Review of podcasts: The Velocast

I think the Velocast is my favourite podcast. The bar has been raised by certain newcomers (see future blog posts), but for now, it’s my number one. It covers a balance of pro news, urban and general interest stories with a personal feel.

Disclosure- the Velocast has connections near to me and I hope to one day meet John and Scott for a pint. They have also been nice to me on twitter and things. Further disclaimer- I do relate to the humour and ethos (1) because they’re Scottish and (2) because they’re British, but I don’t find (2) applies to other UK podcasts by default- you have to some personality to go with it.

Do I relate because they are Scots? I am a big fan of the Millars, Robert and David, and by some accounts those two could be gits at times. I’m not saying the Velocast guys are gits here, (quite the opposite) merely that things I like in cycling can at times be clouded by a patriotic bent.

As said before, the personalities make the show. When one podcast finishes, I feel I want to chat to these two for another hour. I have been known to restart my iPod and listen again. I’m sounding more and more like a fanboy but that’s how it is.

Criticisms- they keep the show under an hour (deliberately I believe), which is good in a way, but I’d be happy to have a wee bit more. The more I appreciate their knowledge on pro racing, mechanics and bikes, the more the ‘daft stories’ seem to take up too much of the precious hour. I only have myself to blame- I’ve forwarded links to them of picnic table bikes and the like. Their background knowledge and insight impresses me more and more over time, so to make best use of this I might have a little more pro chat. I’m sure they reign in the techie/bike bits/maintenance chat for fear of boring the listeners but this stuff is gold because the knowledge is so in-depth. Weird- a criticism paragraph turned itself into a compliment.

The delivery works for me as well- not too polished (ref Fredcast), but not stumbling or dull (ref cyclingnews).

There is laugh-out-loud humour (for me anyway). John’s unintended “for sea fights” pun that tripped up Scott was a classic moment. (see Two Ronnies “Four candles” sketch). Double entendres can be seen as cheap gags but they are a staple of British comedy: “getting used to the extra length” of a tandem had me biting my lip behind my desk at work. Then there’s the plain bizarre (Monty Python style) “sharing Gary Fisher’s facial hair; I get it Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, then post it back to him”.

So thanks to Scott and John for such an enjoyable show.

All joking aside
Couldn’t agree more
Moving on
It’s an iPhone app

Velocast twitter
Velocast website
iTunes stream

  • They hold a good line between digression and keeping things moving along, I think.

    It's obvious that they've discussed what they're going to talk about before hand (so the topics don't seem disjointed or to come from nowhere), but they're not afraid of diversions on the theme. The editing seems great too, and I like the involvement you can have as an audience member (the public Wave for submitting news items, picks etc is great).

    I'm sure a lot of work goes into it, but that's hidden enough for it not to constantly make you aware of it and bring you out of the show

    I like the humour too. In lots of ways, it feels like a really good conversation feels. A definite favourite here.

  • janvalencia

    Listening to John and Scott's Velocast is like hanging out with a couple of old friends, you truly like them, even if they try they never come across as mean. My hats off to a really great and really fun podcast

  • Here, here – top marks to the Velocast. In my comment about The Fredcast I mentioned a lack of “engagement”. This is a word I have only started using in relation to podcasts since I discovered the Velocast. It's a slightly ethereal concept & hard for me to really put my finger on, but I just feel more a part of this podcast than any other that I listen to. Ironman Talk comes a close second for that and it's probably no coincidence that it has a very similar format with two funny, engaging and knowledgeable hosts that you could envisage getting on well with in any situation.

    Sound quality has always been good – which is a real bonus for me. Badly produced 'casts drive me nuts. I'm sure one of the reasons that the show is generally so slick is that a lot of “pre-production” has gone into it – both in the technical aspects of the recording and in the production of the content. That said, it doesn't come across as too slick and the slightly “host & pundit” feel of the show works well.

    If there was a criticism (I am now overcome by a sense of guilt & disloyalty) it would be that it can seem to be a trawling of cycling-related news with no “feature”. I think a weekly feature outwith the news could be a great addition to the show. I would also (and I have mentioned this to John) like to hear more about their own world of cycling. John & Scott's personalities are what make the show & any talk of their own cycling ups & downs is sure to be a hit with the listeners. I don't know if it is a deliberate reticence on their part which they may loose as they gain confidence.

    I love the catchphrases, the irreverent humour and the double-entendres…but that probably says more about me that it does about them. Great work boys, this listener sincerely appreciates your efforts.

  • OK, let's nip this love-in in the bud! I'm already touched by the birthday and anniversary tweets today so any more of this and I'll mist up. As a hairy Scotsman that's unacceptable, so come on folks, more cynicism, stoicism and any other “ism” you can think of. As the 2 J's say “Nut up!”
    “All joking aside” the Velocast grew out of conversations Scott and I were having already so it's a real pleasure to know that others enjoy it.
    The editing is purely down to Mr O'Raw. His sound engineer/rock star perfectionist side means we've discarded entire shows and he often cuts out my funniest lines using the “you'd strayed from the mike” excuse. ;o)
    We've got a lot of ideas for 2010 (too many!), with plans fairly far along for a “Velocast Tech” segment that I can see becoming a separate show, as well as a few ways to get more “interactive”. There's also be a project (currently a BIG glimmer in our eye) that will feed my pro-cycling addiction.
    Hope we're moving in the right direction, but if we're not, tell us!

    Cheers folks, much appreciated.


  • owen_p

    Thanks for the comments everyone. John another plus point of the Velocast is your willingness to innovate and try out new things – looking forward to these exciting ideas in 2010. cheers Owen

  • andrewgturnbull

    Hi Owen – I've got another podcast for you to review: The Bikeshow, which starts off life as a live show on Resonance FM – a London community radio station.

    The bike show is the Rouleur magazine of cycling podcasts – printed on quality paper stock. Enjoy!

    Cheers, Andy

  • CarlGumeson

    I would echo all of these comments. Also Owen there is a catch phrase you didn't list. “I'm havin' that/one”. I'll also have a try at the replay of the show to “feed the need” of more time with the boys.

  • owen_p

    Thanks andy- another bike podcast to enjoy- excellent. Just checked the itunes feed and there are 'casts going back to 2005! I thought The Fredcast was the longest running. That'll take quite a bit of working through…. I did it with the Johns, not sure I will manage this.

  • Great tip – I have been listening to a few of these over the weekend & they are most enjoyable.