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Pump and Circumstance

Sir Edward Elgar with bicycle

The great British composer Sir Edward Elgar was a passionate cyclist, and rode his Royal Sunbeam (which he called ‘Mr Phoebus') around the roads and lanes near his home in Great Malvern.

His bicycle rides provided him with great musical inspiration and thinking time. Cycling was also an activity that some of the fairer sex would part in, usually un-chaperoned.

BBC Radio 3's Andrew McGregor leaves his regular Saturday show 'CD Review in lycra' to lead English music expert Dr Kate Jackson in Elgar's wheel tracks. The pair begin at his birthplace in Great Malvern and cycle Elgar's usual routes discussing how cycling affected his most famous peices and his fellow cycling composers. McGregor talks with cycling historian Jim McGurn about what cycling would be like for Sir Edward at the turn of the century.

The programme airs on BBC Radio 3, tonight, Friday 11th January at 2040 (GMT).

Catch up on the programme here.

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