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Parlez-vous Tyke

Anyone with the slightest interest in cycling will have heard of the Tour de France, but I wonder how many will know that the first three stages this year will be held in England. And where will two of these three stages will be held?

Yes, Yorkshire…..but I guess the blog title gave that away 😉

Every year T and I are glued to the TV, watching the race filmed from the motorbikes and helicopters and drinking in the amazing scenery, this year we’d planned to stop at my mum’s and see it all in the flesh, but it doesn’t look like that will happen now.

As I mentioned in an earlier post mum’s house went on the market in April, and sold within a couple of days. Although contracts have yet to be signed, if everything goes to plan, I don’t envisage still owning the house in July when the race takes place.

Stage 1, July 5th, After leaving Leeds and travelling through some of Yorkshires’s magnificent scenery, there will be a sprint finish into Harrogate. I can imagine the whole town will be bubbling over with Tour fever as the riders descend on the town, especially as Harrogate is home town to the mother of Mark Cavendish.

Stage 2, July 6th The riders leave York en route for Sheffield. Some 17 miles after leaving York, they will pass through Knaresborough, then a mile uphill into Starbeck and a couple of hundred yards from my mums house.

All the information about the two Yorkshire stages, plus the stage 3, Cambridge to London, can be read here

Tour fever has also gripped Knaresborough. Those of you who read my blog will know we’ve spent quite a lot of time in this old market town over the last few months. I wrote about the Knaresborough windows, or Trompe l’oeil to give them their proper title in an earlier post.


A new window has appeared depicting Beryl Burton and Brian Robinson, two cycling greats from Yorkshire.


Theres a commemorative section of drystone wall.


and some carved wooden sheep.


There are yellow flags, union flags and French flags flying from almost every building.


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and yellow bikes everywhere.


The countdown, this photo was taken on 6th May, so with my reckoning it will say 50 today.

I love the knitted bunting jumpers. Harrogate Borough Council had put a request out for knitters to help them with their bunting a few months ago, and had added the knitting pattern here.

It appears everyone wanted to have a go as they now have over 23,000 😮

We may have a couple more visits to mum’s house, before the sale is completed so I’ll try and get into Harrogate next time for photos of the bunting there.



14 thoughts on “Parlez-vous Tyke

  1. Hope you get a good view,,, strange how it is tour de France… Here in the New Forest we have a load of complaints about cycle race to be held on the local roads.. Very sad these people…. 😉

    • Hi Gerry,
      How are you, hope you’re still recovering well.
      I think the only view we’ll get is on our TV 😦
      There are some moaners in Yorkshire too, mainly because the roads will be closed to traffic. I agree, very sad folk.

      • Hi Vicky, yes I am progressing well, thanks for asking. As for these moaners most are wealhty people with nothing but time on their hands… 😉

  2. i did not know that the Tour de France is taking place in England, in part. How cool is that. you have captured the excitement well. all those yellow bicycles! 🙂

    • It started in England in 2007 too, but London to Canterbury, this year is the first time it’s been in the North.
      The bikes started appearing a couple of months ago, and each time we’ve visited there are more and more, I’ve only captured a fraction of them.

  3. Hi Vicky,

    I knew the tour was coming to the UK and indeed relatively local to me too but I wasn’t aware of the level of preparations done by those towns on the route. Pictures are great 🙂

    I’m surprised the yellow cycles are still there though, around here they’d have been removed, stripped and sold on ebay by now! 😉

    • If I had time on my next trip, I’d like to drive around the route and capture photos all the towns and villages, I doubt I get to do it though 😦
      A lot of the cycles are high up on the buildings, but yes, it is nice to see there’s been no vandalising.
      After the event, they will be restored and shipped out to Africa.

  4. It wouldn’t be the same without the decorations, although as you say, some would prefer life to go on as usual. Decorations add to the anticipation and the atmosphere which contributes to any event. Imagine Christmas without the accoutrements… hmm I’ve done that – very sad indeed. I really love the pics, the yellow bikes are a stand out and I had to look twice at the carved wooden sheep. I had no idea the Tour de France occurred anywhere but France.

    • Hi ED,
      Funnily, I love the decor for fetes, events etc, but Christmas decorations just leave me cold. I’m a real bah humbug where those festivities are concerned, I think the constant pre Christmas hype just killed it for me.
      LOL, the Tour de France, but not in France, it does sound a bit odd 😀
      The bulk of the tour is in France, but each year they do incorporate neighbouring countries 🙂

      • I do [now] recall your aversion to festive decorations. For any decorations, there’s a desirable economy of scale both in quantity, quality and duration… sometimes enough is enough 🙂

  5. Oui, Je parle Tyke 🙂

    Excellent post Vicky. Quirky, interesting, good piccies and some fascinating info. Never heard of either cyclist but wasn’t Burton impressive. A somewhat curtailed life though. Shame that. I hope someone has invited Robinson to a VIP seat somewhere during Tour de Yorkshire.

    I like the pic of the bike with the boats, the Nidd and the bridge in too. Very nice.

    • Thank you 🙂

      I’d heard of Beryl Burton, but probably because of the nearby cycle track.
      I think reading THIS Brian Robinson is still very active in cycling, though I’d not heard of him either.

  6. Hi Vicky! I was just whizzing down my Reader looking for someone and I spotted your name. I’ve wondered how things were going a couple of times but never ‘got off my backside’ to ask. So- how’s things? Did you enjoy the TDF? I’m not usually a fan but I was whooping and cheering at the TV screen. 🙂

    • Hi Jo, lovely to hear from you.
      I’ve been in a bit of a rut recently, I really need to get off my backside and start blogging again.
      We watched the TdF on TV at home, me mostly with a big lump in my throat seeing all the old familiar places I remember from my childhood.
      We had a TdF party with nibbles and drinks, joined by Deb and her boyfriend.
      I had a big Yorkshire flag flying outside, and decorated indoors with flags and the knitted bunting I’d made.


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