I have done a fairly comprehensive (but not exhaustive) review of cycling podcasts over the past few years, and Cyclingnews was one that I liked, although it did have its critics.
It usually takes a hiatus in the off-season, but as the early races kicked off and the classics got underway, it still hadn’t re-emerged. I spoke to Daniel Benson, editor of Cyclingnews.com and got the lowdown.
Harcore fans of the Velocast will by now be aware of John Galloway’s new podcast- it’s up to episode 4. Although the Velocast had a keen following, I was also aware of casual listeners who may not have noticed this new show.
I should really have covered this show before now, so you’d be forgiven for accusing me of being shallow, given that I only review it now that I am on it. I met Graham and Gary at Stirling’s Macrobert cinema after the screening of Chasing Legends.
The VCDL pod is a fun, banter-filled fans view of pro road racing, mountain biking and cycling in general. Graham aka bmfw is the master of ceremonies, Gary (aka Stumpyrider) is the mountain bike expert and Colin Clewsy Clews drops in comment and gags from the background, as well as being the butt of jokes.
The podcast appeared after the Velocast stopped- the VCDL guys, like me, were big fans of that show. Instead of moaning about its demise, they just went out and started their own show, which is great! They may hail from Sausage Roll City but they sure don’t sit on their arses all day eating pies.
There is some good coverage of road news, and the presenters are well clued up, seemingly reading every magazine and website out there. But it’s an accessible listen- the VCDL crew make no pretensions to be Phil and Paul or Matt and Ned, just three fans like you and me, shooting the breeze about cycling.
VCDL on itunes
More of my cycling podcast reviews
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”.
I’m not hugely into time trialling but this item, heard on the Joe Beer podcast, and about Scotland’s top pro racer was interesting. I also hadn’t heard or seen it anywhere else so thought it was worth posting.
At about 55:50 on this podcast, coach Joe Beer talks about ‘aero going bonkers’ at the 2010 Tour de France. Items included Lance Armstrong’s ‘burner’ rear mech and Dave Millar’s ‘Batsuit’. Co-host Martin Crocker commented that his wife noticed that Dave Millar seemingly hadn’t pulled his skinsuit on correctly. In fact it was a special cut to create a smoother line between the body and the arm area.
Here is another new media way to enjoy the Tour de France. It’s a contradiction in terms, because it isn’t a podcast, it’s a live feed from the BBC website.
Every day the BBC Tour de France reporter Peter Slater commentates on the last hour or two of every stage, and this feed is available via the cycling section of the BBC website. There are no podcast downloads, but it’s a good way to keep up with the race as it happens, if you can’t watch it on tv or sit watching twitter all afternoon.
With the Tour de France on, there are a few podcasts that suddenly pop out of the woodwork.
During the Tour, the cyclingnews podcast transmogrifies into a daily download under the banner of Procycling, which is the print stablemate of cyclingnews, under the Future Publishing banner.
Those who dislike the regular podcast (see comments in my cyclingnews review) would do well to check it out again as it’s very different.
You have the host, Daniel Friebe who is the Procycling editor, along with author and journalist Richard Moore, who should be well known to Scottish cycling fans. This year they have a cyclingnews reporter Anthony Tan, a lively Aussie who I haven’t heard of before.
The Tour de France approaches, so for my latest podcast review, it’s time to cover something French.
It’s a French cycling podcast from commercial radio station RTL-l’Équipe, and the quality of the show is what you’d expect- no sound issues for example. In addition to the download, the show is broadcast live and online every Monday 11am-12pm, and repeated again on Monday afternoons. It may be showing off a bit to declare that I listen to this- I can pick up most of the discussion, although inevitably quite a bit passes me by. If you can understand French though, I’d rate it as must-listen.
The show is expertly chaired by RTL host Emmanuel Barth, who manages the various personalities well and gets the best out of them, fostering at times heated debate about the professional road racing scene. This typical French polemique, the kind you’d find in the bar or around the dinner table, is imbued with a passion that can put British discussion to shame at times.
This is a new podcast, that has been finding its feet a little bit. It has a very welcoming, inclusive feel that I don’t think this is a symptom of it’s youth- there is a deliberately anti-elitist ethos there that is intended to tie in with the Veloreviews website and community forum.
If you are not a fan of pro cycling news and comment, and can’t be bothered with the nuances of bike culture and the various sub-niches within cycling, this is the podcast for you. As I see it, the ideal listener is mainly into riding and buying bits for their own bike, as well as improving their fitness, rather than wondering why last year’s Paris-Roubaix runner-up is is running a carbon or aluminium bottle cages this year.
The podcast is a supplement to the Veloreviews.com website and community, which have dipped into and seems cool. It’s the sort of thing that is working to build up long-term relationships and a resource of really useful information. The presenters of the podcast all interact on the Veloreviews forum, giving fitness, mechanics and product advice.
Broadcast as a one-hour live show at 7pm Central Time on Tuesday nights, Bicycle Radio has slick production in a fun format held together by host Sean Mellor. I believe it was originally some sort of ESPN show, but don’t know how the show is funded now. I certainly don’t hear any advertising/infomercials although there is an emerging product shop on the associated website that they are calling Bicycle Radio 3.0.
The biggest plus point of this show is the live format, which gives it a vibrant, fast-paced feel, and the anchor host, Sean Mellor who is very professional while retaining a relaxed style. It rattles along, keeping things to an hour long, and providing plenty of light hearted banter along the way.
It does try to cover a lot of bases, and Larry, one of the show’s hosts makes a joke of the slight bias toward pro news and road cycling. Efraim Rojas’ ‘Weekly dose of pro’ is informed and incisive though, but unsurprisingly it does focus on American interest. No problem with that though. However do I find the pro news from other podcasts- Velocast, Real Peloton and cyclingnews – dig a bit deeper into the issues.