The first of two features on a north American cycle tour undertaken over the summer. Starting in cycle-friendly Montreal and Quebec’s routes vertes and camping on the shores of Lake Champlain, this episode ends with a mildly disturbing encounter with an over-talkative former NYPD officer and child abuse investigator.
Plus more from Paul Fournel’s Need for the Bike. This week he turns his attention to the question of the cyclist’s tan. If you buy the book online from Amazon using the link (left) Resonance gets some of the money. If you’d rather buy it from a shop, then choose the excellent Calder Bookshop in Waterloo. Music from Sharon Jones and the Daptones, Willie Nelson and R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders.
Update (6 July): Thanks to all those who took part. Interesting to hear the powers of reasoned speech decline as the night wore on. And there appeared to be problems uploading out of 3G range – something that AudioBoo.fm should look into if this is really going to become a platform for mobile audioblogging. You can listen to all the audioBoos from the Dunwich Dynamo 2009 here. Some lovely photos here.
The Dunwich Dynamo is the greatest London cycle event, bar none. A free, turn-up-and-go night right to the Suffolk Coast. Just long enough to feel like a real achievement, but well within the reach of an averagely fit day-to-day cyclist. The Bike Show has featured DD16 and DD12 but this year, coverage is going to be a novel experiment in what Nathan Barley would probably refer to as “self-facilitating, crowd-sourced audio mashup”. But don’t let that put you off.
If you’re riding this year’s Dunwich Dynamo and you have an iPhone, then I hope you’ll take part in the experiment. Here’s how it works. audioBoo is a really nice free application (made by a London-based company) that allows you to record snippets of audio, up to three minutes in duration, and post them to the web. Audio blogging if you like. It’s incredibly easy to use and the sound quality from the iPhone’s internal microphone isn’t bad at all. You just need to sign up for a free audioBoo account and download the free app from the iPhone app store. Then you’re ready to go.
What I want you to do is to record moments from the night – before the start, during the ride, at the half-way stop, at the end, on the beach, in the cafe having breakfast… on the coach (or ride!) back, in the bath at home… wherever. Record anything you like. The ambiance, your own reflections, a short interview with a friend or stranger. Add the tag DD17 and all the snippets will be aggregated into a big pool of sound, a unique record of a unique night. If enough people do it, it should be possible to produce a feature on the radio show made up of everyone’s recordings. Simple as that. Any questions, hit the comments below…
In an extended podcast edition of this week’s show, the journey from London to Bristol continues along the Ridgeway (pictured, left) to Avebury, one of the largest prehistoric stone circles in Europe. After a night by Lacock Abbey the route follows the Avon to Bath and the old railway track to Bristol. Featuring David Evans of the Highway Cycling Group, wild swimming author Daniel Start, Bristolian cyclists Mike McBeth and Matthew Symonds and Peter Lipman, Policy Director at Sustrans.
Part one of a ride from London to Bristol, in which presenter Jack Thurston is guided by listeners to the show. First stop is St Giles’ Church in Stoke Poges, home to the ‘bicycle window’ (pictured behind Jack and Denis Hartley, the Verger of the Church). One element of the window dates from 1642 and said to be the earliest ever depiction of a velocipede. The route passes through Willesden, Stoke Poges, Cookham, Henley-on-Thames before ascending the Berkshire Downs. Tune in next week for part two.
The Bike Show is a London show, broadcast on Resonance FM, a London station. And despite the exhortations of the show’s worldwide podcast audience, we mostly cover things that are going on in this fair city. However, it has recently come to my attention that the UK’s numero uno cycling city is reputed not to be the nation’s capital, but its smaller west country cousin, Bristol. And believe it or not, I have never actually set foot in Bristol (its two railway stations excepted). So I thought it was about time I did pay a visit to find out about some of the bikey things going down in B-Town, as I have been told it is known to the cognoscenti.
So, I’ll be cycling from London to Bristol on the long weekend of the 29-31 May 2009. And I’d like to extend an invitation to all Bike Show listeners who live anywhere in between to join me for a segment and show me a few things of local interest. As it stands, the route is going to take in Stoke Poges (in search of a notable historical artifact), a night near the bare mountain of Silbury Hill, and a roll along the the byways of North Wiltshire, where I look forward to being guided by the Highway Cycling Group. That leaves quite a few gaps to be filled.
If you’d like to show me your patch, then please get in touch via email: bikeshow at resonancefm dot com.
The Bike Show may be off air, but come with us on a trip to Belgium, home of the Flemish hard men and De Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders). Along the way I get a surprise tour of the legendary showers at the Roubaix velodrome (pictured left).
Riding the Northumberland coast from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne with Daniel Start, author of the best-selling Wild Swimming, a guide to natural swimming spots in Britain. Wild Swimming Coast (the salt-water version) will be published in the late spring. To enter the competition to win a signed copy, send an email detailing your favourite wild swimming spot to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew Stevenson’s account of his Ed Ruscha-inspired 12 Bakeries ride from London to Paris is available to download (PDF).
Some excellent photographs of the LFGSS’s Tweed Run available here and here. For more information about the Tweed Cycling Club, there is a website.
Play or download MP3 on links below. Other file formats (e.g. Ogg Vorbis) over here.