Bike sales are up, cycling is all over newspapers and magazines. We in Britain are in the middle of a bonafide bike boom. So says veteran cycling journalist Carlton Reid, who’s writing a book about the bike boom, that’s called, imaginatively, “Bike Boom”. But fellow long-in-the-tooth cycling journalist John Stevenson of Road.CC disagrees. Cycling in Britain is far from booming, it’s flat-lining. The pair lock horns on air, joining host Jack Thurston to debate the bike boom.
With the recent reawakening of interest in the Hour Record, host Jack Thurston is joined by Michael Hutchinson, a professional bike racer who has dominated the UK time trialling scene for more than a decade, setting national records for distances from 10 miles to 100 miles. He’s also an accomplished writer and his latest book Faster: The Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists documents with forensic detail and wry humour his career-long quest to ride his bicycle very, very fast.
Jack and Michael also reveal the Listeners’ Hour Challenge.
It’s the toughest and longest standing record in cycling. Only a handful of people have attempted to break the record Tommy Godwin set in 1939 for the greatest distance ridden on a bike in one year. But this year two extraordinary cyclists are having a crack at it. In an in-depth interview with British long distance legend Steve Abraham, who is already almost six weeks into his record attempt, Jack Thurston finds out what kind of person takes on the challenge of riding an average of 205 miles for 365 days in a row. Author Dave Barter is on hand to put the year record in historical and sporting context.
Jack Thurston’s guest this week is self-confessed angry young man, Julian Sayarer, who, five years ago, set a new record for cycling around the world. Having taken a strong dislike to Mark Beaumont, the previous record-holder, whose record attempt was backed by big business and, according to Sayarer, represented everything that was wrong with the world. He wanted to beat Beaumont and take the record back ‘for the people’.
They meet on on the banks of the River Wye a few miles downstream from the city of Hereford. Julian Sayarer’s book Life Cycles is published by John Blake and available in paperback and on the Kindle.
Statistics tell us that for the same distance travelled you’re more likely to come to physical harm on a bike than on most other modes of transport. But even so, crashes are quite rare. Much more common yet much less studied and understood, are the almost crashes, the near misses, that are so much a part of the experience of cycling in Britain. The Near Miss Project is an academic-led study that seeks to find out more about the experience of near misses.
Joining host Jack Thurston to look more deeply at near misses and perceptions of road safety among cyclists are Dr Rachel Aldred, of University of Westminster, Dr Kat Jungnickel of Goldsmiths College and John Dales, a leading UK traffic engineer and transport planner.
Jack Thurston is joined by a galaxy of stars from the world of cycling literature to pick over the cream of this year’s crop of bike books. Nominating their cycling book of the year are Feargal McKay, Ned Boulting, Herbie Sykes, Daniel Friebe, Tom Southam, Richard Moore, Max Leonard and Emma O’Reilly. Guy Andrews, founding editor of Rouleur magazine, is on hand with his crystal ball to look at what cycling books we might expect in 2015 and years to come.
Electric bikes are a rapidly growing area of the bicycle industry, offering the promise of effortless two-wheeled travel. Professor Mark Miodownik of University College London tests a Smart E-bike (pictured, above) as part of an in-depth look at e-bike technologies, for both utility and recreational riding. Plus Dr Rachel Aldred explains the Near Miss Project. […]