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BBC Radio 4 series explores history of the bicycle

Ten 15-minute shows over next fortnight trace history of pedal power from origins to present day

BBC Radio 4 has today launched a two-week, ten part series called On Your Bike, presented by Martin Ellis and addressing the history of the bicycle chronologically in 15-minute episodes.

All episodes air at 1545 – a handy time to take a quarter of an hour out of the day for to listen in with a cup of tea and spot of tiffin, if you ask us, and if you missed today’s episode, BBC says it will be up ‘soon’ on the iPlayer.

Tomorrow’s Episode 2 looks at “Hobby Horses, velocipedes and penny farthings, the early evolution of the bicycle, and subsequent episodes this week address how “The development of the safety bicycle allows everyone to take to the road,” (Wednesday), “Cycling, suffragettes and socialism, political pioneers of the open road,” (Thursday) and “The new craze for cycling inspires artists, musicians, writers, sportsmen and gamblers.”

The series resumes next Monday, again at 1545, with Episode 6 which relates how “The bicycle goes to war as thousands sign up to join cyclist battalions in 1914,” and the remaining episodes will be aired at the same time throughout the rest of the week, although no specific details are available as yet.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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