Friday, 4 July 2014

Le Grand Depart.

Well folks, it is almost here.   Friend W had this brilliant idea that today the two of us would drive through Wensleydale,  Bishop Dale and Wharfedale to Skipton, following the Tour de France route in reverse.

What we had not anticipated was that every cyclist in the North of England would be out today, presumably following the route.   Between here and Skipton we met about a thousand cyclists.   This is no exaggeration - I counted 100 in the space of about three minutes and they just kept coming.   Every village has its yellow bunting out, every spare field along the roadside is beginning to fill up with camper vans, tents, burger bars, coffee bars and the like.   There is already a carnival atmosphere everywhere - I just hope the weather is better for them tomorrow as it was a wet day today.

We enjoyed our day out - coffee at Kilnsey Trout Farm, where somebody had rigged up a bicycle and a mini-water-wheel which kept the wheels on the bike moving by means of a long chain.  Lunch in a nice little cafe down one of the alleys in Skipton (Scampi, chips and salad) and then back along the same route but with only a few cyclists this time.   So thank-you W for thinking of the idea - a jolly good one; at least I can imagine where the cyclists are going when they do it for real tomorrow.

You will see that I have more or less got my Blog List back on to the page.   It has taken me ages and I think I have got most of you.   Anybody I have missed I should be able to pick up when they next leave a comment.




12 comments:

angryparsnip said...

I think friend W had a brilliant idea. That way you could see all the festivities.

Hope you have sunny weather and rainy weather for me.

cheers, parsnip

psobrien said...

I am so envious of your closeness to the Tour de France. And I understand the frustration you and your neighbors must be feeling. That's a lot of cyclists. My husband and I are setting our alarm for 3:00 am tomorrow to watch the live coverage on television at a friend's house. My eyes will be floating in coffee by the time it's over. I second the request from angry parsnip about the rain.
Sandy O' in Southern Arizona @ myyellowswing.com

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

We have friends in Essex with the tour going right past their door. We wondered what time we would have to visit if we wanted to see the race, but we would have had to be there by 7am and not allowed out again until 5pm! so we thought it best to stay at home and see if we can spot them on TV!
Lots on TV tonight it all looks very exciting

Heather said...

I hope it's not too hot tomorrow for the cyclists. Our town carnival takes place tomorrow and the forecast is not good for our area. Maybe it will be your turn for a fine day. How ingenious that little water wheel is - everyone seems to have entered into the spirit of the occasion and I'm pleased that you and your friend managed to see some of the preparations.

Penny said...

We have the tour down under going past here later in the year, the cyclists are all out and about both before and after, some times they are quite dangerous on our windy roads. So glad you had the opportunity to see some of the festivities.

Hildred said...

What an exciting time to be along 'the route' whether it's beforehand or on the great day itself.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

OH! Like the water wheel bike.
I've seen quite a few pictures of Skipton on another blog I read. It's very quaint and cozy. And it has that neat canal with the canal boats.
Independence Day here today. Sunny and a beautiful stiff breeze from the outer bands of the hurricane that came up the coast.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

I understand having the Tour de France run through is great publicity for the area and everyone seems to be embracing it with enthusiasm but having seen a cycle race only once (whoosh - and they've gone) I hope the event itself doesn't turn out to be an anti-climax.

Gwil W said...

Hope the weather stays fine for those thousands of cyclists and everyone else up there in the Dales.

Jayview said...

Good to see, as I watch in Melbourne, Australia, that you all got a lovely day for Le Tour! The countryside looks glorious. Jean

Arija said...

What a pity I don't know which village you live near because I am watching the race right now (in the middle of the night) as it goes thug Yorkshire. Just to see the countryside. The day seems to be perfect and the country absolutely lovely in it's summer green and gold dress.

Thinking of you . . .

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your comments - stayed home and watched it on TV!