Friday 27 May 2011

My Top 5 Cycling Podcasts

One of the best things about owning an iPod, or any MP3 player, is the huge range of podcasts available to download. For those less tech savvy among you, a podcast is an audio recording playable on a digital device. A lot of radio broadcasts are released in podcast format, but there is a huge number of specially made recordings available too. Podcasts are usually free of charge and can cover all sorts of subjects.

Cycling is well represented in the podcast world. I've spent a bit of time, and a lot of miles, listening to several of them so I thought it'd be good to share my five favourites with you. This is, of course, my personal list and is in no particular order so you can take them or leave them, but I hope you'll enjoy them.

I've included links to the supporting websites, but all podcasts are available from iTunes too.

The Veloclub Don Logan Podcast:

An irreverent Scottish production, this one sounds like a gang of cycling obsessed mates chatting away over a pint about all kinds of cycling related subjects. They cover road and mountain biking and, if you can get through the very thick accents, are usually very entertaining. But, for all the casualness they give off, they also have to get my prize for the best cycling podcast I've heard yet. They managed to secure a very relaxed interview with Scottish legend Graeme Obree in which he talked openly about his life, his problems, his motivations, his inventions and his theories. Gripping!

BTW Don Logan was a gangster character played by Ben Kingsley in a movie called Sexy Beast. What he has to do with cycling, I have no idea.

The Spokesmen Cycling Round Table Podcast

The Spokesmen podcast is hosted by American David Bernstein, described on the website as a "former bicycle industry executive and a pioneer in the cycling podcast space". David is joined each episode by a mix of cycling personalities, journalists and business figures. The format is, as the name suggests, a virtual round table discussion and the subject matter varies wildly, from racing news to legal issues to techy talk to industry debates. It's usually a lively discussion and gives some interesting insights into this sport of ours.

Real Peloton:

Well known bike hacks, and ITV4 pundits, Ned Boulting and Matt Rendell, release regular editions of Real Peloton (although lately they've been a bit sparse) concentrating pretty much exclusively on the pro road scene. Like most of the others, it's usually a casual chat between the two guys, interspersed with the odd interview. Ned and Matt are obviously good mates and don't take themselves all that seriously so there's usually a few laughs. Plus they have some great nicknames for riders (guess who Larry is?). However, the two lads are also very prominent journos and have lot's of interesting insights into the goings on in the professional peloton.

The Cyclingnews Podcast

This one was one of my favourites but it appears to be defunct now. The last episode was issued in November so it's probably safe to say we can give up on it, unless they repeat the daily Tour De France discussions they recorded in cars, bars and staircases while covering last years race. For what it's worth regular contributors Daniel Benson, Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe, Anthony Tan and Jeff Jones are some of the UK's biggest bike journo names so were always good for insights, news and views.

The Flammecast

Flammecast is the only podcast I've found with a distinctly Irish flavour, in that it's co-presented by ex-Carrick Wheeler, Derek Troy. Along with Scot John Galloway, who also appears on the Velo Club Don Logan podcast, Derek offers his unedited opinions on all kinds of pro cycling subjects. It's a bit rawer than some of the other offerings but entertaining for all that. The accompanying website has more to offer, including updates from young Irish rider, Sean Downey, currently based in France.

Two Johns Podcast

Since the podcast looks to be gone, I'm replacing it on the top 5 list with this US podcast, which I'll admit I've only heard once. The two Johns are US based amateur racers who seem to know their way around the US racing scene. As well as the usual interviews and anecdotes they've managed, through clever use of Twitter and Skype, to include a "phone-in" element to the podcast where they take calls from some pretty eccentric characters. The episode I heard included an unplanned call from Liquigas pro, Ted King. I'll give it a few more episodes before I decide if it should stay on the list but, for now, it looks promising.

1 comment:

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