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The Cycling Europe Podcast
Andrew P. Sykes
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.
Sep 16, 2023
Episode 075: Craig Fee – Cycling Into The Unknown
In 2017, novice long-distance cyclist Craig Fee set off on a continental odyssey to cycle from London to his friend’s wedding in Florence, Italy. But had he bitten off more than he could chew? In his new book, Cycling Into The Unknown, he tells the story of the journey and in this episode of the podcast, he reflects upon the experience of setting off on a make-it-up-as-you-go cycle across Europe…
1 hr 4 min
Aug 1, 2023
Yorkshire Day Special: Cycling The Way Of The Roses
To celebrate Yorkshire Day 2023, another opportunity to listen to a Yorkshire-themed podcast (albeit one that starts in Lancashire). "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." If you'd like to contribute to The Cycling Europe Podcast, please get in touch by emailing podcast@CyclingEurope.org. If you'd like to support the podcast, please visit CyclingEurope.org/Support. Thanks if you can!
1 hr 17 min
Jul 23, 2023
Episode 074: Cathryn Ramsden / Dale Majors / Gavin McCulloch / Rich Jeffries
Cathryn Ramsden cycled with her husband and son from Calais to Annecy. Dale Majors has cycled with his wife and six young children on several long trips across Europe and in the US. Gavin McCulloch cycled to Moscow from Scotland in 1990. Rich Jeffries was reluctant to cycle across Belgium but loved it! In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast they share their experiences in bite-sized interviews and monologues. How do you persuade a 12-year-old boy to cycle hundreds of kilometres? How do you manage the logistics of travelling as a family group of eight? How do you feed yourself in Russia when the supermarkets are full of beetroot? And how do you overcome the urge to give Belgium a wide berth?
1 hr 3 min
Jul 15, 2023
Episode 073: Leigh Timmis – The Race Of Truth
Disillusioned by life in the post-graduation rat race of the film industry, Leigh Timmis set off on his bike and spent seven years cycling around the world. When he finally returned home to the UK, he didn't reach for his pipe and slippers. Far from it... "In 2018, Leigh Timmis became the fastest person to cycle across Europe – in just 16 days, 10 hours and 45 minutes – breaking the previous world record by an astonishing 8 days and 17 hours. But when he set out to break the record, Leigh wasn’t just trying to conquer the road... Although test results showed that he already had the physical ability of an elite athlete, something was holding him back: his troubled mind... Cycling for 14 hours a day, from the west coast of Portugal to the edge of Siberia, he embarked on far more than just a physical journey. The Race of Truth is the remarkable true story of personal transformation against the clock, and the astonishing feats we can accomplish when we face up to our deepest fears."
1 hr 32 min
May 27, 2023
Episode 072: Greg Yeoman – Cycling Across Russia In 1993
In 1993, recently graduated student Greg Yeoman set off with his Australian friend Kate Leeming on a cycling expedition of nearly 13,000km, from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok. In a journey that is currently impossible, they pedalled across the entire length of post-Soviet Russia, exploring the landscapes and meeting the people as they went. 30 years later, he looks back on his epic adventure.
1 hr 15 min
May 5, 2023
Episode 071: Mark Wedgwood – Cycling All The OS Maps
Mark Wedgwood had always been a lover of maps. In 2022, newly liberated from the constraints of a full-time job, he decided to cycle across every Ordnance Survey Landranger map of Britain. He spoke to The Cycling Europe Podcast about the challenge that took him from the northernmost point of Shetland (map 1) to Fowey in Cornwall (map 204)… the long way.
1 hr 9 min
Apr 22, 2023
Episode 070: Crossing Europe On A Bike Called Reggie – Part 1
"The academic year must have been a difficult one as when the summer holidays arrived, secondary school teacher Andrew Sykes was happy to do as little as possible. But while sitting on his sofa watching the exploits of the cyclists at the Great Wall of China at the Beijing Olympics, he realised the error of his ways and resolved to put a bit more adventure into his life. Two years later, accompanied by his faithful companion Reggie (his bike) but only a rudimentary plan, Andrew set off for a trans-continental cycling adventure that would take him along the route of the Via Francigena and the Eurovelo 5 all the way from his home in southern England to Brindisi in the south of Italy. There were highs and lows, rain and shine, joy and despair and they are all recounted here in a light-hearted, brisk style."
Apr 10, 2023
Episode 069: Susan and Ron Crump – Cycling Amsterdam to Athens
In the autumn of 2022, Susan and Ron Crump, a retired couple from Kentucky in the USA set off on their first cycle tour. Instead of dipping their toes in the shallow end of the cycle touring pool, they plunged into the deep end by embarking upon a 3,500km cycle from Amsterdam to Athens. Along with two more experienced cycle touring friends - Pam and Ralph - this is the story of their trip; the preparation, the execution and the aftermath. They may have been jumping for joy upon arrival in Athens but were they jumping for joy throughout the cycle? And has the trip been a springboard for future rides or will their next visit to Europe be on a cruise ship?
1 hr 5 min
Mar 24, 2023
Episode 068: Cycling Bilbao To Athens – Tony Lenihan
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.
1 hr 2 min
Mar 16, 2023
EXTRA: Active Travel – Tony Lenihan
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.
Mar 10, 2023
Episode 067: Cycling In Brittany – Tim Boden / Geoff Husband
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.
1 hr 13 min
Feb 24, 2023
Episode 066: Cycling On Tenerife
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?
Feb 10, 2023
Episode 065: Matthew Sturgeon – Cycling To Mainland Britain’s Lighthouses
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…
Jan 27, 2023
Episode 064: Laura Massey-Pugh – Around The World On A Tandem
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?
Jan 13, 2023
Episode 063: Beth Ward – Wales To Istanbul & Drosi Bikes
“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…
Dec 31, 2022
Episode 062: Jeremy Wilson – Beryl Burton – ‘Britain’s Greatest Athlete’
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.
1 hr 25 min
Oct 27, 2022
Episode 061: The 1903 Tour De France… On A Brompton
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…
1 hr 19 min
Oct 16, 2022
Episode 060: Cycling The Route of ‘The Wheels Of Chance’ By H.G. Wells
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!",
Sep 4, 2022
Episode 059: Le Grand Tour, Part 8 – The Rhine Cycle Route / EuroVelo 15
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.
1 hr 59 min
Aug 23, 2022
Episode 058: Le Grand Tour, Part 7 – La Via Rhôna / EuroVelo 17
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.
1 hr 58 min
Aug 11, 2022
Episode 057: Le Grand Tour, Part 6 – La Véloroute Des Deux Mers From Bordeaux To Sète / Canal De La Garonne & Canal Du Midi
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?
1 hr 15 min
Aug 2, 2022
Episode 056: Le Grand Tour, Part 5 – La Vélodyssée From Morlaix To Royan / EuroVelo 1
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.
1 hr 2 min
Jul 24, 2022
Episode 055: Le Grand Tour, Part 4 – La Vélomaritime From Mont-Saint-Michel To Morlaix / EuroVelo 4
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.
Jul 18, 2022
Episode 054: Le Grand Tour, Part 3 – La Véloscénie From Paris To Mont-Saint-Michel
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.
Jul 13, 2022
Episode 053: Le Grand Tour, Part 2 – The Belgian & French Coasts To Dieppe / EuroVelos 12 & 4 / L’Avenue Verte To Paris
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 […]
Jul 4, 2022
Episode 052: Le Grand Tour, Part 1 – The Dutch Coast / EuroVelo 12
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, […]
Jun 18, 2022
Episode 051: Freewheeling In France With Lyn Eyb
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.
1 hr 7 min
Jun 1, 2022
Episode 050: Cycling The Way Of The Roses
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.
1 hr 17 min
May 21, 2022
Episode 049: Cycling Slovakia End To End With Rob Ainsley
Writer, cyclist - and now composer - Rob Ainsley is the master of the cycling ‘end-to-end’: Britain, France, Spain, Poland, Cuba… and now Slovakia, west to east. He chats to The Cycling Europe Podcast about his recent journey across the country, its people, its places… and its beer. He also takes time to reflect upon the attractions of the end-to-end cycle and reveals the name of the country that he believes is home to the definitive end-to-end. We also hear two of Rob’s compositions for guitar, inspired by his travels on a bicycle, and zebras… All of Rob’s music can be found on his website e2e.bike.
May 1, 2022
Episode 048: A Mountaineer’s Guide To Cycling From Spain To Norway
The Cycling Europe Podcast mainly features, well, cyclists. The interviewee in this episode, however, is first and foremost a mountaineer. But he’s not just any mountaineer. His name is Tim Ralph and he’s a seven summiteer; a man who has climbed the seven highest mountains on each of the continents. In the last few years, he’s also taken up cycle touring and has just published a book called ‘A Life Accomplished: From Spain to Norway on a Bike’. So what can mountaineering teach us about cycle touring? What can cycle touring teach mountaineers about climbing mountains? And what happens when an experienced mountaineer sets off to cycle from Europe’s geographical southernmost point at Tarifa in Spain to its northernmost point at Nordkapp in Norway?
1 hr 1 min
Apr 13, 2022
Episode 047: Planning A Four-Year Cycle Around The World
Nathan Molyneaux is a planning manager in the food industry. He’s also a great believer in the Chimp Paradox, an understanding of which allows you to take control of your emotions in order to act in your own best interests. This theory, developed by Professor Steve Peters, has been instrumental in the planning of Nathan’s upcoming journey around the world. And it’s a proper round-the-world cycle; no planes, every continent, scores of countries and four (or perhaps even five) years in which to do it. He talks to The Cycling Europe Podcast about his mindset, his route, his bike, his equipment, his finances, his hopes... and his fears.
1 hr 1 min
Apr 3, 2022
The Making Of The Cycling Europe Podcast
I am in Hebden Bridge, experimenting. If you are reading this, congratulations! You are clearly a fan of the podcast as I’m making no effort to publicise this secret episode of the podcast. It doesn’t even have a number! You may find the audio of interest, you may […]
Mar 27, 2022
Episode 046: Tim Moore, Travel Writer
Tim Moore has been referred to as ‘Bill Bryson on two wheels’. Any reader of his adventures - both on and off a bike - will appreciate why the comparison is justified. In his first cycling travelogue, he set off on the route of that year’s Tour de France just weeks before the professionals. He went on to recreate ‘the most appalling bike race of all time’ - the 1914 Giro d’Italia - on a vintage bike. More recently he embarked upon a brutal cycle following the stages of the 1941 Vuelta a España. Ever the glutton for punishment, he’s also ‘The Cyclist Who Went Out In The Cold’ who set off on an East German shopping bike along the route of EuroVelo 13, the Iron Curtain Trail… The Cycling Europe Podcast chatted to him in a Tube carriage at the London Transport Museum.
1 hr 12 min
Mar 13, 2022
Episode 045: The UK To Greece (And Beyond…) / Valencia To Gibraltar
Whilst recovering from cancer treatment, Candy Whittome was given a copy of Anne Mustoe’s book ‘A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles Around the World’. It inspired her to embark upon a long cycling journey herself, if not quite all the way round the world, then a good portion of it. Her doctors were supportive (although her family needed some convincing) and in 2021 she set off on the first leg of her journey cycling from Britain to southern Greece during the second summer of the COVID pandemic. In this episode of the podcast, Candy looks back upon that ride and forward to the next stages that will take her to Asia and beyond… Plus: Chris Atkin reads an extract from his new book about a journey across southern Spain.
Feb 26, 2022
Episode 044: The Canal de la Garonne & Canal du Midi / Trikes
Declan Lyons trained as a zoologist but after several years working as a journalist and management consultant he started to research and then write two Cicerone guides for people interested in cycling the Canal de la Garonne from Bordeaux to Toulouse and the Canal du Midi from Toulouse to the Mediterranean coast at Sète. Together the canals are known as the Véloroute des Deux Mers - the ‘two seas cycle route’ - and in this episode of the podcast he talks about the history of the canals and how they have been transformed in recent decades into one of France’s most popular cycling routes. Also: we hear from Ian Yarroll, an experienced cycle tourist, who, after developing balance problems, took up a recumbent trike…
1 hr 3 min
Feb 13, 2022
Episode 043: Monologue Special / Gavin Wood
In 2021 I put out a call for anyone who was interested in recording a short monologue about their experiences of cycling to get in touch and, in the past year, quite a few people have come forward to record such a monologue. In this episode you have a second opportunity to hear Laura Massey-Pugh set out her plans to cycle around the world on a tandem, Laurence Warren tell the story of round-the-world cyclist Colin Martin as well as discuss his experiences of cycling in his adopted home of Austria, Robin Watkins talk about cycling in Czechia, the poet Caroline Burrows reflect lyrically upon her commute to work and Simon Garland recount his experiences of cycling the EuroVelo 15 or the Rhine Cycle Route. We also hear from Gavin Wood in an interview recorded at the time of the COP 26 climate conference. He works in West Yorkshire in the north of England as an active travel advisor and we chatted about the challenges of building infrastructure and changing minds in order that we can all li…
1 hr 34 min
Jan 30, 2022
Episode 042: Cycling For Society / Baltic Sea / Climate Explorers
In this episode of the podcast we hear from two groups who are using cycling to highlight important issues in society. Iris and Jan, from Berlin, are currently cycling around the world. As they travel, they are researching approaches towards tackling mental health issues in the countries that they visit. The Climate Explorers are a small group of cyclists who are aiming to raise environmental awareness. In 2021 they embarked upon the ‘Pedal 4 Parks’ journey across the UK. Your host, Andrew Sykes, also updates us on his plans to cycle around the Baltic Sea in the summer of 2022.
1 hr 9 min
Jan 1, 2022
Episode 041: The Baltic Sea Cycle Route – Bernd Schadowski
The Baltic Sea Cycle Route is one of the longest of the EuroVelos. It’s route number 10 and passes through every country that touches the Baltic Sea; Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia (twice), Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In the summer of 2019 Bernd Schadowski & his 17-year-old son Tristan, two cyclists from Aachen in western Germany, said auf wiedersehen to the rest of their family and set off from Lübeck with the intention of completing the 9,000 km loop. In this episode of the podcast, Bernd recounts their inspiring journey around Europe’s other big sea…
Oct 11, 2021
Episode 040: Unsung Heroes – Anne Lawther And Colin Martin
The cycle touring world is not short of people who enjoy sharing their two-wheeled adventures in books, on social media, on YouTube and even on podcasts such as this. But for every known cyclist, there are thousands of unknown cyclists embarking upon journeys that often surpass the endeavours of more publicity-friendly adventurers. This episode of the podcast meets two of them; Anne Lawther, who has had a 40-year relationship with long-distance cycling and, via the words of Laurence Warren, Colin Martin who, 50 years ago, set off on his Moulton to cycle the world…
1 hr 22 min
Sep 17, 2021
Episode 039 – Part 2: The Hebridean Way… On A Bike Called Wanda (Harris & Lewis)
In episode 038 of The Cycling Europe Podcast, Andrew Sykes spoke to a number of travellers about their experiences of cycling The Hebridean Way. Now it’s his turn to get onto his bicycle, Wanda, and cycle from Vatersay in the south to Lewis in the north along one of Britain’s most spectacular rides. In part 1 of this episode of the podcast he travelled from the island of Vatersay to the island of Berneray. In this second part of the podcast we see him complete his journey across the Isles of Harris and Lewis to the Butt of Lewis and the end of the Hebridean Way.
1 hr 35 min
Sep 5, 2021
Episode 039 – Part 1: The Hebridean Way… On A Bike Called Wanda (Vatersay To Berneray)
In episode 038 of The Cycling Europe Podcast, Andrew Sykes spoke to a number of travellers about their experiences of cycling The Hebridean Way. Now it’s his turn to get onto his bicycle, Wanda, and cycle from Vatersay in the south to Harris in the north along one of Britain’s most spectacular rides. In part 1 of the podcast he travels from the island of Vatersay to the island of Berneray. Part 2 of the podcast will see him complete his journey to the Butt of Lewis and it will be published on Sunday 19th September 2021.
1 hr 5 min
Aug 8, 2021
Episode 038: Cycling The Hebridean Way
Britain offers some amazing places to explore on a bicycle, but there can be few locations within the UK that offer the remoteness, drama and sheer spectacle of the islands of The Outer Hebrides. The Hebridean Way guides cyclists from Vatersay in the south to the Butt of Lewis in the north: “10 islands, 6 causeways, 2 ferries and 1 unforgettable adventure”. In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast, writers, travellers and cyclists reflect upon their experiences of cycling The Hebridean Way. The chief executive of the local tourist board is also on hand to offer his advice.
1 hr 8 min
Jul 24, 2021
Episode 037: Simon Parker – Britain By Bike
The travel writer and cyclist Simon Parker first appeared on The Cycling Europe Podcast in February 2021when he talked about his ‘Earth Cycle’ TV programme. He returns to discuss his latest project; an end-to-end cycle around Britain in the midst of a global pandemic. His main aim was not to clock up the kilometres but to meet the people and hear their stories. He told his own story in a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph and here he looks back upon a cycling staycation to beat most others.
Jun 27, 2021
Episode 036: Maike Brinksma – The Amazon Of Europe Bike Trail
Maike Brinksma is an athlete, academic, environmental activist… and cyclist, from The Netherlands. In the summer of 2021 she will be one of the first people ever to cycle the ‘Amazon of Europe Bike Trail’. She talks to the podcast about her plans to explore the riverine landscapes of the Mura-Drava-Danube UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. She also reflects on the joys of being a Dutch cyclist. (Or is she?) Plus: Caroline Burrows, the Bristol-based Scottish poet and cyclist, recounts her experiences of cycling to work in her short story ‘False Flat’.
Jun 10, 2021
Episode 035: Max & Varnum – Cycling Europe 1908-09 / Simon Garland – EuroVelo 15
In June 2020, The Cycling Europe Podcast dedicated the whole of episode 21 to the epic early 20th Century European cycle of the American Maximilian J. St. George. After discovering the podcast, Tim & George, both grandsons of Max got in touch, as did Juniper, great grandson of Max’s travelling companion Varnum Parish. Varnum not only rode with Max for several months but wrote his own diary. The podcast talks to Tim, George and Juniper about their ancestors’ travels in Europe. Plus: Simon Garland takes a comical look back on his EuroVelo 15 cycle along the route of The Rhine…
1 hr 28 min
May 29, 2021
Episode 034: Steve Silk – The Great North Road / Laurence Warren – Austria
One hundred years ago, the Great North Road closed and the A1 opened, heralding a century of domination by the motor car. The Cycling Europe Podcast meets BBC journalist (and one-time San Franciscan cycle courier) Steve Silk who set off on his bicycle to cycle from London to Edinburgh to rediscover what remains of the old road, its stories, milestones and coaching inns. Steve’s book - The Great North Road - is published by Summersdale on July 8th. Plus: cycling in Austria with local resident Laurence Warren. Is there more to this Alpine country than just big hills?
1 hr 7 min
May 15, 2021
Episode 033: Mat And Harriet Hall – UK To Istanbul / Robin Watkins – Czechia
In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast we are pointing our wheels in the direction of Istanbul. In pre-COVID Europe, Mat and Harriet Hall headed off on their first long-distance cycle tour along the EuroVelo 15 to Switzerland before hooking up with the EuroVelo 6 to Romania and then finally following the EuroVelo 13 to Turkey. They have now turned their adventure into a series of films that document the highs and occasional lows of life on the road. Plus: this month’s monologue comes from Robin Watkins who recounts his travels through the towns and villages of Czechia.
1 hr 9 min
May 1, 2021
Episode 032: Ride – Cycle The World / Stela Tandem
In this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast we cycle across the World via Britain, Spain, Macedonia, Italy, the west coast of America, the length of Africa and Sierra Leone (plus a few other destinations thrown in for good measure). It’s all courtesy of a new book from DK Eyewitness called Ride: Cycle The World. The podcast brought together its editor, Rachel Laidler, and two of its contributors, Chris Scaife and Tom Owen, to chew over the books one hundred suggested rides. We also hear the first of our podcast monologues, recorded by tandem cyclist Laura Massey-Pugh.
Mar 27, 2021
Episode 031: Cycle Touring Accommodation Special
Across the globe, the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 are beginning to ease. Foreign travel may not be an easy option for most people in summer 2021, but being able to explore your own country probably is. In this episode of the podcast, we look at some of the accommodation choices available to touring cyclists including wild camping, hotels, hostels and reciprocal accommodation sharing with contributions from WarmShowers’ Tahverlee Anglen, wild camper Tim Millikin, the YHA’s Simon Ainley and Simon Kershaw from Scarborough’s newest hotel, Bike and Boot.
1 hr 14 min
Mar 11, 2021
Episode 030: Tandem WOW / Joff Summerfield
Cycle touring is normally undertaken on a bicycle composed of two wheels of the same size and one cyclist sitting on the saddle. But not always… The guests in this episode of the podcast didn’t for one minute allow their desires to break free from the norms of cycling to quell their lofty ambitions. On the contrary. All three contributors - tandem cyclists Rachel Marsden and Catherine Dixon, and penny-farthing rider Joff Summerfield - have cycled thousands of kilometres across the globe. They talk to the podcast about their cycling adventures with a twist.
1 hr 13 min
Feb 21, 2021
Episode 029: Markus Stitz / Bikepacking The World
Markus Stitz is a German-born, Edinburgh-based cyclist, writer and filmmaker. In 2015 he set off to cycle the world on a single-speed bicycle, travelling 34,000km through 26 countries. Since his return to the UK, he has been involved in a series of Scottish-based projects promoting both on- and off-road riding. However, in the autumn of 2020 he returned to his roots and embarked upon a 700km cycle along the strip of land that, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, was home to the border fence between East and West German. He talks about all his journeys, near and far…
1 hr 22 min
Feb 6, 2021
Episode 028: Simon Parker / Earth Cycle
Simon Parker is a travel writer, broadcaster and newspaper columnist. He has travelled to over 100 countries on reporting assignments for the BBC, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent. He also has a sideline in cycle touring… In 2016 he sailed and cycled from China to London and in 2018 he set off from northern Norway and cycled 3,000km south to the southern tip of Sweden. His 6-week adventure is now the subject of a documentary available on Amazon Prime Video. PLUS: A message from Tim & Laura Moss about the Cycle Touring Festival 2021.
1 hr 10 min
Jan 21, 2021
Episode 027: Dr Ian Walker / Nordkapp To Tarifa In 17 Days
In 2015 I cycled from Tarifa in Spain - the southernmost point of mainland Europe - to Nordkapp in Norway - the northernmost point. It took me over 100 days. In 2019 Dr Ian Walker - an academic at the University of Bath - completed the journey in the opposite direction… in 16 days 20 hours and 59 minutes. In the process he became the fastest person ever to cycle across Europe north to south. That’s no mean feat for a man in his mid-forties who had only taken up ultra-long-distance racing a few years prior to breaking the record. I needed to find out how he did it…
1 hr 5 min
Dec 30, 2020
Episode 026: Sarah Mitchell / Cycling UK CEO
In the annus horribilis that has been 2020, cycling has had a relatively good year. When it comes to the number of people cycling, you might even say it’s been an annus mirabilis. An interesting time, then, to start work as the CEO of Britain’s leading cycling organisation, Cycling UK. Channeling the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future, The Cycling Europe Podcast asked Sarah about her background, her new role and her plans for 2021 and beyond. We also go back to the summer of 2020 and a visit to North Berwick in Scotland to talk to outdoors champion Suzanne Forup about some of her favourite places to explore north of the border. Plus: an update about episode 21 of the podcast, dedicated to the travels of the early 20th Century cyclist Maximilian J. St. George...
Sep 20, 2020
Episode 025: Ryan Van Duzer / Duzer TV
Duzer TV is a YouTube channel run by 40-something American adventure cyclist Ryan Van Duzer based in Boulder, Colorado on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains of the USA. His videos recount his adventures going back over 10 years in the Americas and beyond. He spoke to The Cycling Europe Podcast about cycling, filmmaking, bears, alcohol, eating termites, his 'mom' and even the Muppets! It's from them that he gets his motto: "I know I drive some people crazy with what seems to be ridiculous optimism, but it has always worked for me.”
Sep 13, 2020
UK Capitals Tour Teaser
An upcoming episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast will tell the full story of my cycling trip around the four capitals of the United Kingdom during the Coronavirus summer of 2020. Here's a short teaser to whet your appetite. It focuses upon the background to the journey and cycling day one from my home in West Yorkshire to Bolton Abbey at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The full podcast telling the whole story of the capital-themed tour will be available later in the autumn.
Sep 5, 2020
Episode 024: Dr Stephen Fabes / Signs Of Life
In January 2010, Dr. Stephen Fabes set off on a bicycle tour around the World. He had quit his job working in the A&E department at St. Thomas' Hospital in London and was to spend the next 6 years cycling nearly 90,000 km, visiting 75 countries in the process. His achievement puts almost all other cycle tours into the shade. The Cycling Europe Podcast met Stephen at Hyde Park Corner for a chat about his cycle and his book - Signs of Life - that has just been published by Profile Books.
Aug 6, 2020
Episode 023: Rob Ainsley, David Heywood & James Briggs / Original Cycle Tours
Have you ever struggled to come up with an interesting, different, perhaps even unique idea for a long cycle ride? The Cycling Europe Podcast is coming to your rescue! In this feature-length episode of the podcast recorded on location in the Yorkshire Dales and the English Lake District, Andrew P. Sykes chats with fellow cycling writer and master of the innovative cycle ride Rob Ainsley, Guinness World Record breaker David Haywood and David Bowie fan James Briggs who all reflect upon their inspirational cycle tours with a twist. If this episode of the podcast doesn't get you thinking about your own next ride, nothing will!
1 hr 34 min
Jul 1, 2020
Episode 022: Helen Cook & Susan Doram / Women’s Festival Of Cycling
It may be flatter in The Netherlands but can that really explain why women set off on their bicycles 25-times more often than here in the UK? It seems unlikely. Cycling UK's Women's Festival of Cycling takes place from 11th-31st July. Its aim is to encourage more women to cycle and The Cycling Europe Podcast talks to Cycling UK's Helen Cook about the thinking behind the event and what will be taking place. On July 11th the 4th list of '100 Women in Cycling' will be published by Cycling UK. The podcast speaks to Susan Doram who appeared on the list in 2019 about her cycling journey from the company car to cycling the globe, via much, much more...
Jun 13, 2020
Episode 021: Maximilian J. St. George / Cycling Europe In 1908
This episode of the podcast is going to be slightly different. Rather than talking to a current cyclist, I’m going to be investigating the life of a cyclist from the past. You’ve probably never heard his name before and you’re even less likely to have heard his story. He was a German-born American called Maximilian J. St. George. His story is told via extracts from his book, Traveling Light or Cycling Europe on Fifty Cents a Day read by the actor Jeremy Walker with contributions from the historian Dr James Stout, the cycling writer Michael Hutchinson and two Romanian long-distance cyclists Lehel Benedek and Elod Keresszegi. It’s an epic take of an epic cycling journey from over 100 years ago by the original Mr. Cycling Europe…
1 hr 10 min
May 30, 2020
Episode 020: Ian Finlay / Cycling Around The World
When I started writing my first book – Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie – I never imagined that it would one day help encourage a man who I’d never met to chuck in his long-term job and start cycling around the World. But apparently it did. That man is Ian Finlay and in this episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast he tells us about his journey so far through Europe, Asia and across Australia to New Zealand where, yet again, a certain virus put a spoke in his plans…
May 15, 2020
Episode 019: Abigail Melton & Lilith Cooper / Gears For Queers
It doesn't matter who you happen to be, whether it's Mark Beaumont, Josie Dew, Alastair Humphreys, Fred Bloggs or even (dare I say) Andrew P. Sykes, if you're intent upon embarking on a long-distance cycling adventure of your own, at some point you need to move out of your comfort zone, push the bike out of the garden gate and set off cycling, however uncomfortable that may feel, initially at least. That's what Abigail Melton and Lilith Cooper decided to do and they've just written about their experiences as first-time cycle tourists in a new book called Gears For Queers.
May 4, 2020
Episode 018: Ed Lancaster / EuroVelo
If you are a long-distance cyclist in Europe, it's highly unlikely that you have managed to avoid the EuroVelo network of cycling routes. Created and administered by the European Cyclists' Federation, the 16 routes are a source of support and inspiration not just long-distance cyclists but also those who set off on much shorter trips within Europe. But what is the thinking behind the EuroVelo network? Why was it created? What can you expect if you choose to cycle one of the routes? And where is the network going in the future? All questions that we asked Ed Lancaster of The European Cyclists' Federation, the man in charge of developing and promoting Europe's greenest travel network.
Apr 21, 2020
Episode 017: Geraint Rowlands, Owen Peak & Gareth Cadwaladr / Cycling Europe In 12 Years
Epic cycle tours come in many shapes and sizes. Some stretch over many thousands of kilometres, some take in dozens of countries, lots take months, perhaps even years to complete. But few cycle tours take 12 years and still claim to be unfinished. That's what a group of Welsh cyclists have been doing since 2007 since they set off from the port of Holyhead in Anglesey, Wales. The Cycling Europe Podcast spoke to Geraint Rowlands, Owen Peak and Gareth Cadwaladr about their cycle tour of Europe with a difference.
Mar 31, 2020
Episode 016: Mark Beaumont / The Man Who Cycled The World
Welcome to this rather special episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast. Since the inception of the podcast in 2017, we’ve featured many people with fascinating stories to tell; people who have cycled across the world, people who have inspired others, people who have displayed their passion for cycling in some extraordinary ways. But the guest on this episode of the podcast eclipses almost all others when it comes to long-distance cycling achievement, Mr Mark Beaumont.
Mar 24, 2020
Episode 015: Paul Gentle / Tarifa To Nordkapp Via COVID
Imagine you set off to cross a continent on your bicycle only for a global pandemic to stop you in your tracks. That's what happened to Paul Gentle as he attempted to cycle from Tarifa in Spain to Nordkapp in Norway. The Cycling Europe Podcast spoke to Paul about his plans, his cycle through Spain and France and his race against the clock to get back home to the UK while it was still possible.
Mar 4, 2020
Episode 014: Timmy Mallett / Utterly Brilliant!
The Cycling Europe Podcast returns with a celebrity interview! Mark Beaumont? Tim Moore? Josie Dew? Not quite… This celebrity not only has surprising long-distance cycling credentials but also some thought-provoking comments to make about the joys of heading off on your bike for a long-distance adventure. His name? […]
Feb 2, 2020
Episode 013: Helen Moat / A Time Of Birds, Anna Hughes / Flight Free 2020, Caroline Burrows / Poetry
The British people have spoken and, by popular demand, The Cycling Europe Podcast returns with episode 013. In this latest audio extravaganza of all things cycling, we head to Matlock in the English Peak District to meet the travel writer and long-distance cyclist Helen Moat. In 2015 she […]
1 hr 11 min
Dec 2, 2019
Episode 012: Paul Cheese / The Big Record & Jess Odone / Italy To The UK
The Cycling Europe Podcast is back in the UK and heads to Scotland to chat with Paul Cheese, musician and long-distance cyclist. His travels took him on an astonishing journey to almost every nook and cranny of Britain with a bicycle between his legs and a microphone in […]
Oct 27, 2019
Episode 011: Santander, Spain To Porto, Portugal
The Cycling Europe Podcast berths in Santander, Spain for two weeks of adventure across the Iberian Peninsula via Potes, Riaño, León, Puebla de Sanabria, Bragança and Porto to Coimbra in Portugal. Join Andrew P. Sykes as he discovers the cycle path less travelled up and over the remote […]
Sep 22, 2019
Episode 010: The Isle Of Wight
The Cycling Europe Podcast is heading to northern Spain but pauses en route for two days of cycling on the Isle of Wight. Andrew P. Sykes follows the Round-the-Island Cycle Route in an anticlockwise direction before hooking up with the Red Squirrel Trail for a return to Cowes […]
Aug 11, 2019
Episode 009: The Yorkshire Coast
The Cycling Europe Podcast hits the road and heads along the Yorkshire section of the EuroVelo 12, otherwise known as the North Sea Cycle Route, from the iconic Humber Bridge on the southern edge of Britain’s largest county to the coastal treasure that is Whitby. It was a […]
Jun 27, 2019
Episode 008: Buying A New Touring Bike
The Cycling Europe Podcast returns with a new touring bike special. Andrew P. Sykes visits CycleSense in Tadcaster, Yorkshire to pick up his new Koga Signature WorldTraveller bicycle and chats to the owner David Stainthorpe about his purchase. We hear from Koga brand ambassador Alee Denham from the […]
Jul 1, 2018
Episode 007: The Yorkshire Dales, Mike Webb / Japan, Mont Ventoux
Cycling the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway (eastern loop) from Malham to Settle and back, travelling in Japan and an interview with Mike Webb of PulpedTravel.com and cycling to the summit of one of the Tour de France’s most iconic climbs: Mont Ventoux.
1 hr 5 min
Jun 2, 2018
Episode 006: The Cycle Touring Festival 2018, William Manners / Revolution
The Cycle Touring Festival 2018 featuring Stephen Fabes, Libby Bowles, Sophie Esterer and Laura & Tim Moss, taking your bicycle on a train in northern England and William Manners, author of ‘Revolution: How The Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain’.
1 hr 13 min
May 1, 2018
Episode 005: Tim Moss / With The Sun On Our Right
Around the World with Tim Moss – ‘With The Sun on Our Right’, cycling the National Cycle Network routes 66 and 69 in Yorkshire, and sound effects…
Apr 2, 2018
Episode 004: JOGLE, The Handlebards, Mercedes Days
Reflections on winter cycling, JOGLE with a twist, cycling motivation, Mercedes days, travelling in Spain and Germany, The HandleBards, the National Cycle Network in Yorkshire.
Oct 31, 2017
Episode 003: Ian Street, Barry Godin, Jimmy Hyland & Harry Bunnell / Cycling Films
The cycling film special! The Leeds Bicycle Film Club (Ian Street), Mongolia (Jimmy Hyland), bikepacking & filmmaking (Barry Godin) & the definitive list of the greatest cycling films ever, perhaps (BFI/Harry Bunnell).
Sep 30, 2017
Episode 002: The Cycle Show, Matej Mohoric / La Vuelta, Brussels / EuroVelo 5, The Ryburn Valley Greenway
The Cycle Show, La Vuelta a Espana (Matej Mohoric, UAE Team Emirates), Brussels (Eurovelo 5), The Ryburn Valley Greenway.
1 hr 2 min
Aug 31, 2017
Episode 001: Tim McKenna / UK To Istanbul, The Calder Valley, CTC Birthday Rides, The Cycle Touring Festival
UK to Istanbul, the Calder Valley of Yorkshire, ‘Along The Med…’, CTC Birthday Rides, Cycle Touring Festival.
Aug 25, 2017
Episode 000: Does The World Need Another Cycling Podcast?
Does the world need another cycling podcast? We are about to find out…
Aug 24, 2017
A sample from the soon-to-be-launched Cycling Europe Podcast. The full podcast which includes reports and interviews from across the world of cycling, adventure and travel is published on September 1st (and every first of the month thereafter!).