end where they are getting chased by the police and they’re all hammering through the streets in their BMX bikes. And I just thought, ‘wow, I’d like to give that a go.’”

That scene is so memorable even though, 30 years later, the movie has not aged well at all.

You May Also Like: