At the start of the second week of this year’s Giro d’Italia, we take the long view of cycle sport in Italy with John Foot, professor of modern Italian history at University College London. His book Pedalare! Pedalare! tells the fascinating story of how Italy fell in love with the bicycle and how cycle sport took a central role in national life.
Cross Elvis Presley with Muhammad Ali, raise him in a grocery shop in post-war Belgium, put him on a bicycle and what do you get? The greatest cyclist of all time: Eddy Merckx. Cycling journalists Daniel Friebe and William Fotheringham have both treated us to new books about Eddy Merckx, the Cannibal, winner of 525 professional races, five Tours de France, five Giri d’Italia and countless Classics. He was world champion and broke the hour record. We talk about his career, his motivations and the challenges of telling the story of the greatest racing cyclist who ever lived.
In the concluding half of an extended interview with engineer and bicycle inventor Mike Burrows, we talk about Mike’s biggest passion: laid back bicycles. He explains how these human powered vehicles came about and where he hopes they’re going. Plus Simon Nurse discusses the possibility of a cycling equivalent of the London Marathon.
Mike Burrows is probably best known for his design of the Lotus 108 pursuit bike that Chris Boardman rode in the Barcelona Olympics, winning the first gold medal for a British cyclist in over 70 years. But Mike has made a huge contribution to pedal powered machines more widely. His compact road frame first developed for Giant is now a design standard and his designs have moved the world of laid back or recumbent bicycles on from the early, pioneering days in 1970s California. Burrows remains inventive, opinionated and passionate about bicycles.
This is the first of a two part extended interview.
For a second year, the Bespoked show in Bristol has provided a platform for a new generation of British bicycle framebuilders to showcase their work. Featured in this episode: Paul Villiers, Tom Donhou, Ted James, Ricky Feather and Jonathan Paulus. In a podcast-only extra, cycle sport journalist Lionel Birnie gives his take on the spring classics thus far and a look ahead to this weekend’s Paris Roubaix.
To mark International Women’s Day, a discussion of women in cycling, from bygone days of the Rational Dress Society of the late Victorian era to Britain’s twenty-first century successes in competition on the track and on the road. We ask why women are still three times less likely to ride bikes than men. Jen Kerrison and Jack Thurston are joined by Ann Kenrick, a trustee of the London Cycling Campaign and Natalie Justice of the Breeze Network at British Cycling.
Earlier this month, Graeme Obree was at Look Mum No Hands! for the London launch of The Obree Way, a training manual for cyclists. Obree is a two time individual pursuit world champion, has twice broken the world hour record and is multiple winner of British national time trial championships. He is renowned not just […]