What Goes Around

chappell Jack Thurston heads to mid-Wales to meet Emily Chappell (pictured, above), former London bike messenger turned author turned ultra endurance racer. Her book, What Goes Around: A London Cycle Courier’s Story is published by Faber & Faber.

Plus the social enterprise that’s finding a new use for the Royal Mail’s unwanted fleet of postal bikes, as Elephant Bikes.

The Politics of Adventure


Jack Thurston’s guest this week is self-confessed angry young man, Julian Sayarer (pictured, above), 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, thought 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.

Rolling with Klaus


Klaus Bondam, Director of the Danish Cyclists Federation and former deputy mayor in charge of cycling in Copenhagen rides with ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley to the Hackney Cycling Conference. En route they try to find out how London’s roads compare with cycling cities like Copenhagen. Then Bill joins Kieron Yates and Jack Thurston to discuss what happened at the conference, and where things are with the Mayor of London’s much heralded cycling revolution.

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.

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.

Across Africa by Bike (part two)

Pete Gostelow rode twenty thousand miles across Africa and passed through dozens of countries. In doing so he showed that the bicycle is the best way to travel. In this episode we continue our ride to Battersea Park and talk along the way about where he slept, what he ate, what his motivations were for making the journey and what it’s like to be back home after such a long trip. Pete also explains the inspiration he thinks ordinary cyclists can take from his long African adventure.

This is the first of a two-part feature. Listen to part one.

Photo: Pete Gostelow