The Late Movies: Riding the Mechanical Bull

Erica Palan

Here's a confession: I once rode a mechanical bull at a state fair while I was in college. I don't recall why exactly I did this—I am truly not the type to hop on a bucking animal-themed machine in front of a group of strangers—but I distinctly remember how hard it was to hang on. Here, I've rounded up some clips of people doing a much more admirable job of riding the bronco.

How To Do It

First, a primer on how to accomplish the feat.

Urban Cowboy

Mechanical bull riding originally gained fame after it was featured prominently in this film starring John Travolta and Debra Winger.

Good Morning America Anchors Ride the Bull

I will never understand how they convinced Diane Sawyer, the most poised woman in America, to do this. (Her ride is at the end of the clip.)

An Impressive Showing

The bull gets a little crazy in this bar, but this rider holds on.

2009 Record Setter

This rider set the record for this day at the Punkin Chunkin in 2009.

Longest Ride

Pauline Farrington was able to ride a mechanical bull set at level 7, for 58.1 seconds. Unless you speak French, feel free to watch this one on mute.

Longest ride - mechanical rodeo by GWR-France