Kings of Cycling – The Grand Départ

Ooh la-la-la! What a great time to be involved in cycling in Leeds and Yorkshire. 5th July 2014 – The Tour de France – The Grand Départ – I never thought when I came to this city all those years ago I would witness something like this.

As soon as I knew the routes for both the Yorkshire stages I rounded up a few friends and we did both routes on consecutive weekends. Leeds to Harrogate route is the easiest of the two, more designed for speed, the York to Sheffield route is hard, a very hilly route but I have to say both show Gods Own Country at it’s best.

It’s great the way the general public have volunteered in the way the games makers did in the Olympics. They’re called ‘The Tour Makers’ this time round and we have a few regulars in the shop who will be manning the route etc.  Although I’m not sure about this toning down of words like ‘luv’, it took me a while to get used to six foot bruisers calling each other ‘luv’ but I’m kind of used to it now and I must admit it’s become part of my everyday vocabulary and something that is as Yorkshire as Otley Chevin, so I don’t really understand why it’s use is discouraged.
Another regular in the shop has customised an old VW Beetle and is taking it to Village Fêtes and stuff before the day itself. He’s   welded a yellow bike on the top of it and painted all the names of the teams on it plus a yellow jersey, I’m not too sure what the Grateful Dead and Seacroft Skins 1970 are all about though!

We were told the Olympics was all about legacy and we have an immediate legacy of The Grand Départ with the three day Yorkshire Festival of cycling which will begin in May 2015.

And if this is not enough excitement for one year, we then had a nice man from the council who bobbed into the shop and told us all about City Connect – The Cycle Superhighway from East Leeds to Bradford city centre. This is something else, I’ve seen similar in Holland and Germany but never in the UK. So for all of you who say they would cycle more but don’t feel safe on the roads, well this is problem solved, it’s a dedicated, segregated cycle lane of twenty three kilometres, so you’ve no excuse now!

On Yer Bike!  Constantin Manole 


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One Comment

  1. vincent Le Mare says:

    Viva le tour and Kings of Cycling!

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