The Healing Machine

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What makes a 40-year-old man take up bike racing? Jack Thurston talks with Bill Strickland, American cycling journalist, author of a clutch of cycling books including a memoir, Ten Points, which tells of how his quest to make a mark on his local amateur bike racing scene helped him come to terms with his own inner demons caused by the torture he suffered as a child at the hands of an abusive father. Bill also talks about the fallout from the disgrace of Lance Armstrong, the state of doping in today’s pro peloton and his #CapsNotHats campaign. Plus Jon Spencer tells of his journey to become a Super Randonneur.

Going the Distance

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For many cyclists, breaking through the 100 mile barrier opens up a whole new world of long distance cycling. Kieron Yates, a two time finisher of the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris ride, joins Jack Thurston to talk about the allure of going the distance, with advice from a handful of members of the global randonneuring scene. For more on randonneuring in the UK, check out Audax UK’s calendar of events.

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

C’est Magnifique! C’est le Tour de France!

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This year’s Tour de France was the hundredth edition of the world’s biggest and best bicycle race – and it proved to be a race to remember. Jack Thurston talks with ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley about three weeks of outstanding bike racing. Next year the Tour will begin in Yorkshire and cycling journalist Peter Cossins is already excited about the race passing right by his house in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

Image credit: ironmanixs via Flickr Creative Commons

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

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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.