Category: Cycling

Episode 063: Beth Ward – Wales To Istanbul & Drosi Bikes

“Hours, days, weeks and months in the saddle does something funny to your brain. We came back from the trip convinced that cycling was the answer to all of life’s problems and that if we could convince every last one of you to choose a bike not a car, we’d be well on our way to saving the planet. Easy, right?!” Those are the words of Beth Ward who, alongside her partner Robin, cycled from Wales to Istanbul in 2019. As they pedalled an idea grew in their minds to set up a community bike workshop. When they returned home, that’s exactly what they did in Llangollen. Beth has now been included in Cycling UK’s list of 100 women in cycling in 2022. The Cycling Europe Podcast headed down the Dee Valley to investigate…   

“£32.9 Million To Create A National Network Of Walking And Cycling Experts”

An interesting email from the Department for Transport. Very laudable that the government are using nearly £33 million to create a network of expertsdedicated to encourage active travel; walking and cycling. Yet I can’t help but feel that I would be slightly more delighted – excited even – if the headline was tweaked slightly. Just a couple of very minor modifications are needed. Here goes…

The Cycling Europe Podcast: Episode 062 – Jeremy Wilson – Beryl Burton – ‘Britain’s Greatest Athlete’

Beryl Burton was born in Yorkshire on May 12th 1937. Her upbringing was tough. Her school report described her as a ‘stubborn little mule. At the age of 10 she spent 9 months in hospital and doctors told her never to ride a bike uphill. She went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes – of either sex – and a cycling world champion seven times over. She was the country’s ‘best all-rounder’ female cyclist for 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983. She died, cycling, a few days short of her 59th birthday in 1996. Jeremy Wilson – chief sports reporter for The Daily Telegraph – has written an awarding-winning book about the life of this cycling enigma who remains little known outside her home county or the world of cycle racing.

Episode 062: Jeremy Wilson – Beryl Burton – ‘Britain’s Greatest Athlete’

Beryl Burton was born in Yorkshire on May 12th 1937. Her upbringing was tough. Her school report described her as a ‘stubborn little mule. At the age of 10 she spent 9 months in hospital and doctors told her never to ride a bike uphill. She went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes – of either sex – and a cycling world champion seven times over. She was the country’s ‘best all-rounder’ female cyclist for 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983. She died, cycling, a few days short of her 59th birthday in 1996. Jeremy Wilson – chief sports reporter for The Daily Telegraph – has written an awarding-winning book about the life of this cycling enigma who remains little known outside her home county or the world of cycle racing.

Rediscovering My Cycling Naivety

When I started this website back in 2008 (yes, getting on for 14 years ago…) I came to the whole endeavour as a naive touring cyclist. When I wrote ‘Crossing Europe…’ many people commented upon how they had enjoyed experiencing the cycling journey from southern England to southern Italy from the perspective of an inexperienced two-wheeled traveller who, quite frankly, didn’t know what he was doing for much of the time. That epitaph has become increasingly tenuous in the past decade as, inevitably, I have learnt what to do. I’m still learning but it would be disingenuous to continue to refer to myself as ‘naive’. Or rather it is in the world of cycle touring. I still consider myself to be very inexperienced in many other areas of cycling including the one that involves donning tight lycra and heading out for the day with minimal kit on a bicycle designed for speed…

Beryl: In Search of Britain’s Greatest Athlete

After a mid-winter break of a few weeks whilst I was busy editing the four episodes of Le Grand Tour films, the podcast returns in the New Year and the first episode of 2023 – number 062 – will feature a fascinating interview with the journalist Jeremy Wilson. He has written an award-winning book – none other than the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2022 – about the extraordinary life and cycling times of Beryl Burton. In the week before I spoke to Jeremy I spent many thoroughly enjoyable hours reading the book, making notes as I turned the pages in preparation for the interview. In this pre-podcast podcast post (OK, shameless publicity tease…) you can read what I jotted down. Those notes will hopefully whet your appetite for listening to episode 062 of The Cycling Europe Podcast which will be published on Sunday 1st January 2023. In the meantime… Happy Christmas!