How to Ride Your Bike Faster

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With the recent reawakening of interest in the Hour Record, host Jack Thurston is joined by Michael Hutchinson (pictured, above), a professional bike racer who has dominated the UK time trialling scene for more than a decade, setting British national records for distances from 10 miles to 100 miles and winning 56 national time trial championships. 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. He looks back on the flurry of hour records over the past six months and sizes up the chance that Bradley Wiggins will put the record out of reach for a generation.

Jack and Michael also reveal a new hour record challenge for listeners to The Bike Show. For more details on The Listeners’ Hour, see the discussion section of The Bike Show’s Strava club page.

Cycling and Modernity in 1930s London

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Historians often regard the defining events of the 1930s as the Great Depression and the march towards the second world war. Yet the decade also saw something of a consumer boom, at least among well-to-do inhabiting the suburbs of London and the south east. Historian Dr John Law of the University of Westminster joins Jack Thurston to share his research into the a new suburban lifestyles of the interwar years, including the dramatic increase in private, personal mobility though the use of cars, motorcycles and bicycles. They discuss how these new transport technologies shaped London and Londoners and how drivers and cyclists fought for the right to the road.

John Law is the author of a The Experience of Suburban Modernity: How Private Transport Changed Interwar London. Manchester University Press, 2014.

A Year on Two Wheels

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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 (pictured, above), 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.

Photo (C) Jack Thurston

The Politics of Adventure

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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.

The Near Miss Project

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Statistics tell us that for the same distance travelled we’re more likely to come to physical harm riding a bike in Britain than using 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 the University of Westminster, Dr Kat Jungnickel of Goldsmiths College and John Dales, a leading UK traffic engineer and transport planner and director of Urban Movement consultancy.

Record your own near miss audio stories here

Your Near Miss Audio Stories

As part of a partnership between The Bike Show and the University of Westminster’s Near Miss Project, we want to hear your audio stories of near misses you’ve experienced while out riding. We’ll play them on an upcoming edition of the show.

You can record your audio using the free recording widget below – just click record and speak into your computer. Or you can do it using a smartphone with the free Audioboom phone app (remember to use the tag ‘nearmiss’ when you hit save).

1. What happened?

2. How did it make you feel?

3. Were there any lasting consequences?

Christmas Books Special

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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.

Image credit: Sharkey / Flickr – Creative Commons