Can Cycling Save the World? with The Guardian’s Peter Walker

Peter Walker (pictured, above) is a political reporter at the Guardian newspaper. He set up the Guardian’s bike blog and his new book puts the case for a healthier, safer and more people-friendly nation. In short, a Bike Nation. In conversation with Jack Thurston, Peter talks about his past life as bike messenger, how his views on cycling have evolved and why he believes now is a critical tipping point in Britain’s long and chequered history of cycling.

Bike Nation: How Cycling Can Save the World is published by Yellow Jersey Press.

Photo credit: Graham Turner

200 Years of Cycling

This year marks 200 years since Karl Drais invented a two wheeled ‘running machine’. Since then all sorts of people have ridden all sorts of bicycles for all sorts of reasons. Looking back at two centuries of cycling and cyclists is Dr Michael Hutchinson, former professional bike racer and author of several books about cycling. His latest is “Re:Cyclists – 200 years on two wheels” is an engaging and affectionate look back at the cyclists of the past two hundred years and has just been published by Bloomsbury.

The Just Giving page for donations in memory of Mike Hall is here.

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race: Overlanders of the 21st Century

The Indian Pacific Wheel Race is a gruelling 5,500 km coast-to-coast bicycle race across Australia. The race features the two leading long distance bike racers in the world as well as dozens of other cyclists determined to push themselves to the very limits of physical and mental endurance. Jack is joined by Australian cycling journalist Craig Fry and long distance cycling expert Chris White to discuss what it takes to win the race, or even to get to the finishing line in Sydney, plus the long history of overlanding in Australia and the possibilities of making the journey in a more leisurely cycle touring style.

Follow the race at Curve Cycling. And on the live tracker. And on twitter.

Read Craig Fry’s features on the IndyPac for SBS and Cycling Tips.

Read Chris White’s tips on long distance cycle racing and bikepacking

Under Monmouthshire Skies: Riding with Mike Parker

Mike Parker is the author of the best-selling Map Addict, an affectionate history of Ordnance Survey maps and the people who can’t get enough of their beautiful maps. He’s an accomplished guidebook writer, a former stand up comedian and has presented TV and radio programmes about Wales, his adopted homeland. In 2015 he stood for Parliament for Plaid Cymru, the party of Wales and has written a book, the Greasy Poll, about the experience. We go for a spin from Castle Meadows in Abergavenny, as it hosted the National Eisteddfod, a huge annual festival of Welsh language, culture, music and song.

You can find out more about Mike and his work on his website.

If you enjoyed the musical choices in the show, then check out the two volume compilation Welsh Rare Beat, selections of 1970s Welsh folk-rock-psychedelia compiled by Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys and DJs Andy Votel and Dom Thomas. It’s out of print but available as a download or via Spotify.

If you’re a Welsh learner, or want to read English translations of some great Welsh music, check out the DistantDreamer93 Youtube channel.

Decoding the Landscape with Mary-Ann Ochota

roman_roadEvery weekend many tens if not hundreds of thousands of people ride their bikes in the British countryside. But are we taking the time to really understand and appreciate the things we see and places we ride through? Or is it all day dreaming about the next cake stop or going hard for that next personal best on Strava?

Mary Ann Ochota has made it her mission to help people discover the history of the landscape by looking out for signs and clues that are often hidden in plain sight. She’s appeared on television presenting documentaries and archeology shows including Time Team and Britain’s Secret Treasures and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Mary Ann Ochota’s new book “Hidden Histories: A spotters guide to the British Landscape” is published by Frances Lincoln.

Photograph of Roman road near Bainbridge, North Yorkshire by Chris Gunns (CC-SA)

Bikelash!

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After the big victories for London cycle campaigners and the construction of two new fully segregated bike lanes in the centre of the city, the bikelash has begun. Lead by newspapers like the Daily Mail as well as a raft of celebrity commentators, taxi drivers and disgruntled business owners, the reaction to progress in cycle infrastructure has been vociferous. What is bikelash, why is it happening and what can we do about it? Joining Jack Thurston are the London Cycling Campaign’s ‘campaigner of the year’ Clare Rogers of the Enfield Cycling Campaign and Robert Wright of the Financial Times.

You can read Clare Rogers’s blog at subversivesuburbanite.wordpress.com Robert Wright’s cycling blog at invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.co.uk

Talking about Bikelash in Your City courtesy of Streetfilm http://www.streetfilms.org/talking-about-bikelash-in-your-city/ under a Creative Commons license.

Riding the Iron Curtain, with Tim Moore

mooreThe Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold is comic travel writer Tim Moore’s third bicycle-based escapade, and perhaps his craziest. He attempts to ride the length of the Cold War’s Iron Curtain, from the north of Finland to the Black Sea coast. It’s near enough ten thousand kilometres, a challenge for any cyclist, and not least a slightly unfit middle aged man riding a secondhand East German shopping bike with small wheels and only two gears. Before a live audience at a book event in Monmouth, organised by Rossiter Books, Moore explains how he dreamed up the idea and how he got on.