Clare Balding swaps horses for bikes in new BBC Series
BBC presenter seeks to recreate cycling journeys of the 40s and 50s

She may be best known for presenting events such as Royal Ascot and the Grand National – her father was a top racehorse trainer, after all – but sports commentator Clare Balding is swapping four legs for two wheels as part of the BBC’s new outdoor season.

In a six-part series to be shown on BBC Four called Britain by Bike, Balding will aim to recreate the travels of cycling guidebook writer Harold Briercliffe and discover just how much remains of the idyllic routes he described in the 1940s and 1950s.

It’s not the only programme in the series that is devoted to the bicycle. In another, called Ride Of My Life - The Story Of The Bicycle, author and photographer Rob Penn, who once spent three years riding 24,000 miles around the world, puts together the bike of his dreams.

As yet, there are no details of transmission dates for either show.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


Karbon Kev [685 posts] 5 years ago

oh my god this bloody masculine woman is such a bad presenter at the best of times, and now she's let loose on a bike to further tarnish the cyclist's reputation. Heaven help us ...

nick_rearden [433 posts] 5 years ago

WHAT! Clare Balding is brilliant and lovely. Warm and human but beautifully ironic in the most Jane Austinish way with pompous arses. If this show is anything like the Radio 4 walking show, she will connect in just the way cycling needs. To be fair, I personally would prefer to look at Lauren Laverne and admire her sophisticated Metropolitan wit but, honestly, who would you rather have on your bike ride? Kick your arse on the big hills and then get the drinks in.

That was probably one too many arses for one post but there you go.

simonmb [353 posts] 5 years ago

Sounds like a great show, and CB will do it well. Can't wait!

Zaskar [133 posts] 5 years ago

While some people may shake their heads...

It is exacly what needs doing-Give Daily Mail readers a person they look up to and to present a show in what they hate-cycling!

Maybe it will stop some of their moans about cycling.

(Can't stand her myself-guilty as charged)


handlebarcam [543 posts] 5 years ago

The second epsiode, now on iPlayer, had some good British bike industry history, and an interview with Barry Hoban, both in the second half of the programme. Watching it though, I couldn't help being repeatedly struck by the thought that Eddie Izzard has really let himself go. Then I remembered it was actually being presented by the famous jockey-dentisty critic, Clare Balding.