Superb BBC Radio 4 documentary about bike messengers in London

Over the summer BBC Radio 4 aired a half-hour programme about life as a bicycle messenger here in London. First of all, what the programme does really well is convey the magic of daily cycling in London – the vistas, the skies, the sun, the wind and the rain, the secret places. This is something that any everyday London cyclist can appreciate, whether or not they work as a messenger. The documentary avoids the usual traps of romanticising the job, focussing obsessively on risk and danger, the bikes, the machismo, the fashions and so on. It’s telling that there is not a single mention of ‘fixed wheel’. The contributions from working messengers and former messengers are honest and thoughtful.

This half-hour radio documentary is way better than any film, television or radio feature about bicycle messengers that I have ever seen and, thanks to the marvelous Bicycle Film Festival, I have seen enough for a lifetime! In short, if you like The Bike Show, you will love this.

It should come as no surprise that the documetary features friends of The Bike Show like Buffalo Bill & Nhatt Attack, the latter I hope will be making her Bike Show debut on the next season of the show. Of course, where The Bike Show leads, the BBC follows. For the two part rolling interview with Buffalo Bill that aired on Resonance FM back in May 2005 click here (part one) and here (part two).

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 documentary over here, courtesy of Messenger of Doom rjs.