If you are a member of Cycling UK and pay your £4 every month, you will hopefully have had the opportunity to read my account of last year’s Grand Tour that appeared in the June / July 2023 issue of Cycle Magazine. (If you are not a member, why not?? It’s a bargain and the magazine is one of the best cycling reads that you can get your hands on; real people, real cycling, real stories…)
On July 3rd 2022 I set off from The Hook of Holland in The Netherlands, turned right and pedalled off in the direction of France. It was an anti-clockwise tour of the continent; the EuroVelo 12 along the Belgian coast, the EuroVelo 4 to Dieppe, L’Avenue Verte to Paris, La Véloscénie to Mont St Michel before rejoining the EuroVelo 4 to Morlaix, the EuroVelo 1 / Vélodyssée to Royan, the Canal de la Garonne to Toulouse, the Canal du Midi to Sète, the EuroVelo 17 beside the Rhône to Andermatt in Switzerland and finally the EuroVelo 15 / Rhine Cycle Route back to The Hook of Holland and the return ferry to Hull on September 3rd.
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 Colin Martin as well as discuss his experiences of cycling in his adopted home of Austria, Robin Watkins talk about cycling in Czechia, the poet Caroline Burrows reflect lyrically upon her commute to work and Simon Garland recount his experiences of cycling the EuroVelo 15 or the Rhine Cycle Route. We also hear from Gavin Wood in an interview recorded at the time of the COP 26 climate conference. He works in West Yorkshire in the north of England as an active travel advisor and we chatted about the challenges of building infrastructure and changing minds in order that we can all live in a much more cycling-friendly place.
I’ve always been a fan of hills and mountains. Growing up in Pennine Yorkshire, they were an ever-present backdrop to my childhood but I remember travelling to France for the first time when I was about 14 years old on a school exchange to a small town just south of Lyon. The Alps began to appear in the distance as we trundled down the ‘Autoroute du Soleil’ and I was transfixed. Over the next few decades I have been able to stand witness to the grandeur of not just the Alps but many mountain ranges across Europe, including those to be found in the UK. After cycling from Tarifa to Nordkapp in 2015, one reason why I chose to return to live in Yorkshire was because I missed waking up and seeing the hills. There weren’t too many of those in the centre of Reading, my home town for the 15 years prior to the 2015 cycle.
The Cycling Europe Podcast: 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 on July 8th. Plus: cycling in Austria with local resident Laurence Warren. Is there more to this Alpine country than just big hills?
As I was croaking my way through recording the links for the latest episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast that was published overnight, I mentioned that I would put all the relevant links to the accommodation providers on the website. We, here I am doing just that. The four people interviewed were Tahverlee Anglen from the accommodation sharing website WarmShowers, Simon Ainley from the Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales, Simon Kershaw from a new hotel – soon to be a chain of hotels – called Bike and Boot in Scarborough and the wild camper Tim Millikin. You can find more details about Tim’s travels and the book he has written by visiting his website.
Spring 2020 will forever go down in the annals of history as the time of the Coronavirus. We don’t yet know how the story will end – this is history in the making – but we do know that the pandemic has had a significant impact upon the lives of most people. Schools closed, festivals cancelled, sporting events postponed, film premieres rescheduled… Yet with the majority of the population at home, what better time to pick up a book and start reading. And what better time to head off on a vicarious cycle across Europe. But fear not! This is not some shameless plug for my own books. (Although they are rather good…) It is about a new book that is being published on April 9th called A Time For Birds by Helen Moat.
One for the maps geeks. (Of which I am one…) You may wish to turn away if you have a dodgy internet connection as clicking on the links below is likely to test your patience in terms of download time, but I will persist. It is often a […]