High on a Mountain Top

Since the very earliest years of the bicycle, adventurous cyclists have been unable to resist the allure of the mountains – the challenge of riding up and the thrill of freewheeling down the other side. Mountains are also the crucible of many of the most dramatic moments in professional bike racing. Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding, the authors of Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs join host Jack Thurston to talk about the quest for ever more exhilarating climbs and breathtakingly beautiful places. I

In a podcast-only extra, Bill Chidley reports back from the Annual General Meeting of the London Cycling Campaign, where important details of the Space For Cycling campaign were agreed.

Photo credit: Pete Goding

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:

A Ride in Border Country

In the last show of the summer season, Jack goes for a leisurely spin around the Welsh borders with local cyclist Owen Davies as his guide, from Abergavenny to Monmouth and back, past Raglan Castle (pictured above), Rockfield recording studios and the unlikely Welsh residence of the notorious Nazi politician Rudolf Hess.

Image credit: Cadw

Boardman versus Obree

The sporting rivalry between Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree is among the greatest in history, on a par with Ovett and Coe, Borg and McEnroe or Ali and Frazier. Twenty years on from their record-breaking exploits, Jack Thurston and Edward Pickering consider how their era marked a turning point in British cycle sport and how Chris Boardman’s scientific approach to training set the template for the top riders that followed him, from Chris Hoy to Bradley Wiggins, elevating Britain to the top of the Olympic medal table in cycling and Team Sky as the dominant force in road racing. Edward Pickering is the author of The Race Against Time: Obree, Boardman and the Quest to be the Fastest Man on Two Wheels.

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.

How Britain Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Bike Racing

In the first show of the new season, Jack takes a leisurely ride in the Welsh Borders with Ned Boulting, one of the faces of ITV’s coverage of the Tour de France. They discuss Ned’s new book On the Road Bike: the Search for a Nation’s Cycling Soul, an engaging and ideosyncratic history of British bike racing.

Podcast special: Reading Le Tour de France

1979 - Peugeot - 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.

The books discussed are as follows:

Tour de France: The Official 100th Race Anniversary Edition by Françoise Laget, Gilles Montgermont, Serge Laget & Philippe Cazaban. Publisher: Quercus.

Tour de France 100 by Richard Moore. Publisher: Bloomsbury Sport.

Mapping Le Tour de France: 100 Tour de France race route maps by Ellis Bacon. Publisher: Collins.

Mountain High: Europe’s 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs by Daniel Friebe. Publisher: Quercus.

French Revolutions: Cycling the Tour de France by Tim Moore. Publisher: Yellow Jersey.

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. Publisher: Corgi.

Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh. Publisher: Simon & Schuster.

Bad to the Bone by James Waddington. Publisher: Dedalus.

Consumed by Jonathan Budds. Self-published.

The Sweat of the Gods: Myths and Legends of Bicycle Racing by Benjo Maso. Publisher: Mousehold Press.

The Tour de France A Cultural History by Christopher S. Thompson. Publisher: University of California Press.

Het feest van list en bedrog by Herman Chevrolet. Publisher: De Arbeiderspers.