BBC4 Cycling Night

There was a lovely programme on BBC4’s night dedicated to cycling this Tuesday:

Ride of My Life: The Story of the Bicycle

Author Rob Penn travels around the world collecting handbuilt parts for his dream bicycle and charts the social history of one of mankind’s greatest inventions.

It’s available on iPlayer until 8th August and is well worth a watch. Also on that evening:

Britain by Bike

Clare Balding sets out on a two-wheel odyssey to re-discover Britain from the saddle of a touring cycle.

In a six-part series, Clare follows the wheeltracks of compulsive cyclist and author Harold Briercliffe whose evocative guide books of the late 1940s lovingly describe by-passed Britain – a world of unspoiled villages, cycle touring clubs and sunny B roads.

Carrying a set of Harold’s Cycling Touring Guides for company and riding his very own Dawes Super Galaxy bicycle, Clare goes in search of the world he described. Is it lost for ever? Or still there, waiting to be found?

Clare’s journey into Wales is rich in literary connections to both Bruce Chatwin and AE Housman. She reveals how a cycle factory went to war and finds out about the Bride’s Tree – a bizarre village ceremony with a dark secret.

Death on the Mountain: The Story of Tom Simpson (Not available on iPlayer)

A look at the 1967 Tour de France when Tom Simpson died trying to climb Mont Ventoux.

Thoroughly Modern… The Bicycle

Documentary series about objects the Edwardians either invented or advanced. One of the most important inventions of all time, the improvements made by the Edwardians meant the bicycle allowed the city dweller to escape to the country, provided a truly democratised means of transport and is even credited with widening the gene pool.

They’re worth a peep if you haven’t checked them already. The Beeb usually repeats these nights so there may well be a chance to see them on the telly again soon.