The Real Peloton podcast has reached it’s 10th episode. A review is long overdue, so, inspired by a blog post by Alex Murray (@leguape), who was inspired by my cycling podcast reviews, I have got my act together.
It’s hosted by Ned Boulting (ITV football/cycling presenter) and Matt Rendell (writer, journalist, Eurosport commentator). First of all, the podcast has a well-balanced mixture of presentation styles: it clearly benefits from (where some other podcasts fail) from Ned’s experience as a professional presenter, but it has a strong vein of banter, sarcasm and tomfoolery to keep it relaxed. The personality comes through and they seem to really enjoy doing it (which occasionally can’t be said for other ‘casts).
The production has been truly shoddy at times but all of that is excused because of the content. Interviews with Cavendish, Haussler, Gilbert and others have left the pro cycling fan drooling for more. The fact that the sound quality varies doesn’t matter. People have complained that the cyclingnews podcast could improve greatly by adding more interviews. In their defence, Daniel Benson tweeted me, saying that phone quality is poor but if the Two Johns, Velocast, Fredcast and Bicycle Radio can do it over skype…
No review would be complete without a mention of ‘Sod Off Corner’, the part of the show where Matt and Ned lambast the latest liar or dope cheat to emerge from the pro peloton. While vilifying banned riders isn’t always the best way to challenge the doping problem, it’s refreshing (and entertaining) to see two professional journalists laying it bare with no holds barred. After all, there is still work to do to change the doping culture in cycling, to get to the point where it is totally unacceptable. Matt and Ned have hinted that Sod Off Corner may itself be cast into Sod Off Corner, which may be a bit too self-referential but shows the whole show does not take it too seriously.
Criticisms — did I mention the sound quality, mislaid music, dodgy edits and repeated segments? None of that really matters for me though — I prefer my podcasts a lot less polished but with something of substance at the heart. The humour is something that might not be to everyone’s taste — healthy doses of sarcasm and irony, sometimes might try to be a bit too clever, but these are minor gripes.
It’s clear that this podcast was not a flash in the pan though and has taken the UK podcast market (is there a ‘market’?) by storm — in only one or two episodes it had generated quite a buzz. Please leave a comment, but most people who read my blog have already said what they wanted to say in my tirade against the Guardian Bike Podcast.
Woof woof! Rar rar!