VV’s Ash, David, Emma and Dale select reading, watching and listening material for your entertainment
Emma Pooley’s Picks
Science Of Ultra
Fantastically informative, zero bullshit podcast by an excellent scientist, who questions other scientists & presents balanced useful analysis of available information on all things ultra running. It’s often very relevant to cycling as well. Listen here
Sweary, hilarious, often angry comedy ripping the sh1t out of politics and current affairs. With the best analogies in the world. Listen here.
Emma turbos with pod to ‘alleviate the suffocating tedium’
The Rider by Tim Krabbé
I read the English translation, original is in Dutch. Simply the best book about cycling I’ve ever read. Every road cyclist should read it. I even gave it to both my parents to try to explain bike racing to them.
Die Nordwand (The North Face)
Puts a cold ride in the rain into perspective! IMDB here
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Will never get old. Hilarious, distracting, and bizarrely relatable to everyday life. The other 4 books in the trilogy are also brilliant.
Colin Cotterill’s Dr Siri Series
Recommended by Ash (of Velo Vietnam). Interesting, funny, and remind me of happy weeks riding with VV last year on the VN- Laos gravel ride. Link here.
Every cyclist should watch this. If only for the grandma-as-cycling-coach scenes.
Half the Road
Every cyclist should also watch this, if they are even vaguely interested in pro road racing. It explains a lot …
David Lloyd’s picks
David, working from home
The Race Against Time by Edward Pickering
Like Ash, I like a mad genius, and Obree played up to this every inch of the way… eating jam off a spanner anyone? The book tells the tale of the battle between Boardman and his Lotus bike, heart rate monitor and GB team and Obree, the lone maverick who made his bike in his flat with parts salvaged from his washing machine. Video on Obree here.
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
Feels like the time is ripe, but then it always does. Goldacre takes aim at all manner of non-evidence based nonsense, while educating the reader in his cut to the chase, amusing style
. The only problem with reading this is it will be even harder to listen to the people you know who talk quackery. Also read his old blog here
Life in the Peloton
If you don’t want to be Mitch Docker’s (EF Education First) mate after listening to this, I’d be surprised. He chats to fellow pros in a beautifully easy going style – even Griepel flowed when chatting with him. No wonder The Cycling Podcast brought him into the fold, so you can now listen to his new shows on their feed; however, check out the back catalogue here.
Adam Buxton Podcast
Sundays used to be Adam and Joe. Now this is the best way to get a slice of Buxton as he interviews an eclectic range of guests with ramble chats covering everything from everyday nonsense to dealing with loss. Some favourite episodes include those with Louis Theroux, Dr Diana Fleischman, Chris Morris and Frank Skinner, whose anecdote about Mark E. Smith is pure gold. Listen.
Lanterne Rouge Youtube Channel
Quality pro race analysis and some pithy piss taking. Start with his analysis of one of my favourite victories of all time – Stannard out-riding and outwitting three Quickstep riders. Check th
e dog joins the peloton video to for some quality deadpanning. He’s probably quite Marmite, but I like it.
A Sunday in Hell
Classic film on a Classic – Paris-Roubaix. Watch here
Withnail and I
Couldn’t resist this one for a lockdown list. I hope none of you have run out of wine.
The most quotable film of all time? Yes.
Ashley Carruthers’ Picks
Dr Ashley, currently in Canberra, having a read
Read: The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brian
This is not a lycra novel but a hilarious and at the same time troubling literary experiment in which bicycles play a starring role. I particularly like the passages about how bicycles start to resemble their riders and vice versa.
Watch: The Flying Scotsman (2006)
I have a soft spot for mad geniuses. When they are also amazing riders like Graeme Obree, you have my interest.
Listen: The Cycling Podcast
These guys are knowledgeable and experienced but at the same time don’t take cycling too seriously. I’m particularly impressed with their knowledge of Australian snacks. Their excitement about gravel is also infectious (bad word choice?) They sound like the kind of people I’d like to ride with.
Read more from Ash here
Dale Nottingham’s reading list
Fallen Angel by William Fotheringham. In this fascinating biography of the original Campionissimo, Fausto Coppi is shown to be a man of many contradictions. His sublime talent and effortless grace on a bicycle belied a deep inner vulnerability. His epic rivalry with Gino Bartali played a hugely symbolic role in the political, religious, geographical and generational war being waged in post-war Italy during the 1940s. His subsequent and scandalous fall from grace for adultery with the “White Lady”, followed by an untimely death at just 40 years of age provide a suitably dramatic end to the story of arguably the most naturally gifted cyclist the world has ever seen.
Pedalare! Pedalare! by John Foot For those interested in how the story of Coppi fits into the broader picture of cycling in Italy in the 20th century.
Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal by Daniel Friebe. A captivating story of cycling’s greatest ever rider’s ruthless obsession with winning.
The Death of Marco Pantani by Matt Rendall. The tragic tale of Il Pirata, during cycling’s darkest dope-infected days.
Kelly by David Walsh. Sean Kelly was such a down-to-earth, grounded human being and a true hard man of cycling. Gruff, unapproachable with a prodigious work ethic, he is for me one of cycling true greats. Well written by David Walsh.
Tomorrow, we ride… by Jean Bobet. Penned by the less talented cyclist but more literary of the two brothers. A lighter read than the others in this list but charming and certainly with the best title.
What have we missed? Tell us in the comments below…
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