The Indian Pacific Wheel Race is a gruelling 5,500 km coast-to-coast bicycle race across Australia. The race features the two leading long distance bike racers in the world as well as dozens of other cyclists determined to push themselves to the very limits of physical and mental endurance. Jack is joined by Australian cycling journalist Craig Fry and long distance cycling expert Chris White to discuss what it takes to win the race, or even to get to the finishing line in Sydney, plus the long history of overlanding in Australia and the possibilities of making the journey in a more leisurely cycle touring style.
Mike Parker is the author of the best-selling Map Addict, an affectionate history of Ordnance Survey maps and the people who can’t get enough of their beautiful maps. He’s an accomplished guidebook writer, a former stand up comedian and has presented TV and radio programmes about Wales, his adopted homeland. In 2015 he stood for Parliament for Plaid Cymru, the party of Wales and has written a book, the Greasy Poll, about the experience. We go for a spin from Castle Meadows in Abergavenny, as it hosted the National Eisteddfod, a huge annual festival of Welsh language, culture, music and song.
You can find out more about Mike and his work on his website.
If you enjoyed the musical choices in the show, then check out the two volume compilation Welsh Rare Beat, selections of 1970s Welsh folk-rock-psychedelia compiled by Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys and DJs Andy Votel and Dom Thomas. It’s out of print but available as a download or via Spotify.
Every weekend many tens if not hundreds of thousands of people ride their bikes in the British countryside. But are we taking the time to really understand and appreciate the things we see and places we ride through? Or is it all day dreaming about the next cake stop or going hard for that next personal best on Strava?
Mary Ann Ochota has made it her mission to help people discover the history of the landscape by looking out for signs and clues that are often hidden in plain sight. She’s appeared on television presenting documentaries and archeology shows including Time Team and Britain’s Secret Treasures and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
After the big victories for London cycle campaigners and the construction of two new fully segregated bike lanes in the centre of the city, the bikelash has begun. Lead by newspapers like the Daily Mail as well as a raft of celebrity commentators, taxi drivers and disgruntled business owners, the reaction to progress in cycle infrastructure has been vociferous. What is bikelash, why is it happening and what can we do about it? Joining Jack Thurston are the London Cycling Campaign’s ‘campaigner of the year’ Clare Rogers of the Enfield Cycling Campaign and Robert Wright of the Financial Times.
The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold is comic travel writer Tim Moore’s third bicycle-based escapade, and perhaps his craziest. He attempts to ride the length of the Cold War’s Iron Curtain, from the north of Finland to the Black Sea coast. It’s near enough ten thousand kilometres, a challenge for any cyclist, and not least a slightly unfit middle aged man riding a secondhand East German shopping bike with small wheels and only two gears. Before a live audience at a book event in Monmouth, organised by Rossiter Books, Moore explains how he dreamed up the idea and how he got on.
Wrapping up The Bike Show’s coverage of this year’s Transcontinental Race, Jack Thurston talks to race organiser Mike Hall and women’s race winner Emily Chappell. Mike also tells the story of his record-breaking ride in the Tour Divide race earlier in the year and reflects on the growth of bikepacking, as a sport and a pastime.
Three days and three nights since setting out from Belgium, riders in the Transcontinental Race are deep in the Swiss Alps, en route for the finish in Turkey. The Transcontinental is one of the world’s most extraordinary and compelling bicycle races. Jack Thurston is joined by two time Transcontinental finisher Gareth Baines for an update on this year’s race and a discussion of the demands of a 4000 km non-stop bicycle race across Europe.