When pro cyclist Mitch Docker announced his retirement I was in the middle of producing Christian Meier’s story, much of the background for which I got from Mitch’s podcast, Life in the Peloton. So it got me thinking about Life in the Peloton. Is it a business for Mitch? How did he start this? What makes him tick? Where might it go after he retires? Mitch is clearly a smart, talented and hard-working guy, so why not document his story at this point in his journey rather than 10 years from now? Well … we’ll probably do both.
Maybe I’m shoe-horning this into a theme where it doesn’t belong, but here’s my justification: Mitch Docker’s Life in the Peloton is arguably the best and most well-known cycling podcast out there of its kind. He’s flipped the traditional model of journalism on its head and has created something truly unique. How many other actively competing pro athletes do this kind of thing? Not only that – he’s stuck with it consistently for five years now and keeps making it better.
For those not familiar, Life in the Peloton is Mitch’s way of telling the world quite simply what the life of a professional cyclist is like, translated in a way that everyone can understand. It’s not Mitch’s monologue and self-indulgent hour on air. Quite the opposite. In this day and age of social media where quick likes and shares serve as a self-promotional tool, Mitch has opted to tell other people’s stories with long-form audio, in a way that also acts like a mirror into his life.
He has a unique place in the sport to be able to do this, but also has the skillset as an interviewer and conversationalist, mastery of the podcast medium, and a relatable nature that documents the sport like we haven’t experienced before.
Thank you to Malcolm Bloedel for producing this episode and Ashley de Neef for composing the music.