The Cycling Europe Podcast
The Cycling Europe Podcast
About The Cycling Europe Podcast
The wonderful world of cycle touring... from CyclingEurope.org. From the EuroVelos to round-the-world cyclists, you'll find it all here on The Cycling Europe Podcast.
Tony Lenihan, a retired policeman, works for his local council in the English Midlands as their ‘Sustainable Travel and Wellbeing Coordinator’. He’s also a keen cyclist and, in the early autumn of 2022, after more than 40 years of work, he decided to take a career break and head off on a solo cycling adventure from Bilbao to Athens. It would be a 7-week ferry-hopping Greek odyssey that took him through northern Spain, to the islands of Sardinia and Scilly, across the heel of Italy to Brindisi before sailing the Adriatic to his final destination of Greece. He talked to The Cycling Europe Podcast about his continental experiences… but also about ‘active travel’ in the UK and how the country measures up (or not) to its European neighbours.
Tony Lenihan is a touring cyclist and in the next full episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast - number 068 - you will hear him talk about a journey he made 'from B to A' - Bilbao to Athens in the early autumn of 2022. The podcast was recorded at the same time as the British Chancellor of the Exchequer (the finance minister) was delivering his annual budget to parliament and the nation. Tony works for a council in the English Midlands and is their 'Sustainable Travel and Wellbeing Coordinator'. Before we spoke about his trip, we took the timely opportunity to discuss his professional interest in cycling; active travel, which has recently seen a large cut in funding in England. I comment in the recording that what we said was worthy of a podcast in itself... so here it is. A little shorter than normal - just 15 minutes - with no introduction etc... Spolier alert: the chancellor didn't announce a U-turn on funding, just £200 million for potholes... The full podcast will be published on YouTube: YouTube.com/@CyclingEuropeYouTube - on 18.3.23 and then across all podcast platforms on 25.3.23.
In June 2022, Tim Boden - an experienced group cyclist - set off on his first solo cycle tour, to Brittany in north-west France. His route took him from the port of Roscoff along the Vélodyssée / EuroVelo 1 to Redon. He then joined French regional route number 42 to follow the coast to Saint-Nazaire before returning to the Vélodyssée for a cycle beside the Loire to Nantes and back to Redon. Here he rejoined the eastern portion of route 42 to cycle north to Saint-Malo. Tim talks about the routes but also the history and culture of this distinctive French region. We also revisit two encounters from episodes 55 & 56 with three French cyclists - Fabian, Julian and Guillaume - and, from Breton Bikes and Camping de Gouarec, Geoff Husband.
A few months ago I was approached by Jet2 Holidays who asked if I would be interested in discovering the joys of cycling in one of their winter destinations in southern Europe. Of course I said yes and had a look at the map. Where would be nice and warm in the middle of February? The Canary Islands seemed the most likely place to deliver good weather so I arranged to travel to Costa Adeje on the island of Tenerife. I hired a bike and headed along the coast and up the hills… This was a different approach to travelling on two wheels. How did I get on without a tent and four panniers but in a luxury hotel on an unfamiliar bicycle?
Matthew Sturgeon is an architect and cyclist from Ilkley in Yorkshire and he’s on a mission to visit every one of mainland Britain’s 186 lighthouses. Inspired by his late late wife Angela, who raised £40,000 for cancer research, Matthew is raising money for his A Bit Of A Break charity. It funds visits for cancer patients and their families to holiday properties around the UK. He started collecting his lighthouses with a ride along the Northumbrian coast and has now visited 100. But why lighthouses? What’s his favourite lighthouse? What has been the most disappointing lighthouse? What has been the most difficult to cycle to? And what will be lighthouse number 186? Matthew tells his story to The Cycling Europe Podcast…
An ever-increasing number of people have cycled around the world. Not many have done it on a tandem. Even fewer have broken a world record in the process. Laura Massey-Pugh was on the back and her husband Stevie was on the front of their custom-made tandem when, in June 2022 they set off from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, destination the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. 175 days later they completed their journey. Before setting off, Laura recorded a short monologue for episode 32 of The Cycling Europe Podcast. Now she returns to tell the full story of what it means to cycle 18,000 miles around the globe. Is it as easy as riding a, err… tandem?
“Hours, days, weeks and months in the saddle does something funny to your brain. We came back from the trip convinced that cycling was the answer to all of life’s problems and that if we could convince every last one of you to choose a bike not a car, we’d be well on our way to saving the planet. Easy, right?!” Those are the words of Beth Ward who, alongside her partner Robin, cycled from Wales to Istanbul in 2019. As they pedalled an idea grew in their minds to set up a community bike workshop. When they returned home, that’s exactly what they did in Llangollen. Beth has now been included in Cycling UK’s list of 100 women in cycling in 2022. The Cycling Europe Podcast headed down the Dee Valley to investigate…
Beryl Burton was born in Yorkshire on May 12th 1937. Her upbringing was tough. Her school report described her as a 'stubborn little mule. At the age of 10 she spent 9 months in hospital and doctors told her never to ride a bike uphill. She went on to become one of Britain's greatest ever athletes - of either sex - and a cycling world champion seven times over. She was the country's 'best all-rounder' female cyclist for 25 consecutive years from 1959 to 1983. She died, cycling, a few days short of her 59th birthday in 1996. Jeremy Wilson - chief sports reporter for The Daily Telegraph - has written an awarding-winning book about the life of this cycling enigma who remains little known outside her home county or the world of cycle racing.
Gareth Dent has a long-term relationship with small-wheeled bicycles. Growing up in Stevenage in the late 1960s he made the most of the town’s futuristic network of cycle routes on his 14” Moulton Mini. 40 years later he rekindled his love for small wheels during an organised folding bike challenge from London to Paris, in the process meeting a group of like-minded enthusiasts. It was with these new friends that , several years later, he started to cycle the route of the 1903 Tour de France, in stages, over 4 years. The interview was recorded in Halifax’s covered market where we also bumped into Tony, the West Yorkshire town’s own proponent of small-wheeled cycling. He had much to say…
Tristam Newey is a science-fiction writer from Southampton who loves all things sea, air, space.. and cycling. Inspired by H.G.Wells' 1896 comic novel The Wheels of Chance, in July 2022 Tristam set off to retrace the journey of the book's main protagonist, Mr. Hoopdriver - a frustrated draper's assistant from Putney - from London to the south coast of England (and halfway back). As he travelled, he rediscovered the places that H.G. Wells wrote about and recreated the sketches that appeared in the original book. In the words of H.G. Wells himself, "Whoop for freedom and adventure!",
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he concludes his ‘Grand Tour’ cycle around Europe. In this episode of the podcast, after completing his ride along the Via Rhôna / EuroVelo 17 in Andermatt, Switzerland, he sets off to cycle the Rhine from its source high in the Alps to the North Sea at Rotterdam. His journey takes him along the Rhine valley in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, France, Germany and The Netherlands meeting friends and strangers as he pedals. Will the Rhine Cycle Route (EuroVelo 15) live up to its reputation as one of the best cycling routes in Europe? And will he make it back to the Hook of Holland - the place where he started his journey over two months ago - in time for his ferry home to the UK? This is not just a cycle touring story; it’s a race against time! The music is by Rob Ainsley.
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. In this episode of the podcast he sets off from the Mediterranean resort of Sète and follows the EuroVelo 17 - the Rhône Cycle Route (known as the Via Rhôna in France) - to Andermatt, high in the Swiss Alps. Over 12 days he travels more than 1,000km from sea to source exploring the places and meeting the people as he cycles. The weather doesn’t always make life easy and there will be some challenging cycling along the way. It’s an epic podcast for an epic journey along one of Europe’s most iconic rivers but will he have the energy to climb to the Furka Pass on the final day of his cycle? The music is by Rob Ainsley.
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. He has now arrived in Bordeaux at the start of the ‘Two Seas’ cycle route - La Véloroute Des Deux Mers - that will take him along the Canal de la Garonne to Toulouse and then the famous Canal du Midi to Sète on the Mediterranean coast. As he cycles he takes time to speak to the people he meets and explore the places he visits. And what will he make of the notorious Canal du Midi towpath that he encounters?
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. After a day off in Morlaix, Brittany, Andrew sets off cycling south along the EuroVelo 1 - known locally as the Vélodyssée - following a disused railway track and then the Nantes-Brest Canal before continuing along the west coast of France to La Rochelle. He takes time to explore the attractions along the way including the historic town of Josselin and, with the help of a shuttle bus for bicycles over the bridge, the World War II submarine pens in Saint-Nazaire. The music is by Rob Ainsley.
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. In this fourth part of the ’Grand Tour’ series, we follow Andrew’s progress as he rejoins the Velomaritime near Mont-Saint-Michel and cycles west along the route as far as Morlaix in Brittany. This section of his cycle sees him encounter hills for the first time since leaving Rotterdam - he even experiences his first ’Mercedes moment’ - but he still has plenty of time and energy remaining to explore the places he visits and chat with the people he meets in one of France’s most popular holiday regions. The music is by Rob Ainsley.
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. In this third part of the ’Grand Tour’ series, Andrew sets off along the Veloscenie cycle route from the historic city of Chartres to its fellow UNESCO World Heritage site at Mont-Saint-Michel. It’s a journey of four days with overnight stops at a dystopian municipal campsite at Nogent-le-Rotrou, Alençon and Domfront-en-Poiraie before his arrival on the north coast. He also takes time to pay a visit to the Musée du Vélo at Villeneuve-en-Perseigne. The music is by Rob Ainsley.
The Cycling Europe Podcast continues to follow Andrew Sykes as he cycles on his ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. In the previous episode, he had travelled through his first country, The Netherlands. In this episode he continues his journey south along the coasts of Belgium and France following the […]
The Cycling Europe Podcast enters a new era with this episode. Not only recorded on tour, this episode has also been edited on tour! Throughout July and August, new episodes of the podcast will be published telling the story of Andrew P. Sykes’ ‘Grand Tour’ through The Netherlands, […]
France is a top destination for cycle tourists and, with its great diversity of landscapes - from windswept cliffs in the north to vast swathes of forest in the west to sun-drenched villages in the south to vertiginous climbs in the east - it has (almost) everything that a traveller on a bicycle might want to discover. Lyn Eyb from FreeWheelingFrance.com has been exploring and writing about France ever since she arrived in the country over a decade ago. She shares her thoughts with The Cycling Europe Podcast and takes time to answer listeners’ questions about the practical aspects of being a cyclist in France.
To celebrate its 50th episode, Andrew P. Sykes takes The Cycling Europe Podcast out on the cycle path and travels from Morecambe on Lancashire's west coast to the county's historical capital at Lancaster, across the Pennines and through Yorkshire via Settle and Ripon, completing his trip in that county's historical capital at York. The Way of the Roses is a route of contrasting landscapes and, at times, challenging terrain; join Andrew (and his bicycle Wanda) as they spend three days following one of northern England's most popular cycle routes. The music is composed and played by Rob Ainsley. More of Rob’s music can be found on his website e2e.bike.
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