Lost Lanes Wales: book launch events

LLW-cover-3d-smallI’ll be doing some book talk events to mark the launch of Lost Lanes Wales: 36 Glorious Bike Rides in Wales and the Borders.

Come along, say hello, buy a book:

Thursday 10th September. The Station Hotel, Abergavenny NP7 5UH. 6.30pm-9pm. Real ale and traditional pub snacks. Free.

Wednesday 16th September. Rossiter’s bookshop, Ross-on-Wye. Bike ride followed by talk and signing. Bike ride leaves Rossiter’s at 5pm and the book talk is from 7pm. Tickets are £3 and refundable against the purchase of a book.

Thursday 17th September. Stanfords, Bristol, BS1 1HT. 6.30pm-8pm. Tickets are £3 and refundable against the purchase of a book.

If you’d like me to come and talk about Lost Lanes Wales, and the delights of exploring Wales and the Borders by bike, at your bookshop, bike shop, cycle group meeting, christening, bar mitzvah or funeral wake, please do get in touch.

The Listeners’ Hour Explained


As described in this week’s podcast, the Listener’s Hour is a cycling challenge open to all listeners to The Bike Show.

And the challenge is this: to ride your bike for one hour and in that time, to travel further than 35.325km.

Why 35.325km? This is the distance of the first ever hour record, set on the Buffalo Velodrome in Paris by Henri Desgrange in 1893. By riding further than this you’ll not only know what it’s was like to have been the fastest cyclist in the world in 1893 but you’ll have beaten the man who dreamed up the Tour de France and ran the race during its most brutal, punishing era.

How it works:

Record your hour attempt using the Strava app on a smartphone or a GPS device. Post your rides to the Listeners’ Hour club page. You can have as many attempts as you like.

Attempts shall be on a road course of your choice. Any pedal-powered machine is OK. Recumbents and trikes are more than welcome. You may find it less of a challenge on a super aerodynamic laid back machine, but the choice is entirely up to you.

The start and end points of the course should be within 3km of each other. So no sailing away to glory on a brisk tailwind.

The altitude of the end point of the course must be within 20 vertical metres of altitude of the start point. i.e. no going to the top of a mountain and riding down to the bottom.

No drafting. As this is impossible to police, we’ll rely on your honour here.

There are no prizes (as yet). Even if there are prizes the principal reward will be your own sense of achievement at succeeding at something that will be challenging for all but the fittest, strongest cyclists. Everyone who succeeds in the challenge will be honoured by name on The Bike Show and I’ll figure out a way of celebrating the challenge together later in the year. Maybe someone in the bike industry will donate us some prizes. If you can help with that, please get in touch.

The challenge is open to men and women. Women are also eligible to attempt the Listeners Hour (Women Only edition), which observes exactly the same rules, except that the distance is slightly less. The distance for the Women Only challenge will be determined following Dame Sarah Storey’s attempt on the Hour Record by taking her time as a percentage of the current men’s Hour Record and applying that percentage to Desgrange’s Hour Record distance of 35.325km. It’ll likely be around the 30km mark.

Please do share your experiences of trying to go faster. I’m going to be trying to break 35.325km myself. Let’s try to do this together!

Any other questions or clarifications, just holler. We may well need to make things up as we go along.

Good luck and ride fast!

Jack Thurston

Rapha at 10 and L’Eroica comes to Britain

The Bike Show and the cycle clothing company Rapha share a birthday, and while The Bike Show keeps on keeping on, Rapha has grown into a global brand and is toasting its success on the Champs-Élysées as suppliers of clothing to the Sky Pro Cycling Team. Jack checks in with Laura Bower and James Fairbank at Rapha to talk about Chris Froome’s fishnets and what the company is doing to encourage more women to ride bikes. Summer is festival time and Jack chews over the Rapha Tempest and the Eroica Britannia with Howard Smith, author of The Jersey Pocket cycling blog.

Sound and Vision: A Secret History of Bicycle Cultures 1869-2013

FRIDAY LATE: Eat, Ride, Sleep, Repeat - March 2013

In a talk recorded at Friday Late “Eat, Ride, Sleep, Repeat” held earlier this year at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Jack Thurston tells a secret history of British bicycle cultures, with help from Ruth Beale, Tim Dawson, Guy Andrews and Patrick Field.

This is an enhanced podcast with still images accompanying the audio.

You can also watch it here on Vimeo:

Uphill State of Mind


Cyclists have a strange fascination with riding up hills and it’s definitely a pleasure/pain thing. Jack goes in search of the hill climb junkies, first at the Catford Hill Climb on Kent’s North Downs, the oldest continuously held bicycle race in the world, and then to Abergavenny where a new course has revived the local cycling club’s flagging hill climb event. Featuring Simon Warren, author of 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. He’s also written a free ebook for Kindle: An Introduction to Cycling Climbs.

Live from the V&A: Bike V Design

Contemporary bike culture is blossoming into a mesmerising kaleidoscope of bicycle-related art, craft and graphic design. Small artisans are leading the way while big brands try to cash in on the action. Alice Marsh of Bike V Design leads a discussion recorded in front of a live audience at the Victoria and Albert Museum, bringing together a panel that includes Tom Donhou, a former product designer turned bicycle frame-builder, the founders of The Ride Journal and Boneshaker magazine and James Greig, a graphic designer and author of the Cycle Love blog.

Photo credit: V&A Friday Late

Happy Christmas from the Vulpine Christmas Fête

In a seasonal podcast special, Jack heads to Balham, Gateway to the South, for the Christmas Fête organised by Vulpine, the London-based cycle clothing company. The Fête brings together the best and most creative British cycling enterprises including The Ride Journal, Artcrank, Michaux Club, Pannier.cc, Marsh-Mallows Cycling Holidays, and Fresh Tripe.

Image credit: Nick Hussey of Vulpine.