On Sunday 30 April 2017, the Tour de Yorkshire came through our village. Well, I say village, but we’re actually in between two villages. Both villages had decked themselves out with bunting, banners and bikes, all in blue and yellow.
At the same time, a number of amateur events were taking place with cyclists raising money for charity and having the chance to cycle the route before the professionals came through.
Earlier in the day we took the dog for a walk, and we saw some of those amateurs pass by. “We’re not the main event!” shouted the leader. But they all smiled for the camera anyway.
We got back from our walk in good time to grab some refreshment, do some work around the garden, and then give the dog a treat – another walk on the same day, this time to the end of our driveway.
One of the stewards drove ahead of the race to let us know roughly what time they’d be coming through. She also said the first we’d see would be the team cars and motorbikes, and the police making sure the road ahead was clear.
They were due to come by at about 4:15pm and we’d set it to record on the telly before setting out. But they were quite a few minutes later than that – we found out later there had been an accident three villages up and someone was being taken to hospital, but was fine.
Then the advance cavalcade started to come through.
We still had a good wait before the leading breakaway group came by. But the helicopter flying overhead gave us a clue when they were on their way.
The chopper hovered above us for quite some time as first the leaders and then the main group came through.
We waved and cheered, in case they caught us on the telly!
It seemed an age before the rest of the group started to come along, but it must only have been a matter of minutes. Still the helicopter hovered, still we waved our arms at it.
Then as the peloton passed us, we turned to wave at the motorbikes in the front with the television cameras. The poet had to take the camera off the tripod so he could follow them.
They whooshed by in a matter of seconds … and then they were gone (apart from a lone cyclist coming up the rear, but the camera buffer was already full by now), followed by numerous cars with spare bikes on the roofs.
The “crowds” started to disperse (we didn’t realise so many people lived in the area, although some had come on foot from elsewhere), and we headed home ourselves.
The first thing we did when we got in was skim through the recording on the telly, but just as they were reaching us, the channel skipped to a commercial break.
When they returned, it was just above us where the bikes were headed in that last picture.
So all that waving at the cameras had been for nothing! But we had fun anyway.
Enjoy the pictures!