Reading and riding: Christmas books special

Tim Dawson, cycling columnist for the Sunday Times, runs the Cycling Books website, the most compendious review website for cycling books. He joins me in the studio to discuss the literature of cycling, from Tour de France to cycle touring. Paul Fournel reads another extract from Need for the Bike. Below is a list of the books discussed in the show. If you would like to buy them, follow the links to Amazon and Resonance FM will get a share of anything you buy, even if it’s stuff not on the list. What a nice way to help your favourite bicycling art radio station!

The Classics
The Rider by Tim Krabbé
The Escape Artist by Matt Seaton
Need for the Bike by Paul Fournel

Tour de France
Bad to the Bone by James Waddington
Sweat of the Gods by Benjo Masso
Wide-eyed and Legless: Inside the Tour De France by Jeff Connor
Le Tour: A History of the Tour De France by Geoffrey Wheatcroft
My Comeback: Up Close and Personal by Lance Armstrong and Elizabeth Kreutz

Cycle touring & travel
Thunder and Sunshine by Alistair Humphreys
The Hungry Cyclist by Tom Kevilll-Davies
French Revolutions by Tim Moore
Full Tilt: Ireland To India With a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy
Transylvania and Beyond by Dervla Murphy
Blue River, Black Sea by Andrew Eames
A Bike Ride by Anne Mustoe

Advocacy, philosophy
Richard’s Bicycle Book by Richard Ballantine

Those we didn’t get time to talk about
Tomorrow We Ride by Jean Bobet
The Passion of Fausto Coppi by William Fotheringham
The Noiseless Tenor by James Starrs
Golden Age of Handbuilt Bikes and Competition Bikes by Jan Heine
Rouleur Annual 2009
Fixed: Global Fixed-Gear Bike Culture by Andrew Edwards and Max Leonard

To win copies of the current issues of Rouleur and The Ride Journal, send answers to the competition questions to bikeshow-at-resonancefm-dot-com. Thanks to these fine publications for donating the prizes.

And if that leaves you wanting more chat about cycling books, the 2007 Christmas books show is still online to listen again as is the show featuring Andrew and Philip Diprose of The Ride Journal. Matt Seaton wrote an excellent round-up over at The Guardian.

Season Opener: Childhood Daze

(C) Cycling England 2008
A youthful feel to this season opener with a visit to Lockleaze Primary School in Bristol, one of an number of Sustrans ‘Bike It’ schools acros the country. Plus childhood memories from Paul Fournel, reading from Need for the Bike* in person at the Calder Bookshop. We get the inside scoop on the much-awaited Sturmey Archer S3X, three speed fixed gear hub, from SA’s General Manager Alan Clarke.

If you are a parent or teacher and want your school or your kids school to be a Bike It school, you can ask on the Sustrans website.

Image credit: Cycling England 2008

Play on links below. Other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) are here.

*If you buy Need for the Bike by following the link (left), some of the money goes to Resonance FM!

From Sublime to Ridiculous

jarryCopenhagen is widely regarded as the world’s most cycle-friendly city. I ask Copenhagen’s Mayor Klaus Bondam what advice he gives to other city leaders in how to emulate the Danish capital. Multitalented musician, songwriter and cartoonist Peter Blegvad reads Alfred Jarry’s proto-absurdist short story “The Crucifixion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race”. Jarry (pictured, above) was fond of cycling around Paris with a giant bell mounted on his bicycle and firing a pistol into the air to clear the road. While this is highly tempting, it may turn out to be counterproductive on today’s city streets. Why not try, instead, a website where you can record bike lane violations: Plus reflections on a big day in Le Tour De France.

Play on links below.

Podcast only: Theatre Review – Pedal Pusher

ppPedal Pusher is a play that follows three professional cyclists, Jan Ullrich, Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong, in the most dramatic recent era of professional cycle sport. From the young prodigy Jan Ullrich winning the Tour in 1997, the doping scandals of 1998, Armstrong’s conquest of cancer and ending with Pantani’s exile from the sport and eventual death from a cocaine overdose. By interweaving the biographical stories with recreations of the Tour de France races onstage, the play tells the difficult but uplifting story of their lives through excitement and energy of the race itself. I speak with the four-man cast and director Roland Smith.

Pedal Pusher runs until Saturday 1st August 2009, showing on Monday to Saturday nights at 7:30pm. Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions). Rob Ainsley at Real Cycling has reviewed Pedal Pusher as has Edward R Burge.

Photo © Holly McGlynn

Play on links below.

2 March 2009: Riding and writing

the_rideThe Ride Journal was launched last year to widespread acclaim. Issue two is at the printers. Philip and Andrew Diprose, editor and art director, explain how they came to start a journal of personal stories about how bikes have changed people’s lives.

Among the articles in Issue 2 of The Ride Journal is Rediscovered by Rona Sutherland and is read by Ruby Wright. Ruby presents a fortnightly music podcast on Radio Nowhere called Ruby’s Chicky Boil-Ups. It’s great!. And if you want to read the article on the Highway Cycling Group from Issue 1, it’s here.

We also spotlight the new issue of Rouleur, the quarterly magazine from the Rapha stable, including an extract from Jean Bobet’s Tomorrow We Ride, translated by Adam Berry and read by Jean-Marie Orhan. To win a copy of issue 12 of Rouleur, send the correct answer to the question by email to

Play on links below. Other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) coming soon.

1 September 2008: Around the world the hard way (part two)

Alastair Humphreys has cycled round the world ‘the hard way’: four years, sixty countries and forty-six thousand miles. In the second of a two part special he tells the story of his epic adventure: from Mexico to Alaska, through Siberia, Japan, China and central Asia.

Thunder and Sunshine, the second volume of his travelogue is out now, published by Eye Books.

Play on links below, other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) over here.