A fans eye view, come rain or shine….
Stage 4 Lawless Wins and Handbells Ring
Today was all about Chris Lawless becoming the first British rider to win the Tour de Yorkshire. Far from Leeds, on a green hill near Halifax, it was also about ringing handbells – making as loud a racket as possible, with as many cyclings tops as possible pegged onto the dry stone wall behind me, as riders raced through Denholme en route to Haworth. Drivers in the motorcade shouted their astonishment “oy, did you see that bloke there?”, the TV helicopter positioned itself perfectly to capture the scene and bingo, it was all thwarted by the ad break! Anyway, here’s the race.
The day started towards the top of Delph Hill. When your panniers are full of handbells, they don’t half make a racket riding on cobbles! That’s Wainhouse Tower by the way; 275 feet high and originally intended as as a chimney for John Wainhouse’s dye works following the Smoke Abatement Act of 1870. It ended, however, unused by the dye works but as a controversial viewing platform in a dispute about privacy with neighbouring landowner Sir Henry Edwards. It is the tallest structure in Calderdale and the tallest folly in the world. If you like that, there loads more Yorkshire anecdotes in my book “Bells and Bikes”…..
Paul from Street Pastors has led a great campaign of “Jesus Loves Yorkshire” posters on churches along the race route. Here’s the Kings Centre in Halifax. His poster on the bridge over the road out of Halifax got a close up on ITV Cycling. Well done Paul.
At The Piece Hall, I caught up with Andrew Sykes, triple author of @CyclingEurope books and great blogger on WordPress. We’re modest so here’s a reflective shot as we surveyed the scene.
I took a wrong turn out of Halifax – my word its a tough climb to Queensbury. Tough with panniers full of bells and books. Just made it to Denholme in time to peg out my shirts.
Then here came the breakaway, to the sound of music.
Full of bravado I cycled to Oxenhope, had a pint at The Lamb Inn and thought Oxenhope Moor would be a good ride back. It was a good push too. You see arrows on a map; beware. Or maybe have the pint at the top.
Stage 3 Brid to Scarbados. Drier watching on TV
Tough conditions for the riders today. A rest day for me. Here’s my bike last time I went to Scarborough.
Stage 2 – Barnsley and How I Wore my Polka Dot Jumper to Bedale
It’s not every day you meet Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Race Director, outside Barnsley Town Hall.
The police outriders welcomed hi-vis.
My washing didn’t get dry but it did get photographed.
In the broomwagon.
Ringing handbells for the Womens Race in West Tanfield #wtdy
Sir Wiggo rang one bell at the Olympics. We rang 8 bells in Bedale for the finish of Stage 2.
When you look down from the church tower the race looks like this
If you plan your day properly you can meet fellow authors and TV heros. Bonjour Ned Boulting, ITV Cycling. Vive le Four Days of Yorkshire.
And bikes and bunting on fork lifts.
Stage 1 – Bishops and Bikes
A wet stage with Yorkshire warmth. Church towers on TV and the Cycling Bishop of Selby on the podium to present the leaders jerseys.
Bishop John, Bishop of Selby.