The Bike Show Podcast from Resonance FM
Summary: Resonance 104.4fm's weekly radio show (and podcast) devoted to the art, science, politics and transcendental pleasure of cycling, in London and beyond. Presented by Jack Thurston the show has been running for more than four years, and has so far covered the intersections of cycling, culture, society and creativity from a variety of perspectives. From Tour de France to roller-racing, from Brompton commuters to bicycle messengers, from Kraftwerk to hip hop, from urban design to countryside trips. Literature, history, travel, art, music, sport in a weekly half-hour show.
The spoked wheel is the unsung hero of the bicycle. Jack Thurston embarks on a journey of discovery, to understand how a bicycle wheel works with the help of engineer and materials scientist Professor Mark Miodownik, and then tries to learn how to build one, taking a class at London's Cycle Systems Academy.
Land's End to John O'Groats is a classic cycle touring route. But it was also the blue riband distance among the long distance record-breaking heyday of the 1930s to the 1960s. In 1954 Eileen Sheridan, a diminutive cyclist from Coventry sponsored by the huge Hercules Bicycle Company, set a new record that stood for decades. Now 89, Eileen recounts a truly epic journey and tells the story of how she became one of the best-known, and best-paid, cyclists in Britain.
To many UK cycling campaigners, David Hembrow is a Moses-type figure, handing down tablets of smooth, car-free red asphalt from the streets of Assen in the Netherlands where he lives and writes the blog A View from the Cycle Path. He's also a controversial figure, arguing that separation of cars and bikes is essential for mass cycling and that many UK campaigners are either on the wrong track or suffering from hopelessly low expectations. In an extended interview David explains why he moved from England to the Netherlands in search of cycling nirvana and what the Dutch have got to teach the rest of the world when it comes to making cycling friendly towns and cities.
Contemporary bike culture is blossoming into a mesmerising kaleidoscope of bicycle-related art, craft and graphic design. Small artisans are leading the way while big brands try to cash in on the action. Alice Marsh of Bike V Design leads a discussion recorded in front of a live audience at the Victoria and Albert Museum, bringing together a panel that includes Tom Donhou, a former product designer turned bicycle frame-builder, the founders of The Ride Journal and Boneshaker magazine and James Greig, a graphic designer and bike blogger.
London Mayor Boris Johnson's new Vision for Cycling has won widespread praise for its ambition of making London streets more inviting for people on bikes, following the successes of cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Jack Thurston is joined by three cycling activists for a look at the details and to share their views on what really needs to be done to make London a safer and more pleasant place to ride a bike. Featuring Trevor Parsons, coordinator of Hackney Cyclists, blogger Mark Treasure and ex-London bike messenger Buffalo Bill Chidley
As another cyclist is killed by a lorry in central London, Jack Thurston asks whether it's time to take a harder line to make the city's streets safer. Featuring Cynthia Barlow of RoadPeace, former bike messenger Bill Chidley and Mike Cavenett of the London Cycling Campaign, which has recently proposed a new design for lorries working in London. Plus news of Jack's new book, Lost Lanes: 36 Glorious Bike Rides in Southern England.
On the eve of Kraftwerk's eight night residency at the Tate Modern, Jack is joined by David Buckley, music writer and author of a new biography of the German electronic pop pioneers. Among the revelations in his book is evidence that a serious obsession with cycling contributed to the slowing of the band's musical output in the 1980s and, ultimately, the break-up of the group's classic line-up. Jack and David talk about Kraftwerk's journey from experimental music-making to the pinnacle of influence over pop, rock, hip-hop and dance music as well as their love affair with riding their bikes.
In a seasonal podcast special, Jack heads to Balham, Gateway to the South, for the Christmas Fête organised by Vulpine, the London-based cycle clothing company. Featuring The Ride Journal, Artcrank, Michaux Club, Pannier.cc, Marsh-Mallows Cycling Holidays, Fresh Tripe and Nick Hussey of Vulpine.
Grant Petersen thinks most cyclists need to 'unrace themselves', that is to say, stop following what professional racing cyclists do. Instead we should all ride more comfortable bikes in more comfortable clothes and be more relaxed about the whole experience. He's written a book called Just Ride and, in an extended interview, he tells Jack Thurston exactly what he means. Grant Petersen is a highly regarded bicycle designer, formerly of Bridgestone USA and founder and owner of Rivendell Bicycle Works in northern California.
Pete Gostelow rode twenty thousand miles across Africa and passed through dozens of countries. In doing so he showed that the bicycle is the best way to travel. In this episode we continue our ride to Battersea Park and talk along the way about where he slept, what he ate, what his motivations were for making the journey and what it’s like to be back home after such a long trip. Pete also explains the inspiration he thinks ordinary cyclists can take from his long African adventure.
As November brings cold, dark cycling conditions to Britain, there's no better time to get out the maps and start dreaming up adventures for next year. How about 20,000 miles across Africa? That's a journey recently completed by Pete Gostelow. After crossing the Sahara, the Congo and the Namibian badlands, will Pete survive the mean streets of south London in a rolling interview? This is the first of a two-part feature.
In the third and final instalment of the Raleigh mini-season, listeners to The Bike Show share their recollections of Raleigh bicycles they have loved - and loathed. Jack Thurston is joined by broadcaster and artist Ruby Wright and London man-about-town and Raleigh Twenty owner Jean-Marie Orhan. In a podcast-only bonus feature, Tony Hadland shares his thoughts on restoring old, neglected Raleigh bicycles. Apologies to 'Fun Run' Robbie who is of course not 'Fun Boy' Robbie at all (or maybe he is?!) and yes, the town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders is pronounced like this.
In the second of a two-part feature on the Raleigh Bicycle Company, historian Tony Hadland and Jack Thurston look at Raleigh's post-war success as the world's biggest bicycle manufacturing company and its long decline to a point where it was sold off to overseas investors and abandoned manufacturing in its home town of Nottingham. The Raleigh name lives on as a brand owned by Accell, a larger Dutch company.
In the first of a two-part feature on the Raleigh Bicycle Company, historian Tony Hadland and Jack Thurston chart the rise of the company from a small backstreet workshop in Nottingham in the mid-1880s to the mid-1950s when it was seemingly unassailable as the world's biggest bicycle manufacturer. Tony Hadland is the author of Raleigh: Past and Presence of an Iconic Bicycle Brand.
Nick Larsen is founder and creative director at Charge Bikes of Frome in the west of England. Charge is a fairly new company, remarkable for many things and not least the fact that all its products are named after something you would normally find in the kitchen. There’s the Juicer (a road bike), the Spoon (a saddle), the Bowl (a pair of handlebars) and of course The Plug, a simple single speed bicycle that launched the company into the big time a few years ago. Nick talks candidly about the bike industry, his own motivations and inspirations, where future trends are coming from and the potential of the exciting new technology of ‘3D printing’. This conversation was recorded live at last month’s Bike V Design night at the Design Museum.