Book Of The Week: Gironimo! Riding The Very Terrible 1914 Tour Of Italy

Ep 1-5/5

Monday 12 May to Friday 16 May

9.45am-10.00am

BBC RADIO 4

British travel writer and the author of the bestselling 'French Revolutions', Tim Moore now sets his sights on Italy by cycling the course of the 1914 Giro d'Italia on a mainly wooden bike that he built himself.

It is 12 years since Tim slogged around the route of the Tour de France, and, distraught by 'Horrid Lance' and co. despoiling the heroic image of cycling, he decides it's time to reacquaint his feet with cleats and show these soft modern-day cyclists what a real challenge is.

A brief internet search later, he discovers the 1914 Giro d'Italia, the hardest bike race in history. Eighty-one riders started and only eight finished, after enduring cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails and even the loss of an eye by one competitor.

Undeterred, Tim sets off to cycle all 3,162km of it. For authenticity, he decides to do it on a 100-year-old bike, which, unburdened by relevant experience, he opts to build himself. Fuelled by Chianti, wearing period leather goggles, a woollen jersey, and with an account of the 1914 Giro as his trusty companion, Tim sets off to tell the story of this historic race, as well as the travails of a middle-aged man cycling up a lot of large mountains on a mainly wooden bicycle.

Written by Tim Moore, abridged by Libby Spurrier.

Read by/ TBC, Producer/ Joanna Green for A Pier Production

BBC Radio 4 Publicity