I am ashamed to say that, although
I have been around the world,
I have never been this far north in the UK
and the reason I have come here now is to see
a bike race.
Not just any bike race of course but THE bike race.
Mr T and I have been following the Tour De France
for over 20 years ever since we literally
came across it whilst on holiday
We waited with other delayed tourists and their
children as well as a whole village
of locals and watched in fascination as this caravan
of strange carnival like vehicles went past throwing
everything from hats to sweets and tubes of chestnut puree at us.
A while later along came this pack of cyclists with hardly
an inch between them, covering every inch of the road
and with a few seconds they had gone. That didn't matter though
as by then we were all so excited
that we were totally hooked and
not just on Le Tour but on cycling.
We have spent the last 20 years following the Tour of Britain,
City centre cycling and of course the Olympic road race in Surrey,
so when we found out The Tour De France was starting in UK
there was no way we were going to miss it.
So off to Harrogate we went.
One of the first thing we saw was the infamous knitted bunting
which was everywhere.
And yellow bikes----everywhere.
They must have used gallons of yellow paint.
Wonderful works of art made out of
French coffee vans
and miles of trucks.
The organisation is amazing with TV companies from all over
world and large TV screens everywhere.
The graphics on the control centre are incredible.
And the welcome has been out of this world.
So we were all set for the arrival of the cyclist.
Along with hundreds of thousands of others
from near and far.
The couple standing next to us in their cycling gear
were from New Zealand.
And as quick as a flash there was Mark Cavendish
(in the pale blue and red helmet)
flying past 100 metres before he unfortunately crashed.
They were followed by dozens of cars carrying spare bikes.
And the people we had spent all day chatting to
wandered off saying what a wonderful time it had been.
Time for a Fish and Chip supper before watching the highlights
on the TV.
So on to Day 2 when the race just skirted Harrogate
and the crowds were out in force again.
Some even brought along their sofas for a comfortable wait.
Not quite so fast this time as it was near the start
of the race so much better photos.
The Yellow Jersey for one day only.
The next stop for the Tour is France,
Next stop for us is Northumberland so
even further North.