In a live broadcast from Belgium House, a temporary Olympic Village and ‘cycling paradise’ in London’s Middle Temple, Jack finds out about Flandrien cycling culture from Rik Vanwalleghem, director of the Tour of Flanders centre in Belgium. At the launch of the Rapha Cycle Club in Soho, Rapha founder Simon Mottram reflects on the eight years since the company was launched in 2004. London cyclist Nick Hussey of the recently launched Vulpine clothing brand talks about designing and making top quality, stylish apparel for the discerning cyclist. And Resonance FM engineer Chris Dixon rides up a virtual Koppenberg.
Tim Dawson and Jack Thurston talk about Albert Winstanley, the Lancashire writer, broadcaster and cycletourist who died earlier this year aged 95. Winstanley was a top notch nature writer and had the rare talent to convey in his writing the pleasures of a simple bicycle ride. One of Winstanley’s articles features in the first edition of the Bicycle Reader, a new collection of quality writing about riding, co-edited by Jack Thurston and Tim Dawson, and available for Kindle and other e-book readers for the very modest price of £1.53.
Today is the last rest day in the Tour before the race heads into the Pyrenees for tomorrow’s frighteningly gruelling mountain stage around the Circle of Death. The rest gave Jack Thurston time to catch up with Lionel Birnie, The Bike Show’s favourite cycling journalist. Lionel writes for Cycle Sport Magazine and the Sunday Times. You can follow him on twitter at lioneljbirnie and read his articles in Cycle Sport Magazine and in the Sunday Times.
This year’s Tour de France is the 99th edition of a bicycle race that is rich in meaning and symbolism for the French nation. Christopher Thompson is professor of history at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and author of a widely acclaimed cultural history of the Tour de France. He discusses how the race came about in an era of rising nationalism and how the route itself was loaded with political meaning. Professor Thompson argues the race projected carefully constructed role models and entrenched traditional gender archetypes. More recently, controversies over doping in cycle sport can be linked to concerns about recreational drug use in wider society.