Narrated by Graham Jones, former elite road racer and currently race director of the Tour of Britiain, Legends of Cycling is more of a mini radio documentary series than a podcast.
[edit 29/01/2012: it wasn’t the Graham Jones I was thinking of… please check comments to see who the real author and presenter of these podcasts was… apologies!]
The shows start at the very beginning of cycling, with episode 1 spanning the period of tremendous innovation in the 1800s and episode 2 covering the role the bicycle played a major role in breaking down late Victorian barriers of gender, class and race. While interesting, I liken these shows to the early chapters of a biography that you skip over to get to the good bit. I listened to them once though, and they are short enough (less than 10 minutes) to be an interesting “bite size listen”.
Parts 3 and 4 focus on Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders with mention of Peter Post, Rik van Looy and that will be of interest to classics fans. Although it begins with some basic introduction that anyone with a passing interest in bike racing will know, there are many points of historical interest, such as the fact that the Paris-Roubaix route covers most of what was the 1914 front line, and the origin of the nickname ‘The Hell of the North’.
Parts 5 and 6 cover cycling and racing during the two world wars and episodes 7 and 8 focus on Walter Godefroot, a classics hardman in the ‘flahute’ mould, who seems to have been overlooked a little in cycling history.
The shows were recorded for the Cycling Revealed, a site that looks like it has been around for a while and has a good repository of articles and information about cycle race history. I also found links to a show called Bike Talk Radio, which I haven’t listened to before but looks interesting. Any feedback welcome- please add your comments to this post.
pics linked from Cycling Revealed