• Comedian and keen cyclist, David O’Doherty. (Wickens Media)Source: Wickens Media
Irish comedian and cycling enthusiast David O’Doherty is making all his bike holiday dreams come true, and we’re invited along for the ride.
Desanka Vukelich

1 Jul 2022 - 4:41 PM  UPDATED 8 Jul 2022 - 6:06 PM

David O’Doherty promised himself that post “pando” he would get back on his bike. He also harboured a fantasy – to take off on an overnight cycling trip with a wish-list of celebrity guests: people he gets a kick out of. Now, that wish has come true.

If you’ve never seen David O’Doherty perform live, the scruffy cap-wearing Irishman hits the stage with a keyboard on his lap. Side-splitting hilarity ensues. The man who’s made a living from his ability to conjure humour from words set to chords, pours just as much vitality and dedication into cycling.

In each episode, David braves the multi-tasking involved in chatting while riding, getting to know each of his new buddies. We’ll join him with actor and comedian Richard Ayoade (who we know and love from Travel Man and Question Team) in the barren landscape of Dungeness in Kent, artist Grayson Perry in the Welsh Brecon Beacons, comedian Mel Giedroyc along the ancient Northumberland coast and actor and comedian Joe Wilkinson on the rural Suffolk coast. 

Along for the Ride is basically an interview show on wheels. It’s not often such a show takes place outside a studio. The outdoor location makes it not only refreshing, but also energising – we’re enjoying the carefree fun by proxy.

David’s sole aim (other than to find the overnight accommodation without GPS) is to have fun and good conversation, making him a convivial host. The chat bounces around organically. It’s often led by the riders’ surroundings:

  • hilly terrain = hard riding = humorous complaining
  • who or what they almost or actually run into, e.g. to quote David, “I’ve got nettles in my face!” and
  • the personality of the guest, e.g. Richard Ayoade talks a lot about death, and reveals that when he thinks about glamping, he pictures himself “wedged in between two glitter balls”.

While maintaining impressive chat-and-ride, David and his guests discover their own backyard, the island of windswept beauty that is the UK. They banter, and talk about local history, cycling habits, and get personal, too. Quaint villages play host to pitstops. Says Richard: “I’ll talk about my childhood after the cake.”

After hearing the riders extol the benefits of cycling, both physical and mental, you’ll want to jump straight on your bike and cruise round your own neighbourhood. Or at the very least, dust off the stationary bike long forgotten in the corner of your lounge room.

When David O’Doherty performed at the Comedy All Stars show on opening night of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, he declared his desire to make us feel “truly alive”. He makes that happen in this delightful show, too. Get on ya bike, you’ll be glad you did. 

Along for the Ride with David O’Doherty is now streaming at SBS On Demand.


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