One hundred years ago, the Great North Road closed and the A1 opened, heralding a century of domination by the motor car. The Cycling Europe Podcast meets BBC journalist (and one-time San Franciscan cycle courier) Steve Silk who set off on his bicycle to cycle from London to Edinburgh to rediscover what remains of the old road, its stories, milestones and coaching inns. Steve’s book – The Great North Road – is published by Summersdale on July 8th. Plus: cycling in Austria with local resident Laurence Warren. Is there more to this Alpine country than just big hills?
In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast we are pointing our wheels in the direction of Istanbul. In pre-COVID Europe, Mat and Harriet Hall headed off on their first long-distance cycle tour along the EuroVelo 15 to Switzerland before hooking up with the EuroVelo 6 to Romania and then finally following the EuroVelo 13 to Turkey. They have now turned their adventure into a series of films that document the highs and occasional lows of life on the road. Plus: this month’s monologue comes from Robin Watkins who recounts his travels through the towns and villages of Czechia.
In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast we cycle across the World via Britain, Spain, Macedonia, Italy, the west coast of America, the length of Africa and Sierra Leone (plus a few other destinations thrown in for good measure). It’s all courtesy of a new book from DK Eyewitness called Ride: Cycle The World. The podcast brought together its editor, Rachel Laidler, and two of its contributors, Chris Scaife and Tom Owen, to chew over the books one hundred suggested rides. We also hear the first of our podcast monologues, recorded by tandem cyclist Laura Massey-Pugh.
Across the globe, the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 are beginning to ease. Foreign travel may not be an easy option for most people in summer 2021, but being able to explore your own country probably is. In this episode of the podcast, we look at some of the accommodation choices available to touring cyclists including wild camping, hotels, hostels and reciprocal accommodation sharing with contributions from WarmShowers’ Tahverlee Anglen, wild camper Tim Millikin, the YHA’s Simon Ainley and Simon Kershaw from Scarborough’s newest hotel, Bike and Boot.
Cycle touring is normally undertaken on a bicycle composed of two wheels of the same size and one cyclist sitting on the saddle. But not always… The guests in this episode of the podcast didn’t for one minute allow their desires to break free from the norms of cycling to quell their lofty ambitions. On the contrary. All three contributors – tandem cyclists Rachel Marsden and Catherine Dixon, and penny-farthing rider Joff Summerfield – have cycled thousands of kilometres across the globe. They talk to the podcast about their cycling adventures with a twist.
Markus Stitz is a German-born, Edinburgh-based cyclist, writer and filmmaker. In 2015 he set off to cycle the world on a single-speed bicycle, travelling 34,000km through 26 countries. Since his return to the UK, he has been involved in a series of Scottish-based projects promoting both on- and off-road riding. However, in the autumn of 2020 he returned to his roots and embarked upon a 700km cycle along the strip of land that, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, was home to the border fence between East and West German. He talks about all his journeys, near and far…
Simon Parker is a travel writer, broadcaster and newspaper columnist. He has travelled to over 100 countries on reporting assignments for the BBC, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent. He also has a sideline in cycle touring… In 2016 he sailed and cycled from China to London and in 2018 he set off from northern Norway and cycled 3,000km south to the southern tip of Sweden. His 6-week adventure is now the subject of a documentary available on Amazon Prime Video. PLUS: A message from Tim & Laura Moss about the Cycle Touring Festival 2021.
In 2015 I cycled from Tarifa in Spain – the southernmost point of mainland Europe – to Nordkapp in Norway – the northernmost point. It took me over 100 days. In 2019 Dr Ian Walker – an academic at the University of Bath – completed the journey in the opposite direction… in 16 days 20 hours and 59 minutes. In the process he became the fastest person ever to cycle across Europe north to south. That’s no mean feat for a man in his mid-forties who had only taken up ultra-long-distance racing a few years prior to breaking the record. I needed to find out how he did it…