Category Archives: podcast

Cycling Podcasts, 2017 Edition

So, Oomloop Het Newsbladt is up this weekend. Is it road season yet?

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’ve got a long-ish commute, and, while being in New England means that summer days are beautiful and almost endless, winter evenings are cold, damp, and almost endless, too, so I spend a lot of time in the basement on the trainer watching Zwift go by and pretending I’m actually fit.

Being an American, road bike racing isn’t something that was easy to come by when I was a kid in the ’80s. It was on the radar, since Greg “LeMan” LeMonde was wrecking stuff in Europe, and it’s pretty easy to get on the American news cycle by going and doing anything better than Frenchmen. My first real exposure to cycling was during Armstrong’s post-cancer run and the 7 Tours de France which have been stricken from the history.

Podcasts have played a huge part in my appreciation of Pro Cycling – they’ve filled in the appreciation for the non-Grand-Tour races, non-American teams, and the sport in general. Cillian Kelly deserves a special shout for filling the history gap.

Podcasting about pro bike races is pretty darn effective in a way that it’s not for other sports. For other sports, it’s tough to discern between similar plays if you haven’t seen them – a double play can be turned dozens of different ways, but to really capture each one requires hundreds of words. Most sports commentary is best done with video. Pictures of cycling, though, are pretty similar (unless it’s wrecks).

With a bike race, however, much of the action is actually hidden from the video. I gladly watch hours of shots of the peleton flying past countryside around the world; but it’s tough to pick out How The Race Was Won ™ over a multi-hour race. Different people see different things; and there’s 180 different stories – racers with different schedules, different goals, different skills; any one of whom can be the key to a given race.

Which is why cycling podcasts are the absolute bomb-diggity. The ones I’ll list here have a couple of common threads. Generally, the ones I like also come from people whose writing I also really like – good writers and good speakers. I think all of the ones I’m listing here are group podcasts – see previous paragraph about different people seeing different things. And finally, all of the ones I like are produced by cyclists themselves. Cycling is unique in that it’s much easier to relate to – get out and ride a bike. As soon as you see someone else riding, try to catch them, and it’s a race. That’s kind of reductionist, i know, but when was the last time most of the folks watching the NFL pulled together a pickup game?

So, kind of in order, here’s my six (6) recommendations for cycling podcasts to follow.

  • The Cycling Podcast: Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie, Daniel Friebe, and Orla Chennaoui are all fixtures in the British cycling press. Weekly show, monthly show focusing on women’s cycling, and a “Friends of the Podcast” program which gets you 11 extra episodes (in depth reporting) for about $12/year. Daily shows from the Grand Tours. TCP strikes a great balance between on-the-ground reporting, personalities, and direct relationships to the current pro-riders. They’re a little Sky-heavy, but, eh?
  • The Recon Ride: Dane Cash and Cosmo Catalano (Who I’ve plugged twice already this post) have been doing a pre-Pro Tour race podcast for about a year. They got picked up by CyclingNews this spring. Solid format – race review, team review, and predictions; my only gripe is that they don’t do post-race stuff.
  • The Slow Ride Podcast: This one is a new one for me. I picked them up after US Cyclocross Nationals in Hartford this year thanks to their capturing Jeremy Hyde’s deraileur failure. Only a couple episodes in, but they’ve got the chemistry/rider criteria down really well.
  • The Velocast: The first podcast I paid money for, and haven’t regretted a dime. Scott and John are cranky old Scotsmen. Occasionally get on the ground, but fill the time well. Daily Grand Tour shows, weekly shows otherwise, and an amazing “This Week In Cycling History” with Cillian Kelly.
  • Velonews: Velonews is probably the best US magazine covering bike racing; the crew shines in the podcast. Weekly. They’ve also got a good training/racing bit that comes out weekly. I really hope the magazine can hang on.
  • The Paceline: This podcast doesn’t have a whole lot of pro race content, but I mention it because Elden Nelson (now a fixture on RKP) and Patrick Brady have entertained me with their writing for years, and the podcast has an occasional nugget.

And, while it doesn’t count as a podcast, I’ll recommend GCN as a great source of trainer videos, race reports, and bike culture.

Pshew. Blogging is hard. What did I miss?

Podcast #3 – Howl, by Allen Ginsberg

Podcast #3.

Disclaimer: Rated “R” – very explicit language, imagery, and content.

NPR, way back a week ago Friday (7 Oct), let drop that it was 50 years ago that “Howl” was first read by Allen Ginsberg. Me, being a huge Mike Meyers fan, said “Huh. I’ve never read/heard the poem in its entirety.”

So I skedaddled down to the library, paid my fines, and skedaddled home with a big ragged volume of Ginsberg’s collected works.

For the record, the actual reading went like this:

part 1. Really kind of don’t get it. kind of wonder if I really want to post it. Decide to go ahead for historical value, given I record a

disclaimer.

Last bits.

The raw files sat on my desktop for a couple of days. Edited it tonight.

Here’s what I used:

Amadeus II – Picked it up when I got my iBook so I could record some books for the Boy (he was still the Baby then) before I went overseas for the war. Works great. Not extremely fancy, but it works like a champ. And it supports Ogg Vorbis, whatever the heck that is. I usually just record straight to MP3.

Garage Band – I’ll just go ahead here and say how cool is this bit of software. Works like a champ. I’ve barely scratched the surface. I also won’t dwell on exactly how long it took me to figure out that I could just drag the clips into the window to add them as tracks. Uh, no. We won’t dwell on that.

iTunes – Garage Band exports to iTunes. iTunes exports to MP3. Amadeus downsamples to make the file manageable.

Hardware – old iBook G3 800 MHz. Cheap ($5) microphone from the Navy Exchange. Griffin iMic. Oh, and I turned off the dehumidifier.

Apologies for podcast 2 – listened to it, and it’s bleh. I’m blaming doing too many things at once on the computer – bogging down bandwidth and processing. ODEO runs a web-based recording studio. My guess is that between getting new podcasts off the web, moving my music library to a backup drive, e-mail, and trying to record, something got lost. But, it’s a datapoint for the developers. The recording service is still in Beta.

Oh, and if anyone wants to sponsor a T1 line and a new PowerBook, feel free.

Podcast

Hey, everyone – Runmystic’s gone completely last week!

Odeo, which does for podcasts what Bloglines does for blogs is alpha testing their in-browser recording studio. Cool application, but I couldn’t get it to work without an annoying clicking noise. Drat.

In any case, the “channel” is over here, I’ll drop lines here when content is added there.

Now, off to sleep where I would have been 45 minutes ago if it weren’t for the darned new cool thing.