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Forest

Tour De France 2014

Unbelievably there's not a thread for this already.

Anyway went yesterday to watch Le Grand Depart in Leeds, great day out, proud to be from Leeds. The TV coverage has been excellent too, like an advert for Yorkshire.

Will post some pictures in a bit.
fartcatcher

Fantastic day. Brilliant weather. Great atmosphere. Both in Leeds and Harrogate. Ride up traffic free Harrogate Road with the unofficial peloton was tremendous. Too many hills on the way back though.

Took me over four hours to get up to Leeds Friday pm. About 1 in 3 cars had a bike carrier. I saw cyclists from far away places like Penzance, Crawley and Belgium on my travels in Harrogate.

Great to see 'Cav' painted on the roads as well, although unfortunately it didn't help him.
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Sir Bulldog Craggwood

It was superb! Yorkshire looked beautiful and the organisation seemed seemless. Very lucky with the weather too

Had a lot of fun in Ilkley with it going past me folks front door and enjoying the 'Hub' funfair, live music and pop-up cinema in the park

Local businesses, cafes, pubs etc had a great time of it
fartcatcher

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Spot the cyclist.I was standing on a wall near the 1k banner. Five minutes before the lead riders came past, a load of people turned up with stepladders and blocked the view. bastards.
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Forest

Where is that pub FC?
Heyho

I thought the coverage on ITV was excellent. Not your usual BBC 'lets drag someone out who knows f'all about the sport and listen to them waffle on' but a team who were knowledgable not just about the sport but also the area.

The coverage kept on breaking off to aerial views where the commentators gave you a history of the area. Really well done.

Actually wished I'd popped down to leeds to see it although the BMC team must have been staying near us and I saw their coach and bikes pass by me.
Dock

Re: Tour De France 2014

Forest wrote:
Unbelievably there's not a thread for this already.

Anyway went yesterday to watch Le Grand Depart in Leeds, great day out, proud to be from Leeds. The TV coverage has been excellent too, like an advert for Yorkshire.

Will post some pictures in a bit.


Kin' didn't look far for a thread did yer. It was only on the next page. Lazy twunt!

http://regdafishthinktank.com/about12027.html

Back on topic: A great day had by our family. Watched the riders and all the support vehicles and then over to Scot Hall playing fields for the fair (free bouncy castles etc. provided by Leeds City Council). Bit of lunch down at the Inkwell Arts Project (ex-Shoulder of Mutton pop shop), a pint at The Mustard Pot (£10.10 for a glass of wine and a pint of lager, WTF?) then back to watch it on the telly. A true spectacle and the planning, advertising, and logistics of it all left me seriously impressed. A great weekend for Yorkshire. Every man, woman, and child in the area I live in were totally up for this. Brill. It goes to show if you offer the public summat spectacular they grab it with both hands. Nuff Respect to Gary Verity. I'll have a £20 with anybody that he gets a Knighthood for all the work he has done on bringing this event to our doorsteps.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

As you all know on here I have a very specific conspiracy theory about Jimmy Savile faking his death.

The whole Tour De Yorkshire was, i hoped, an elaborate ruse to bring him out of hiding.

I didnt think he'd be able to resist all that cycling, Yorkshire Pride and large crowds with 2.5m frottage opportunities.

Indeed my plans for the West Yorkshire police to deputise me for the day as I combed the crowd for undead paedos with my own squad of SWAT sharpshooters like Lebel in The Day of The Jackal were sadly and surprisingly given VERY short-shrift by West Yorkshire Police
Dock



I'm organising bail for you as we speak.
Heyho

Sir Bulldog Craggwood wrote:
Indeed my plans for the West Yorkshire police to deputise me for the day as I combed the crowd for undead paedos with my own squad of SWAT sharpshooters like Lebel in The Day of The Jackal were sadly and surprisingly given VERY short-shrift by West Yorkshire Police


All additional Police resource has been taken up by looking for 100 odd files that appear to have gone missing at Westminster
fartcatcher

Not only was there a considerable police presence, but the Gendarmerie were out in Force as well.

Slightly annoying having †to listen to all the announcements in excitable French as well as English, but only to be expected i suppose.

Foz - the pub is the Coach and Horses on Parliament Street, but had been renamed the Cvndsh and Horses for the day. Ironically, he fell off almost outside it.

Hadn't been to Harrogate for 30 years. I'd forgotten how posh it was. All the locals really friendly and into it all though.

Far too much lycra around. Never been a fan. You just end up with a sweaty arse and fungal infections of the nether regions. So I've been told.

I'll stick to my 2008 vintage base layer and board shorts.
Late Doors

OK, We're using this thread are we?  

Got some piccies to follow when i can get round to it but this is a bit of indulgence about our weekend watching it

Day 1

Isn't it great when a plan comes together? And what a plan! Gary Verity must have been laughed at when he pitched his idea of Yorkshire hosting the tour de France and Leeds le grand depart. Not for one day but two, preposterous.

It was two Christmases ago when i heard and I bet there's hardly been a day since when I haven't thought about it. Councils, committees and officials started the logistics and it seemed everyone had bought into it straight away. Some more than others. When the route was announced and it transpired that not only was it coming through my town it was actually passing through the bottom of our road, passed the Rat, Star and Lockwood pubs within cheering distance my local the Shoulder of Mutton I was beside myself with excitement. "you doing owt for t'tour?" i asked John the landlord. " Am I hell" he said . "Why"  " Well it's  the biggest sporting event in the world, millions will be watching, its once in a lifetime and there will be thousands of people around Lockwood. It's the equivalents of Lockwood hosting the world cup" I told him. He looked, a few cogs creaked. "They'll all be thirsty, as well" I said. Bingo, the bandit dropped." Oh" he said, " I might. It'll be pissing down though" Welcome to Yorkshire i laughed.

Well eventually he twigged as the impact hit home to him, Huddersfield, Yorkshire and the whole country. Even the most cynical, and there are plenty of them in Yorkshire got ready and braced themselves.

"We've got to go to Leeds for the send off " i said to MrsD, so we did. The 07-15 transpennine rolled in and hallelujah they had replaced a few of the three carriage shuttles with huge intercity trains. Already busy the hundreds who got on at Huddersfield filled it completely and one stop later we were in Leeds with thousands of others milling in the station as excitement filled the air.

It was overcast and cool but the forecast for later was good. Already the area outside the town hall on the Headrow was packed and it was another three hours to the off. People were streaming up East parade and Park Row  as we made our way in the opposite direction back down and across, up Briggate and down Eastgate where the crowds were slightly easier. We pitched ourselves just behind a barrier after the roundabout. A single middle aged women from Cross gates kept us company and a bickering family  kept us amused as they argued about anything and complained about not getting any freebies.

By now the sky was clearing and the sun shone as the crowds slowly swelled. People were walking past behind us towards the overpass and beyond up to Pratts furniture shop. A pavement pizza appeared behind us and a bloke with cleaning equipment appeared declaring he is "on it" as he shared a joke about tax payers to the family next to us who he seemed to know.

Bang on time the sun blazed as first the caravan of hundreds of vehicles rolled past throwing bags into the crowd. Police bikes, sponsored cars, the French gendarmerie, vans and press vehicles, flashed, hooted and yelled past us. The initial wave of vehicles was a tad underwhelming. Most had expected more razzmatazz i think and there was a lull before the next wave of movement brought the riders themselves. Slightly ahead of schedule and just behind the motorbikes, all 180 of them. Supreme elite athletes at the top of their game looking primed and relaxed but a mass focus and concentration emitted from this colourful herd as it ambled past to the start proper at Harewood house where royalty awaited. It was, quite simply, thrilling. The team buses followed one by one round the corner towards us, the cranes and scaffold of what will become the Victoria Gate shopping centre  towered behind them with the leadened domes of the City behind them. Then they were gone, safely ushered out of the city on their way to Harrogate through lush dales and Yorkshire heritage. Miles of gruelling challenges lay beyond and it all started in Leeds.

We had a play booked for half two. A play about possibly the greatest athlete this country has ever known. A women from Morley called Beryl Burton. Hardly known beyond the cycling fraternity. Had she done a tenth of what she achieved in a spectacularly successful 25 years of cycling domination these days she would be a household name. An extraordinary women, you should read up on her.

So it'd be rude not to indulge in the finest the City had to offer the visitor so we did. A pint in the Wrens, a pint in the Duck n Drake and haddock n chips from Graveley's by the market or whatever it's called these days. Fantastic.

The play finished just in time for us to catch the finish of the stage on the big screen up Briggate. Gasps galore from the gazing crowd as Cavendish hit the deck and finished his tour in cruel fate. The tour has a habit of that and for a while sadness tarnished the day. I could tell his tour was over as soon as i saw him on the ground cradling his shoulder.

By the time the train reached Huddersfield the buzz had returned especially when greeted with the always spectacular sight of St Georges square outside the station looking more magnificent than usual. This time bathed in evening sunshine with thousands of people, entertainment and a plethora of food n drink stalls. It was our turn tomorrow but the place had already begun the party.
Late Doors

Day 2

We had a plan. A walk into town, into St Georges square, soak up the atmosphere then a walk back to Lockwood down Chapel hill and along the route back to the Shoulder.

Already crowds were gathering at Lockwood bar and it was only 11 o'clock. 3 1/2 hours before the riders were due. The shoulder had opened early with outdoor tents and seating already taken up. Too early for us as we headed to town a mile or so along the A616.

At the top of Chapel Hill just off the ring road crowds were already taking up prime positions to watch the riders sweep down from the fire station to dive right down the road to Lockwood and on towards the Holme Valley where the iconic Holme Moss climb and  thousands of people awaited. We thought about watching it up there but i decided i wanted to see it right on my home patch doorstep. The road i know and travel along numerous times a week on and off the bike.

St Georges square was abuzz. The giant screen showing the race and the stalls doing a roaring trade as a constant stream of people seeped out of the station. All the usual suspects had their wares on offer. The sportsman and Star and this time the Zephyr bar had a stall to wash down the Jones pies, Al Murhad curries, and other local outlets. A great show enjoyed by all.

Heading back to Lockwood the way we came the gang were already ensconced in the shoulder with the exception of Ged the red. He, Danny boy and i have spent lots of times cycling together in the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees sections of the tour and it was he who got me into this great sport of cycling in the first place over thirty years ago.  He had already set up his  sun lounger and ale supply at the side of the road across from the Lockwood pub. He's cycling mad is that lad.

The bottom of Lockwood along the route is a tad mixed. A large Asian family community ends at the opposite end of the social mix with the Con club. A great club undoubtedly, but host to the areas many enthusiastic drinkers with an eye on value for money. Open at 8 am for the day the sign proudly announced. But not for chuffing cornflakes and coffee it should have continued. Just after there is the genteel air of the Baptist church before the  lights where the road splits. Straight on to Meltham or left and a sweep right to Honley and Holmfirth where the race will go. The shoulder is just after the lights straight on and to the right. There we watched the race on the TV until it was time to get back on the road itself. By now the roadsides were packed so we walked a little further down for a clear unobstructed view.

The vehicles began to appear. First the police vans then the official and the breakaway group of about 8 riders. In the distance the peloton were charging nearer. Woosh, they swept passed, absolutely thrilling, like stampeding buffalo on skates going to a fancy dress party. We watched them approach the sharp right hand turn to our left where a mass of people formed a funnel. Then the team cars glided past followed by a lone rider bringing up the rear who got a huge cheer of support and that was it. Until that is a rotund chap leapt on his bike and rode along towards the lights and lingering crowds. What a cheer he got as he approached the throng and swerved around the corner followed by a thousand laughs and smiles. Brilliant and the crowds dispersed to their respective post event rendezvous.

The short walk to the pub was ace, lots of familiar faces and greetings. The owners of the curry house, the taxi drivers of Lockwood taxis, the regulars of the con club by now well immersed in hospitality, work mates, pub mates, people from all over Huddersfield.

Back at the shoulder it was all go, busy but comfortable. Beer burgers sausages and laughs as we watched the race on telly. " Can we put the tennis on now" a young lad asked. Fuck off came the  incredulous and unanimous response and off he fucked as we watched the race go up the Moss and on to Sheffield.

It's been a truly magnificent weekend, the kind that makes a bit of a mockery about all our (alright, mainly my) moaning. The work, dedication and effort of people involved in making this happen has been phenomenal. A mix of individual vision, official planning and organisation, entrepreneurial  ingenuity and communal spirit has all come together to make something extra special. Even the weather was on our side and why shouldn't it be.

So yesterday I wandered down to Lockwood at dinner time. All was normal. Traffic flowed, buses came and went and people were about their normal business. It felt sad, like post Christmas or after a music festival. A gang of Monday afternoon drinkers sat shirtless and content on the grass swigging from green bottles. I went into Lockwood convenience store for a couple of their ace homemade samosas. Their Asian sundries are superb. "Did you sell many yesterday" i asked. "We sold Everything" she beamed and off i toddled back to work.
Dock

Top reporting LD. Ta for posting. A weekend to remember indeed.
fartcatcher

Good stuff LD.

I can't remember what i've posted where so apologies etc.....

Took 4 1/2 hours to get up to Leeds from tlttf Friday evening. Never seen anything like it. About one in five cars had a bike rack on. I'd expected most of Yorkshire to turn up but not most of the UK.

Saw two people I know from Leamington while I was up there. Apparently there were dozens more.

Great moment on Scott Hall Road when dad and five year old arrived at the top of the hill having started after the peloton had left, followed by a couple of old codgers that made me look young. Enormous cheers all round.

There were a couple of red kites circling above the road at Harewood. Probably looking for dead cyclists. They are beautiful things to watch. I'd only ever seen them before from the car.

a few rather crap pictures here.

http://s201.photobucket.com/user/...ild/library/tdf?sort=3&page=1
Dock

I was only a bit further up SHR than you FC. Just past the first roundabout at the top of the hill. Such was the esprit de corps amongst the thronged crowds that the loudest cheer of the day that went up was when some scallywag on a bmx whizzed passed a load of more 'serious' amateur cyclers who followed in the slipstream of the huge official convoy of riders and support vehicles.
Late Doors

Little things keep coming back, the two kids busking on Briggate, must have been there from half Sevenish Saturday morning. They were still there at half four tired but utterly happy with a boat load of silver and gold coins in their box.

The busker on New St Huddersfield just beating bongos with African rhythms. It was brilliant, creating an atmosphere of growing excitement as hundreds walked by towards chapel hill.

The Asian family at the side of Lockwood road with a huge get well Cavendish banner. The lower door of the Con Club crashing onto the pavement revealing a pissed up lad behind it promising to report it to the committee while been berated by a women who picked it up and slung it back against its hinges.

I think that's the thing, Yorkshire pulled out all the stops, as did Leeds and Huddersfield. As did Lockwood, the whole place, everybody did their bit along with scores of other little places just like it. Yeah people will remember and go on about the staggering beauty of the Dales and other areas captured in all their glory. I already know all about that. Yorkshire is much more, last weekend and the months weeks and days leading up to it demonstrated it brilliantly. Kinda makes you proud, well, a little bit i suppose.

So, I'll merged the two threads hope that's ok and some piccies to show

From Day 1

Friday afternoon and yer darling 'arold inspects the area



Early Saturday morning and the migration up to the Town Hall begins



The very very start where the very very early gather



Anticipation at the bottom of Eastgate



First the caravan vehicles




Then the riders



Leeds buntings up. Mojo St as i call it



Horse n Trumpet goes OTT



Meanwhile in the Duck n Drake someone makes an effort



Victorian Arcade a little more glamorous



Back Home and Huddersfield prepares for the second day in St Georges



Sq and St Peters garden

Late Doors

Day 2

4 hours to go and the good folk of Lockwood get ready around Lockwood bar where the riders will come from town turn sharp left at the lights and sweep right up past the Lockwood pub and onto Holmfirth.





Ged the Red already ensconced roadside across from pub on the bend.



Always time for a quickie in the Rat



Top of chapel hill looking down towards Lockwood with Holme Moss some ten mile away on the horizon. You can just see the mast.



St George square welcomes visitors







Back down Chapel Hill looking back towards town. Two hours to go and the crowds begin to grow



Meanwhile back at the Base Camp.



Crowds gather now as the race nears.



Get well  Cavendish this group had on their banner



La tÍte de la course



Followed a minute later by the peloton



And off we went

Dock

Nice one LD! What's that big building behind the Rat & Rachet? Can't quite see the name.
Late Doors

It says knackerknob college

mate of mine Dave Lockwood (coincidence) of the Huddersfield Camera club took this belter from the Lockwood Pub looking down to the lights. Ace, love it

Dock

Re: one of the other photo's. SIMON SAT A PUB TABLE WITH A PINT IN FRONT HIM SHOCKER!
Grind

Has Dock gone past on his Chipper yet?
fartcatcher

Watching a bit of the highlights the other day and two riders had a bit of a crash and then a bit of a tiff afterwards.

One was German and the other was Italian, but they were arguing in English.

Makes you proud to be a Brit.
Dock

Did anybody watch the two Lance Armstrong docu's recently on BBC 4 and Channel 4? Me and Mrs D were transfixed, astonished, and impressed by both programmes. We're not in-the-know cycling people but we thought they were very well made programmes about a very complex/ fucked-in-the-head individual. Plus for me I can listen to David Walsh from The Times talk all day. Great sportswriter and the man with his ear to the ground not just with doping in cycling but he also has a thorough understanding of racing and the hugely grey area of doping in horse racing.
fartcatcher

Interesting that Nibali's winning margin was the greatest  since the glorious Armstrong days. Hmmmm
Late Doors

Havent seen the Armstrong things and Yep David Walsh is ace. What on earth are you suggesting Fc????. such cynicism in one so young is quite saddening.

All over now anyway, great race despite the early withdrawals of three big names. Leeds to Paris in three weeks of spectacular endurance. Most neutrals, even cyclist knockers seem to have given it tacit support but a few insipid fuckers have let their silly little umbrage come through with all the grace of a soggy fart. That's Twitter for you though i guess, gives us all a chance to spout our shit  

Thought the ITV4 coverage and commentary was magnificent as well and you know what? I have definitely noticed a lot more courtesy from drivers on the roads recently. Alas still a few cyclists need to behave themselves though. Some of the stuff I've seen leaves me a bit aghast. Not been impressed with Mr Wiggins either. He's coming across as a right mean mardy twat these days.
fartcatcher

I hope the organisers noted that the minute the Tour left Yorkshire it started to piss it down and never stopped.

It was nice to see a few of the Frog riders do ok after 20 odd years of mediocrity. They did invent the thing after all.

A lot more people out on Sustrans Route 41 which runs past Farty Towers. I'm thinking of selling tea and cakes.
fartcatcher

Three Astana riders done for doping. Far more difficult to prove that it was a co-ordinated team effort. General manager, Vinokourov was banned for doping in 2007 whilst riding for Astana.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/.../12/astana-cycling-doping-problem
Grind

I used to occasionally cycle home the worse for wear down the Bristol Road to Smelly Joke after being dropped off at the Bullring after Leeds games.

* Hopes he gets banned. *
fartcatcher

Grind wrote:
I used to occasionally cycle home the worse for wear down the Bristol Road to Smelly Joke after being dropped off at the Bullring after Leeds games.

* Hopes he gets banned. *


Didn't realise you'd been exiled in Brum as well.

You're a brave man cycling down the Bristol Road in any state.

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