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Monday, November 29, 2021

Along for the Ride with David O’Doherty, review: middle-aged men, Lycra and chitchat

During the pandemic, my husband became a cyclist. It started small: bike rides to the park with the kids. Then, the purchase of a more expensive bike. Now we’ve reached the stage at which he thinks padded Lycra leggings are a perfectly acceptable alternative to trousers. If your spouse expresses a casual interest in cycling, do bear the above in mind. It’s a slippery slope.

Along for the Ride with David O’Doherty (Channel 4) also featured middle-aged men on bikes. O’Doherty, a genial comedian, embarks upon a different trip each week, in the company of a minor celebrity. In this case it was fellow comic Richard Ayoade, the pair of them travelling from Winchelsea in East Sussex to Dungeness in Kent.

Your enjoyment of this episode will have depended largely on whether you like Ayoade’s brand of deadpan, dorky humour, and the fact his whole act is one long audition for a Wes Anderson film (he was carefully coordinated here in varying shades of mustard). O’Doherty is more of an everyman, a keen cyclist but still puffing a bit when required to pedal quite fast.

It’s amiable stuff and watching them pootle along is quite a relaxing experience. Every so often, they’ll have a mildly amusing exchange. But you can’t escape the feeling that it’s a poor man’s version of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. 

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