I have always liked radio, and since the emergence of podcasts, it is the main way that I consume information about professional cycling. Looking at twitter is probably the main way I find news and comment, with online articles coming behind that, then TV and finally print.
Cycling podcasts have been around for a few years and it has taken a while for them to ‘go pro’ as it were. In the past 2 years we have seen more professional output from established broadcasters and traditional media, while some of the new media podcasters have upped their game too.
At Tour time there is a splurge- many shows crop up just for July. Here are a few, but there will be more out there, but these are the ones I’ll be listening to. If there are other great listens out there, please share in the comments below.
Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe and Lionel Birnie have a Tour preview show on design, science and technology site Humans Invent, the organisation that have been supporting Graeme Obree in his world “Human Powered Vehicle*” speed record attempt. (*basically an innovative aero bike without the UCI restrictions)
If you are a long-term podcast listener you’ll have heard these guys in the past broadcasting for Bikeradar, Cyclingnews and Cycle Sport magazine, and if you aren’t a podcast listener, you’ll certainly recognise the names as well known authors and journalists – some of the best analysis there is.
Last week 5 Live hosted a 100 Years of the Tour show, unfortunately it isn’t available for download any more but it saw a discussion panel with host Simon Brotherton and Richard Moore, Ellis Bacon, Lionel Birnie and Suze Clemitson aka @Festinagirl on twitter, whose 100 Tours 100 Tales blog has proven very popular.
The main Tour preview went out this week with Alex Dowsett and Rob Hayles on ‘the panel’, and interviews with Cav, Froome, Garmin DS Charly Wegelius, Dan Martin and OPQS manager Roger Lefevre.
You’ll get that on the Bespoke podcast feed, along with daily roundup shows by live commentator Simon Brotherton. These shows tend to be quite short and are not always sufficiently in-depth for me, but are good if you need a quick round-up of the day’s action.
Ned Boulting, Matt Rendell and Chris Boardman provide daily coverage. Their accreditation, and the need to get rider interviews for the TV shows mean that their access is put to good use and you’ll get more soundbites than the BBC. There is quite a bit of humour but it is not as rough around the edges and rambling, as their Real Peloton show, which has a cult following. I probably prefer hearing Matt and Ned pontificate with a bit more freedom and time, but we haven’t had an RP for quite a while. RIP RP
The burning question is: will we see the return of cameraman Liam Macleod’s ukelele?
Scott O’Raw and John Galloway started free daily shows of the Tour in 2009 and refined their format in 2010. After a hiatus they returned in 2012 with a daily subscription show and this year they have ‘gone pro’ – podcasting full time, which is a really interesting development. Their Tour shows will include historical anecdotes from Cilian Kelly on ‘This Week in Cycling History’ and contributions from Suze Clemitson aka Festinagirl.
For me following cycling wouldn’t be the same without these guys and if £20 seems a lot for 3 weeks, you also got the Tour de Suisse coverage. It’s 30 shows for the price of 4 magazines – and I don’t have time to read print these days.
Eurosport Cycling Podcast
I have been a long-term fan of the Velocast and Scott and John’s free weekly show is now sponsored by Eurosport. It’s good to see that It will be the best place for a general round-up of the week’s Tour action but if you want their real, in-depth coverage, you’ll have to subscribe to the daily shows.
SBS Cycling Central
Journalist Anthony Tan has been the lynchpin of this show from Aussie broadcaster SBS for a couple of years. ‘Tan Man’ as he is known to journalist cronies can be quite a dry commentator who is not short of banter and wit but has his own platform now and his interviews are very good.
I used to enjoy his appearances on British-based podcasts but at times the banter overtook the race analysis. Who could forget his 2010 rendition of ‘Beds are Burning’ that teetered between hilarious and excruciating. But for SBS, it very interesting to hear an English-speaking perspective from the other side of the world that doesn’t have to assume the majority listeners are following Sky – you will hear different insights and interviews here. The most recent ones are interviews with Nicolas Roche and Team Sky.
I haven’t found a podcast feed, which is unfortunate as I tend to miss the updates on the SBS website and their soundcloud page. For me a podcatcher like iTunes or the great Downcast app is the best way to stay updated with the shows. You can’t play soundcloud in the background on an iphone, for example, and it cuts out if your lock screen kicks in after a timed period.
Velo Club Don Logan
The VCDL podcast is a relaxed, funny fan’s view of pro cycling. Gary and Graham’s 3-week publishing schedule doesn’t allow for daily shows or anything like that (these are guys with jobs) but I enjoy their analysis and there is almost always a laugh-out-loud moment or two.
Worth noting is that these guys started podding when the Velocast went AWOL in 2010: something that always impresses me. New media is social, and you often get more out of it the more you put in, and the fact that they just started their own podcast when their favourite one stopped is cool.
The Bike Show
Jack Thurston’s the Bike Show, which runs fo a couple of series’ a year for London community radio station Resonance FM, usually gives an alternative view of things and this is why I like it. Although a lover of cycle touring and country lanes, Jack also digs the pro scene. His podcast special on Tour de France books covers titles you won’t have heard of and is really interesting, with contribution from expert (a serious understatement) Feargal McKay, reviewer on Podium Cafe.
Velovoices is a new podcast from fans Panache, Kitty and Tim. It is very emphasised on the joy of cycling fandom, with each host having their favourites and little talk of doping scandals or corruption. There is more to their output than the audio show – although this will probably appear more frequently during the tour, there will be daily blogs and content on their website.
Tour de France podcasts 2012