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.