The Push Hog Strikes Back – Le Tour de Yorkshire

The winter soon crept upon me and as such my cycling ground to a halt for the best part of two months. Just when I thought I would never get back on my bike, surprisingly we had a mild spell around Christmas and the New Year, so not one to miss an opportunity I set off with just me and my Push Hog for a leg loosener, covering only 18 miles around the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds.

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Solo cycling is a strange beast, it’s not that I prefer to ride on my own, it just so happens that the majority of my riding is done that way. One side effect of being an unsociable cyclist is that the mind wanders, mine especially, I have a vivid imagination and as such I am prone to daydream.

One such daydream involves me riding all, or part of, a stage of the Tour de France, now for any followers of my blog this will seem a wild fantasy, but not in my head, no, I would like to ride in the tracks of the greats, sometimes I even see myself riding the twenty one hairpins of Alpe d’Huez, even though I can only just get up Trundlegate!

In mid December when Yorkshire was chosen to host the Grand Depart of the worlds greatest and most famous cycling road race, le Tour de France, my reaction to the bid was one of a stereotypical Yorkshireman. I was chuffed that my native county had beaten off what the southern biased media had perceived as ‘stronger bids’, yet that’s not the thing which I first thought when we won the bid, no, what I thought was that I don’t have to spend any money to see my daydream become reality, no saving up to travel to France, the way I see it is right now I can just roll out of bed and ride a stage of the Tour de France, any time I like, whenever I like, I could even have a go before the professionals do.

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Stage 1: 5th July 2014 – Leeds to Harrogate

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Stage 2: 6th July 2014 – York to Sheffield

It is fair to say that the prospect is exciting me, which gets me thinking and the more I think the more I believe that cycling is the peoples sport. Look at it this way, I’ve stood pitch side, even on the pitch, in some of the most famous stadiums in world football, I even got chased by stewards at the Camp Nou, but that, as they say, is a different story. I’ve also stood on the famous 17th green at Pebble Beach Golf Club, looking across the bay at the 6th hole, yet it didn’t last long as I was ushered away to avoid getting hit by a flying golf ball.

So here the thing, I’d never get to kick a ball in the Camp Nou and I certainly couldn’t afford a round of golf at Pebble Beach, those places are reserved for the best and I accept that. In July 2014 the most famous cyclists in the world will be riding in the most famous road race in the world, only this time it won’t be in some foreign field or in a millionaires playground, it will be the public roads of Yorkshire, our roads and my stadium and that is the stuff dreams are made of.

Tour Routes Courtesy of the Le Tour de France – Yorkshire Grande Depart 2014 website.

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