May 2022: Ep. 049

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Episode 049: Cycling Slovakia End To End With Rob Ainsley

Writer, cyclist – and now composer – Rob Ainsley is the master of the cycling ‘end-to-end’: Britain, France, Spain, Poland, Cuba… and now Slovakia, west to east. He chats to The Cycling Europe Podcast about his recent journey across the country, its people, its places… and its beer. He also takes time to reflect upon the attractions of the end-to-end cycle and reveals the name of the country that he believes is home to the definitive end-to-end. We also hear two of Rob’s compositions for guitar, inspired by his travels on a bicycle, and zebras…  

All of Rob’s music – as well as information about his travels – can be found on his website e2e.bike. He is on Twitter @RealCycling.

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Episode 049: Cycling Slovakia End To End With Rob Ainsley
Writer, cyclist – and now composer – Rob Ainsley is the master of the cycling ‘end-to-end’: Britain, France, Spain, Poland, Cuba… and now Slovakia, west to east. He chats to The Cycling Europe Podcast about his recent journey across the country, its people, its places… and its beer. He also takes time to reflect upon the attractions of the end-to-end cycle and reveals the name of the country that he believes is home to the …
Episode 048: A Mountaineer’s Guide To Cycling From Spain To Norway
The Cycling Europe Podcast mainly features, well, cyclists. The interviewee in this episode, however, is first and foremost a mountaineer. But he’s not just any mountaineer. His name is Tim Ralph and he’s a seven summiteer; a man who has climbed the seven highest mountains on each of the continents. In the last few years, he’s also taken up cycle touring and has just published a book called ‘A Life Accomplished: From Spain to Norway …
Episode 047: Planning A Four-Year Cycle Around The World
Nathan Molyneaux is a planning manager in the food industry. He’s also a great believer in the Chimp Paradox, an understanding of which allows you to take control of your emotions in order to act in your own best interests. This theory, developed by Professor Steve Peters, has been instrumental in the planning of Nathan’s upcoming journey around the world. And it’s a proper round-the-world cycle; no planes, every continent, scores of countries and four …
The Making Of The Cycling Europe Podcast
I am in Hebden Bridge, experimenting. If you are reading this, congratulations! You are clearly a fan of the podcast as I’m making no effort to publicise this secret episode of the podcast. It doesn’t even have a number! You may find the audio of interest, you may not. Have a listen to what I’ve recorded and let me know what you think, good or bad…
Episode 046: Tim Moore, Travel Writer
Tim Moore has been referred to as ‘Bill Bryson on two wheels’. Any reader of his adventures – both on and off a bike – will  appreciate why the comparison is justified. In his first cycling travelogue, he set off on the route of that year’s Tour de France just weeks before the professionals. He went on to recreate ‘the most appalling bike race of all time’ – the 1914 Giro d’Italia – on a …
Episode 045: The UK To Greece (And Beyond…) / Valencia To Gibraltar
Whilst recovering from cancer treatment, Candy Whittome was given a copy of Anne Mustoe’s book ‘A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles Around the World’. It inspired her to embark upon a long cycling journey herself, if not quite all the way round the world, then a good portion of it. Her doctors were supportive (although her family needed some convincing) and in 2021 she set off on the first leg of her journey cycling from Britain to …
Episode 044: The Canal de la Garonne & Canal du Midi / Trikes
Declan Lyons trained as a zoologist but after several years working as a journalist and management consultant he started to research and then write two Cicerone guides for people interested in cycling the Canal de la Garonne from Bordeaux to Toulouse and the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean coast at Sète. Together the canals are known as the Véloroute des Deux Mers – the ‘two seas cycle route’ – and in this …
Episode 043: Monologue Special / Gavin Wood 
In 2021 I put out a call for anyone who was interested in recording a short monologue about their experiences of cycling to get in touch and, in the past year, quite a few people have come forward to record such a monologue. In this episode you have a second opportunity to hear Laura Massey-Pugh set out her plans to cycle around the world on a tandem, Laurence Warren tell the story of round-the-world cyclist …
Episode 042: Cycling For Society / Baltic Sea / Climate Explorers 
In this episode of the podcast we hear from two groups who are using cycling to highlight important issues in society. Iris and Jan, from Berlin, are currently cycling around the world. As they travel, they are researching approaches towards tackling mental health issues in the countries that they visit.  The Climate Explorers are a small group of cyclists who are aiming to raise environmental awareness. In 2021 they embarked upon the ‘Pedal 4 Parks’ …
Episode 041: The Baltic Sea Cycle Route – Bernd Schadowski 
The Baltic Sea Cycle Route is one of the longest of the EuroVelos. It’s route number 10 and  passes through every country that touches the Baltic Sea; Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia (twice), Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In the summer of 2019 Bernd Schadowski & his 17-year-old son Tristan, two cyclists from Aachen in western Germany, said auf wiedersehen to the rest of their family and set off from Lübeck with the intention of completing …
Episode 040: Unsung Heroes – Anne Lawther And Colin Martin
The cycle touring world is not short of people who enjoy sharing their two-wheeled adventures in books, on social media, on YouTube and even on podcasts such as this. But for every known cyclist, there are thousands of unknown cyclists embarking upon journeys that often surpass the endeavours of more publicity-friendly adventurers. This episode of the podcast meets two of them; Anne Lawther, who has had a 40-year relationship with long-distance cycling and, via the words …
Episode 039 – Part 2: The Hebridean Way… On A Bike Called Wanda (Harris & Lewis)
In episode 038 of The Cycling Europe Podcast, Andrew Sykes spoke to a number of travellers about their experiences of cycling The Hebridean Way. Now it’s his turn to get onto his bicycle, Wanda, and cycle from Vatersay in the south to Lewis in the north along one of Britain’s most spectacular rides. In part 1 of this episode of the podcast he travelled from the island of Vatersay to the island of Berneray. In this second …
Episode 039 – Part 1: The Hebridean Way… On A Bike Called Wanda (Vatersay To Berneray)
In episode 038 of The Cycling Europe Podcast, Andrew Sykes spoke to a number of travellers about their experiences of cycling The Hebridean Way. Now it’s his turn to get onto his bicycle, Wanda, and cycle from Vatersay in the south to Harris in the north along one of Britain’s most spectacular rides. In part 1 of the podcast he travels from the island of Vatersay to the island of Berneray. Part 2 of the podcast will …
Episode 038: Cycling The Hebridean Way
Britain offers some amazing places to explore on a bicycle, but there can be few locations within the UK that offer the remoteness, drama and sheer spectacle of the islands of The Outer Hebrides. The Hebridean Way guides cyclists  from Vatersay in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the north: “10 islands, 6 causeways, 2 ferries and 1 unforgettable adventure”. In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast, writers, travellers and cyclists reflect …
Episode 037: Simon Parker – Britain By Bike
The travel writer and cyclist Simon Parker first appeared on The Cycling Europe Podcast in February 2021when he talked about his ‘Earth Cycle’ TV programme. He returns to discuss his latest project; an end-to-end cycle around Britain in the midst of a global pandemic. His main aim was not to clock up the kilometres but to meet the people and hear their stories. He told his own story in a weekly column for The Daily …
Episode 036: Maike Brinksma – The Amazon Of Europe Bike Trail
Maike Brinksma is an athlete, academic, environmental activist… and cyclist, from The Netherlands. In the summer of 2021 she will be one of the first people ever to cycle the ‘Amazon of Europe Bike Trail’. She talks to the podcast about her plans to explore the riverine landscapes of the Mura-Drava-Danube UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. She also reflects on the joys of being a Dutch cyclist. (Or is she?) Plus: Caroline Burrows, the Bristol-based Scottish poet and …
Episode 035: Max & Varnum – Cycling Europe 1908-09 / Simon Garland – EuroVelo 15
In June 2020, The Cycling Europe Podcast dedicated the whole of episode 21 to the epic early 20th Century European cycle of the American Maximilian J. St. George. After discovering the podcast, Tim & George, both grandsons of Max got in touch, as did Juniper, great grandson of Max’s travelling companion Varnum Parish. Varnum not only rode with Max for several months but wrote his own diary. The podcast talks to Tim, George and Juniper …
Episode 034: Steve Silk – The Great North Road / Laurence Warren – Austria
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 …
Episode 033: Mat And Harriet Hall – UK To Istanbul / Robin Watkins – Czechia
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 …
Episode 032: Ride – Cycle The World / Stela Tandem
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 …

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