The Outspoken Cyclist – 07/06/2013

The U.S. is in the midst of Independence Day weekend, where we shoot off fireworks, char animal flesh, and consume alcohol to celebrate giving ole King George the boot a couple hundred years ago. Don’t forget to squeeze a bike ride in there somewhere, because nothing says “Liberty!” like self-propulsion.

This being July, there’s a little bicycle race going on in France right now. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Our first guest is author Graeme Fife, arguably one of the persons best-versed in Tour de France history. His book, Tour De France: The History, the Legend, the Riders was originally released in 1999, and has been subsequently updated to include post-’99 editions of the Le Grande Boucle. Graeme joins Diane in the first half of today’s show to talk about the Tour and his approach to writing about it.

After a break and the news, Diane welcomes Scott Hembree, a track cycling champion in his own right, and father of BMX phenom Cyrus Hembree, who at 5-1/2 became the Arizona state champ, and the #2 natinoally-ranked rider in his age group. For Scott, Cyrus’ success as a racer is secondary to his overall development and his enjoyment of cycling.

And to wrap up the hour, we have our annual check-in with Chuck Harmon, Rachel Apple, and the students of the Bronx Lab School in New York City. Each summer, Chuck and Rachel lead a group of teenagers on a week-long, 300-mile bike tour in Ohio, visiting sites along the Underground Railroad. Listen as these “city kids” talk about exploring a rural environment, and testing their limits, both physically and mentally.

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