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Podcast special: Reading Le Tour de France

It’s just a few days until the start of the hundredth edition of the world’s greatest bike race, the Tour de France. Book publishers have taken this historic milestone as their cue to commission and produce an enormous quantity of books about the race, its history and legend.

To help sort the wheat from the chaff is Feargal McKay, a man who’s read more books about professional bike racing than there are hairpin bends in the Pyrenees. As the resident book reviewer at the Podium Cafe website, Feargal Mckay has built a reputation for outstanding book reviews that are both thorough and thought provoking.

Read more · Comments { 1 } · France, History, Literature, Podcast, Tour de France
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Eileen Sheridan: The Mighty Atom

Land’s End to John O’Groats is a classic cycle touring route. But it was also the blue riband distance among the long distance record-breaking heyday of the 1930s to the 1960s. In 1954 Eileen Sheridan, a diminutive cyclist from Coventry sponsored by the huge Hercules Bicycle Company, set a new record that stood for decades. Now 89, Eileen recounts a truly epic journey and tells the story of how she became one of the best-known, and best-paid, cyclists in Britain.

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Edward Thomas on waterproof cycling gear

A hundred years ago, on Good Friday, 1913, a London-born Welshman, writer and cyclist set out on an Easter cycle tour from Clapham Common to the Quantock Hills in Somerset. Four years later, having enlisted in the British Army to fight in the Great War, he was killed by the shockwaves of one of the […]

Read more · Comments { 2 } · History, Literature, Touring
kraftwerk

Podcast special: Did Cycling Kill Kraftwerk?

On the eve of Kraftwerk’s eight night residency at the Tate Modern, Jack is joined by David Buckley, music writer and author of a new biography of the German electronic pop pioneers. Among the revelations in his book is evidence that a serious obsession with cycling contributed to the slowing of the band’s musical output in the 1980s and, ultimately, the break-up of the group’s classic line-up. Jack and David talk about Kraftwerk’s journey from experimental music-making to the pinnacle of influence over pop, rock, hip-hop and dance music as well as their love affair with riding their bikes.

Read more · Comments { 4 } · Bicycle music, History, People, Podcast, Sport, Tour de France
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Raleigh Recall

In the third and final instalment of the Raleigh mini-season, listeners to The Bike Show share their recollections of Raleigh bicycles they have loved – and loathed. Jack Thurston is joined by broadcaster and artist Ruby Wright and London man-about-town and Raleigh Twenty owner Jean-Marie Orhan. In a podcast-only bonus feature, Tony Hadland shares his thoughts on restoring old, neglected Raleigh bicycles.

Apologies to ‘Fun Run’ Robbie who is of course not ‘Fun Boy’ Robbie at all (or maybe he is?!) and yes, the town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders is pronounced like this.

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Raleigh (part two): The Fall

In the second of a two-part feature on the Raleigh Bicycle Company, historian Tony Hadland and Jack Thurston look at Raleigh’s post-war success as the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturing company and its long decline to a point where it was sold off to overseas investors and abandoned manufacturing in its home town of Nottingham. The Raleigh name lives on as a brand owned by Accell, a larger Dutch company.

Read more · Comments { 0 } · England, History, Podcast
raleigh

Raleigh (part one): The Rise

In the first of a two-part feature on the Raleigh Bicycle Company, historian Tony Hadland and Jack Thurston chart the rise of the company from a small backstreet workshop in Nottingham in the mid-1880s to the mid-1950s when it was seemingly unassailable as the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer.

Tony Hadland is the author of Raleigh: Past and Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand.

Read more · Comments { 2 } · England, Gear, History, Podcast