Guardian of the Road

And so the good ‘old Gdn has launched a bicycling podcast – great!

I think…

It’s very early days, but the first pod has more pace than a Lord Cavendish sprint finish. It left me having to catch my breath, whilst listening to a piece of audio about an activity that has the effect of transporting you away from the fast track world of modern living.

The main problem with the Gdn bike pod (apart from the name – I ride bicycles, not bikes) is the lack of direction. A magazine based format is fine, but you still need an overall strand in which to collate the various content.

The Gdn does this very well with the excellent Tech Weekly, but somehow the bike (urgh!) podcast failed to find any cohesion. Essentially the podcast is trying to be all things to all bicyclists. We’re a broad based demographic; the very essence of bicycling is of personal freedom and expression.

Aside from the mix ‘n match style of the podcast, the other problem is that it comes across as a half hour radio ad for the very nasty Evans Cycles. Maybe that’s the point?

Road bikes are tested in a very cheery, gawblimeygeezer Top Gear style manner. Plenty of name checks for Evans, who very kindly donated the bicycles, plus a Gdn discount code should you be foolish enough to spunk away the best part of a grand on a road frame for your morning commute.

Finished with road racing, and before I even had the chance to de-cleat, and it was straight into an incredibly clumsy feature on fixies. I’m probably not the target audience for the pod, but single gear bicycles were given the stereotype treatment of:

trendy East End arty types.


I’m neither trendy, East End in origin or indeed artistic. But yeah, I ride a fixie. Some of the time.

Chris Hoy was the main draw in which to hang the whole podcast upon. A brief blink and you’ll miss it interview, with the Sir of the bicycling track not exactly giving anything new away. Ask a silly question, etc.

For a national newspaper international content provider, The Gdn was back on safe ground with a highly North London centric Gdn media luvvies feel to the half hour. Road tests were undertaken along the Caledonian Road, and even the weekend away feature in Scotland started off in Euston.

Hopefully the first half hour of the Gdn pod is just an experiment in what can be achieved with the medium. The marriage of audio and bicycling should provide the perfect opportunity to escape for half an hour, and to celebrate a mode of transport that captures the same level of dedication as radio itself.

Of course you could also listen to the original and the best.


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