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.
This is an extract from an account of a summer touring trip to the Pyrenees, published in the London Bicycle Club Gazette (1879). The group of London cycle tourists rode their machines, or more likely pushed them, up all the major cols including the Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin & Peyresourde. They were almost certainly riding high [...]
With this year’s Tour de France just a few days away, Kieron Yates and Jack Thurston talk about the best places to go touring by bicycle in France. They share their ideas on where to go, where to stay and how to get there and back.
1987 was an annus mirabilis for Stephen Roche, one of a wave of world class Irish athletes that rose to fame that decade. He won the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the World Championship road race. The only other rider to have accomplished this feat, know as the ‘triple crown’, is Eddy Merckx. Roche has a new book out called ‘Born To Ride’ and talks about his life in cycling, winning the triple crown, as well as his thoughts on today’s peloton, the scourge of doping and his own implication in an EPO doping conspiracy.
His new autobiography, Born to Ride, is out now, published by Yellow Jersey Press.
As governments around the world seek to improve conditions for cyclists, we take a look at France, a country synonymous with cycle sport but that has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to everyday cycling. From Paris, Kieron Yates talks about cycling in the French capital and the new measures being introduced by the national government to improve conditions for cycling. And Gregory Bossuyt tells of leaving Paris behind him and taking to his bicycle in search of a new life in a new town.
is a radio journalist working for the French national broadcaster who for the past ten years has been finding his stories by bicycle. Krafft’s two wheeled reportage has taken him around Latin America, the Middle East, the French West Indies and on several occasions his own country, which he has toured during presidential election years, to find out what France really thinks. Kieron Yates visited Raphaël Krafft in Paris for this extended profile, which features audio material from his radio broadcasts.
Andrew Sykes tells of his six week summer journey from his home in Reading to the southern tip of Puglia, in Italy, along the Eurovelo 5 long-distance cycle route, and reads from Good Vibrations, the book he’s written about the trip. Jen and Jack talk about the horror of the Waterloo bridge roundabout and the Mayor’s plans to remake it (again). Finally, a tribute to Henry Warwick, a veteran London bicycle messenger who was killed in a crash with a coach while working earlier this month.