There is now less than a month before the Tour de France Yorkshire GD Day (Grand Départ) and as a Frenchman living in Yorkshire I have a slight interest in this matter. And I don’t know about you but lately I’ve noticed there was some sort of a craze around Yorkshire for the “Grande Boucle”. So I thought I would collect the most impressive, sometimes bizarre or even plain bonkers “Tour de Yorkshire” paraphernalia I could find on the internet.
Fields of Visions
The Tour in Yorkshire won’t be just about two days of cycling glory. A festival full of art and cultural events is currently under way and is lasting for 100 days. To me out of all the events, I think the most impressive and certainly visual, is the “Fields of Visions”. It’s a series of landscape art installations which will be displayed along the route in the South Pennines.
Like the South Pennines Walk Cycle Ride Festival, this project is led by Pennine Prospects and was first thought of by local young farmers from the Worth Valley. Artists have now been commissioned and whole communities will be involved to create and put together these large scale installations visible from the sky. And millions of people will see them while watching the Tour on their telly! More info on Pennine Prospects website.
Going Crazy for Le Tour
It’s now been reported that more than 20,000 people have volunteered to help during the Yorkshire stages while only 10,000 where originally expected. But will that be enough to help and guide the 2 to 3 (maybe more!) million visitors expected to come to Yorkshire during the two days? And what about safety? Now we all know how narrow the roads are on the moors of Yorkshire and there are already concerns on how to handle this crowd safely along the route. But no matter what, the most beautiful and hardest cycling spots will be on the moors and they are bound to attract the many. Holme Moss Pass is one of them and 60,000 people are expected to line it up during the second stage in Yorkshire. And a lot of these people will probably just walk there. So that’s why the local Holme Valley Mountain Search and Rescue team will be on hand to help if an accident happens.
As you can imagine it will be very difficult for this 50 crew member team to overview such a big event but they are well prepared no matter what the weather may bring them! Read my post about local Search & Rescue Teams in Yorkshire, to know more about their activities.
However that Tour fever is probably nothing compared to one eccentric Yorkshireman. When it comes to showing off for Le Tour, I don’t think you can do better than Bank View Cafe owner Pete Sparks who painted his place, an already famous cycling welcoming spot, in the colours of the King of the Mountains jersey, red and white. His café located in Langsett near Sheffield is on the route and will certainly be a topic of all talks in the local area for a long time to come.
For more pictures, check the café Facebook page.
HUMORISTIC Tour de France Yorkshire
There is nothing better than a good laugh and I found it great that people here don’t take the whole thing too seriously. Below is a collection of some illustrations and pictures by Yorkshire artists.
Michelle Campbell is a local artist who is currently exhibiting in Brighouse. I found out about her work on Twitter (as many of the things I find these days) and I just loved it. Her rendition of both stage maps are superb! And look at Monsieur Citron, he is just great on his bike! If like me you like her work, you can find more on her website or her blog.
If you are looking for a vintage style illustration, Alex Tomlinson‘s “franglish” version of a Yorkshireman on his bike is what you need. This “Champion” drinking his tea while cycling is definitely a master of all the Dales! And I can imagine on the 5th and 6th July everyone cheering the cyclists in their Yorkshire accent with that good old saying “Allons-y up!”. You can catch up with his work on his website.
Finally this version of the Tour de France 1944 has got to come from Yorkshire Humour! It’s unlikely though this would have ever happened since no Tour was organised during the war. But again, you shouldn’t take the whole thing too seriously.
And after all, Welcome to Yorkshire got the Tour thanks partly to their clever humoristic lobbying of the French judging panel and Tour fans with ads such as the one on the right which roughly translates as “Yorkshire folk like bikes, and their rider’s calf muscles”. And they said it was all about the beautiful landscapes, now you know the truth, Yorkshire was too sexy compared to the other candidates!
And before you go, have a good laugh watching this video from camponholmemoss.co.uk, “A few things you need to know”. Sound advice from a Yorkshire man to all athletes who don’t know anything about the region and its inhabitants: