After posting the latest episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast to YouTube yesterday, someone called Rat Whittleym commented asking “Have you watched Susanna Thornton on here? Very inspirational”. Sharon Merredew followed that up by posting “Would you be able to interview Susanna at some point? She’s amazing.” I don’t think I had ever heard of Susanna Thornton before so I did an online search. She has a YouTube page – quite a simple one – with a number of cycling / bikepacking / cycle touring videos, many recounting tales of her travels on a Brompton. Her latest video was uploaded only yesterday and it looks back at a cycle she completed in 2006 which took her from Hong Kong where she had lived for some years to London where she had been offered a new role by the company she worked for.
There are two striking things about the film. Firstly, it’s so refreshing watching a video that has been put together using audio recordings, photographs and grainy videos that were created with the cutting edge technology of 2006. No drones, no UHD video, no GoPros… Secondly, unlike most feel-good YouTube cycling films, this is the story of a journey that takes a very dark turn. It will make your heart skip a beat when it happens. A thoroughly absorbing, engrossing and ultimately shocking film. Recommended.
A bit more online digging reveals that yesterday she was interviewed on Radio 4’s Saturday Live:
“Susanna Thornton tells us about her lifelong association with cycling and freedom – which led to a mammoth cycle from Hong Kong to London and many much smaller, wild bikepacking trips in the UK, which she documents online. “
You can listen to the programme by following this link. Her segment starts at 39 minutes. It then continues after the news bulletin about 63 minutes into the programme. I suggest you listen to what she says on Radio 4 after you watch the video.
And to go back to Rat and Sharon’s comments, yes, she would make for a fascinating interviewee for the podcast…
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