A digest of news, interviews, reports, rides, readings, features… from the people at CyclingEurope.org. If you think you might have something to contribute, please get in touch. Whether you’ve embarked on an epic ride or simply decided to to get back into cycling after a long break, we’d love to hear your story.
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Episode 020: The World By Bike with Ian Finlay
When I started writing my first book – Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie – I never imagined that it would one day help encourage a man who I’d never met to chuck in his long-term job and start cycling around the World. But apparently it did. That man is Ian Finlay and in this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast he tells us about his journey so far through Europe, Asia and across Australia to New Zealand where, yet again, a certain virus put a spoke in his plans…
Episode 019: Amsterdam to Montpellier with Gears for Queers
It doesn’t matter who you happen to be, whether it’s Mark Beaumont, Josie Dew, Alastair Humphreys, Fred Bloggs or even (dare I say) Andrew P. Sykes, if you’re intent upon embarking on a long-distance cycling adventure of your own, at some point you need to move out of your comfort zone, push the bike out of the garden gate and set off cycling, however uncomfortable that may feel, initially at least. That’s what Abigail Melton and Lilith Cooper decided to do and they’ve just written about their experiences as first-time cycle tourists in a new book called Gears For Queers.
Episode 018: The EuroVelo Network – Ed Lancaster Reveals All
If you are a long-distance cyclist in Europe, it’s highly unlikely that you have managed to avoid the EuroVelo network of cycling routes. Created and administered by the European Cyclists’ Federation, the 16 routes are a source of support and inspiration not just for long-distance cyclists but also those who set off on much shorter trips within Europe. But what is the thinking behind the EuroVelo network? Why was it created? What can you expect if you choose to cycle one of the routes? And where is the network going in the future? All questions that we asked Ed Lancaster of The European Cyclists’ Federation, the man in charge of developing and promoting Europe’s greenest travel network.
Episode 017: An Epic 12-Year Cycle Tour of Europe (and Counting…)
Epic cycle tours come in many shapes and sizes. Some stretch over many thousands of kilometres, some take in dozens of countries, lots take months, perhaps even years to complete. But few cycle tours take 12 years and still claim to be unfinished. That’s what a group of Welsh cyclists have been doing since 2007 when they set off from the port of Holyhead in Anglesey, Wales. The Cycling Europe Podcast spoke to Geraint Rowlands, Owen Peak and Gareth Cadwaladr about their cycle tour of Europe with a difference.
Plus: news about the 2020 Virtual Cycle Touring Festival and The 2020 CyclingEurope.org Cycle Touring Photo Competition…
Episode 016: The Man Who Cycled The World (Twice) – Mr Mark Beaumont
Welcome to this rather special episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast. Since the inception of the podcast in 2017, we’ve featured many people with fascinating stories to tell; people who have cycled across the world, people who have inspired others, people who have displayed their passion for cycling in some extraordinary ways. But the guest on this episode of the podcast eclipses almost all others when it comes to long-distance cycling achievement.
The acknowledgements section of my first book – Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie – contains the following paragraph:
“And finally, many thanks to the man who has been the inspiration for many small-time cycling adventures such as this particular jaunt across Europe, long distance cycling guru, Mark Beaumont. May you live long, continue to do lots of cycling and prosper.”
That was written in August 2011, a year after my own cycle from southern England to southern Italy that I wrote about in the book. The reason I included the acknowledgement to Mark was because, shortly after I came up with the idea of that first cycle across the continent, his documentary, ‘The Man Who Cycled the World’ appeared on the TV. It was all about his first cycle around the globe in 2007 and 2008 and for me, it was inspirational.
I subsequently went on to attend one of Mark’s talks and, over the past ten years, we have exchanged the occasional email. But I’ve never spoken to the man. Until now that is. I invited him onto the podcast and much to his credit he emailed back almost immediately to say ‘yes’. So sit back and enjoy an hour of inspirational chat from the master of long-distance cycling, Mr Mark Beaumont.
Episode 015: Cycling Tarifa to Nordkapp Via Nice and the Coronavirus with Paul Gentle
Imagine you set off to cross a continent on your bicycle only for a global pandemic to stop you in your tracks. That’s what happened to Paul Gentle as he attempted to cycle from Tarifa in Spain to Nordkapp in Norway. The Cycling Europe Podcast spoke to Paul about his plans, his cycle through Spain and France and his race against the clock to get back home to the UK while it was still possible.
Episode 014: Cycling to Santiago de Compostela with Timmy Mallett
The Cycling Europe Podcast returns with a celebrity interview! Mark Beaumont? Tim Moore? Josie Dew? Not quite… This celebrity not only has surprising long-distance cycling credentials but also some thought-provoking comments to make about the joys of heading off on your bike for a long-distance adventure. His name? Timmy Mallett…
Episode 013: Cycling from England to Istanbul & Flight Free 2020
The British people have spoken and, by popular demand, The Cycling Europe Podcast returns with episode 013. In this latest audio extravaganza of all things cycling, we head to Matlock in the English Peak District to meet the travel writer and long-distance cyclist Helen Moat. In 2015 she cycled across Europe on a ‘sit-up-and-beg’ bicycle more suited to doing the shopping than travelling thousands of kilometres across a continent. In April, her book, A Time of Birds – half-travelogue, half-childhood memoir of growing up during The Troubles of Northern Ireland – will be published by Saraband. Continuing this episode’s literary theme, we chat with another cycling author, Anna Hughes. She is campaigning for people to sign up to her ‘Flight Free 2020‘ initiative. We ask if cycle tours to far-flung corners of the world are incompatible with efforts to curb climate change. And finally, we meet Caroline Burrows. Caroline’s cycle tours are themed around great works of literature and poetry. They have even inspired her to put pen to paper and she reads one of her own poems about following in the footsteps of Wilfred Owen.
Episode 012: Cycling England to Italy & The Big Record
The Cycling Europe Podcast is back in the UK and heads to Scotland to chat with Paul Cheese, musician and long-distance cyclist. His travels took him on an astonishing journey to almost every nook and cranny of Britain with a bicycle between his legs and a microphone in his hand. Find out more about Paul, his music and his cycling on his website, TheBigRecord.co.uk. We also catch up with Jess Odone who, as a novice touring cyclist, decided to cycle back to Britain after a couple of months living in Italy. Hear about the challenges and joys of climbing the Alps and heading home on two wheels. Would she recommend it to others? Keep listening to find out…
Episode 011: Cycling Santander, Spain to Coimbra, Portugal
The Cycling Europe Podcast berths in Santander, Spain for two weeks of adventure across the Iberian Peninsula via Potes, Riaño, León, Puebla de Sanabria, Bragança and Porto to Coimbra in Portugal. Join Andrew P. Sykes as he discovers the cycle path less travelled up and over the remote mountains of the Picos de Europa, into Portugal’s spectacular Douro Valley and onwards to the Atlantic Ocean, aided and abetted by his faithful companion Wanda, the Koga WorldTraveller bicycle.
Episode 010: Cycling The Isle of Wight
The Cycling Europe Podcast is heading to northern Spain but pauses en route for two days of cycling on the Isle of Wight. Andrew P. Sykes follows the Round-the-Island Cycle Route in an anticlockwise direction before hooking up with the Red Squirrel Trail for a return to Cowes and a ferry back to the mainland. Along the way he discovers some surprisingly challenging landscape, beautiful deserted beaches and top notch cycling pit stops.
Episode 009: Cycling Hull to Whitby Along the EuroVelo 12
The Cycling Europe Podcast hits the road and heads along the Yorkshire section of the EuroVelo 12, otherwise known as the North Sea Cycle Route, from the iconic Humber Bridge on the southern edge of Britain’s largest county to the coastal treasure that is Whitby. It was a cycle of around 200km over three days of cycling with overnight stops in the Yorkshire towns of Beverley, Scarborough as well as Whitby itself. Join the author Andrew P. Sykes as he rediscovers the joy of overnight cycle touring as he prepares to escape to the continent once again later in the summer.
Episode 008: Buying a Touring Bike
The Cycling Europe Podcast returns with a new touring bike special. Andrew P. Sykes visits CycleSense in Tadcaster, Yorkshire to pick up his new Koga Signature WorldTraveller bicycle and chats to the owner David Stainthorpe about his purchase. We hear from Koga brand ambassador Alee Denham from the website CyclingAbout.comabout his experiences of cycling across South America on a Koga WorldTraveller bike. Andrew also chats to the master frame builder Richard Hallett about his life as a bespoke bicycle manufacturer and to one of his very satisfied customers, Andy Johnson. We hear an extract from Andrew’s first book – Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie – in which he wrote about buying his first touring bicycle, a Ridgeback Panorama. Finally, the author reflects upon his first ride on his new touring bicycle, a bike called Wanda.
Episode 007: Cycling in Yorkshire & Travelling in Japan
Cycling the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway (eastern loop) from Malham to Settle and back, travelling in Japan and an interview with Mike Webb of PulpedTravel.com and cycling to the summit of one of the Tour de France’s most iconic climbs: Mont Ventoux
Episode 006: The Cycle Touring Festival 2018
The Cycle Touring Festival 2018 featuring Stephen Fabes, Libby Bowles, Sophie Esterer and Laura & Tim Moss, taking your bicycle on a train in northern England and William Manners, author of ‘Revolution: How The Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain’
Episode 005: Cycling Around The World with Tim Moss
Around the World with Tim Moss – ‘With The Sun on Our Right’, cycling the National Cycle Network routes 66 and 69 in Yorkshire, and sound effects…
Episode 004: Cycling JOGLE & The Handlebards
Reflections on winter cycling, JOGLE with a twist (George Neville), cycling motivation, Mercedes days, travelling in Spain and Germany, The HandleBards (Paul Moss), the National Cycle Network in Yorkshire (Sustrans / Rupert Douglas)
Episode 003: Cycling Film Special
The cycling film special! The Leeds Bicycle Film Club (Ian Street), Mongolia (Jimmy Hyland), bikepacking & filmmaking (Barry Godin) & the definitive list of the greatest cycling films ever, perhaps (BFI / Harry Bunnell)
Episode 002: Cycling in Brussels & The Ryburn Valley Greenway
The Cycle Show, La Vuelta a Espana (Matej Mohoric, UAE Team Emirates), Brussels (Eurovelo 5), The Ryburn Valley Greenway
Episode 001: Cycling UK to Istanbul & Cycling Festivals
UK to Istanbul, the Calder Valley of Yorkshire, ‘Along The Med…’, CTC Birthday Rides, Cycle Touring Festival
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Incidental music and sound effects courtesy of Zapsplat.