|A press photo of Team Sky checking out the cobbles in Haworth, prior to the start|
After the most incredible build up....it is almost here. Le grand depart, le Tour in Yorkshire....... it begins the day after tomorrow. .
Having organised hospital check ups to coincide with the Tour de France being in Yorkshire ( another “all clear”, by the way ), I have been delighted to see the preparations for this amazing event.
|It's not just Kirklees, of course, but each council area that le Tour goes through has done its own thing.....this was on paving stones in Holmfirth|
Estimates vary as to how many people will be in the Calder Valley on Sunday, when stage 2 of the Tour, from York, to Sheffield, will come through Hebden Bridge, on its way to Cragg Vale ( the longest, not the steepest, continuous incline in England), into Huddersfield, south through Holmfirth, across the majestic Holme Moss and into Sheffield.
|Again...not my photo, this is courtesy of a friend, Gill, showing the pop up French farm that has been set up in front of Huddersfield station|
|The top of Holme Moss...this will sort them out. No camping is allowed on the sides of the road, no camper van parking either. I dont think that would go down well in France....well, it would just be ignored.|
Yesterday someone “reliably” informed me that 250,000 people would be in the Calder valley. Today someone told me it was more likely to be 180,000. Hebden Bridge is apparently expecting 30,000.
( There were 10,000 here for the Easter Monday duck race ( don’t ask)......and that was just about grid lock )
|The canal basin in Hebden Bridge|
Windows are decorated, bunting ...and world record lengths of the stuff, has been strung everywhere. Yellow bikes are attached to lamp posts, telegraph poles, cranes, sides of houses...you name it, there’ll be a yellow bike there.
|This decorated telegraph pole is just outside Calderdale Royal Hospital|
|Knitted & crocheted coverings in Holmfirth|
|Sid's cafe, Holmfirth..... Last of the Summer Wine fame, suitably decked out.|
|Another last of the Summer Wine image....|
People are smiling, people are excited, people who know nothing about bike races are learning lots of French words, like peleton and boudin.
|Seen in a children's clothes shop in Hebden Bridge|
There are those who moan....about road closures, about the commercialism of it all, the potential littering that will be left by the crowds, the huge crime rate they expect will come with all these “comers in” to God’s own county and I even saw a letter in a local paper today where someone was complaining about graffiti on the road, where fans paint riders’ names.
Well, as far as I’m, concerned, these moaning minnies should all just vacate Yorkshire until Monday and leave those of us that are thrilled about it all, to enjoy every minute.
|The King of the Mountains|
My own preparations have been to contribute to getting the Overgate Hospice shop suitably dressed for the occasion, visiting Holmfirth, so I could compare its displays with those in Hebden Bridge, taking quite a lot of photos, even for me ! and buying appropriate T shirts for wearing on the day.
|The Overgate Hospice shop display....... I personally wrapped that bike up with strips of yellow paper !|
I will of course, be blogging about the day the race came to town here in Hebden, but for now, I am just posting some images of us in Yorkshire getting ready for it all. ( I will also be posting about le depart from Carcassonne in 2 weeks time....I am so spoiled, seeing it here in Yorkshire, and then again in southern France )
|No Wiggo in this year's tour, but the baptist Church in Hebden Bridge have used his image to get their message across|
|I dont suppose it's a Banksy.....but it's very Hebden Bridge.|
|Not sure ift its got anything to do with le Tour, but as Hebden Bridge Arts festival coincides with le Tour...the town is decorated anyway.|
|Window displays and reflections..... a Yorkshire town looking great....good old Hebden Bridge|
|I love this..... millstone grit, and bunting, Hebden Bridge|
|This is in our living room window....it's yellow on the outside.|
|and this is my favourite.... The nappy shop in Hebden Bridge...... green and environmentally friendly, of course, welcomes Le Tour.|