24 June 2015

Travel Diaries - When the Tour came to Town

June 21st

I don't wear lycra! Doesn't really suit me. Well that's what I believe anyway. If you were to head out into the countryside of Britain on a sunny Sunday then no doubt you would come across many a lycra wearing cyclist. There has been a bit of a renaissance in recent years regarding cycling. It's popularity growing tenfold, and the viewing public have also taken it to heart, watching races in their hundreds of thousands.

The Ladies Tour of Britain
Le Tour De Yorkshire
Last year the UK (Yorkshire in-particular) hosted Le Tour de France to critical acclaim. Hundreds of thousands lined the roadside as the tour wound its way through the Yorkshire countryside and beyond. Not only showing its popularity but also how much we here in the UK embrace big sporting events (London 2012 anyone?)

When the tour came to town
Also in 2014 the men's Tour of Britain had a stage finish in Hemel Hempstead, passing through Chesham onroute. That's in The Chiltern Hills, if you were wondering. Again appreciated and watched by many. The women have this year followed suit, with the final stage of their Tour of Britain, passing through Chesham and once more finishing in Hemel. I missed last years tour due to work! (pesky work, always getting in the way). This time however it was on a Sunday and I could engage fully, if briefly.

Where's the Yellow Jersey? - Ladies Tour of Britain
Gone in a flash!
There we were, anticipation building, policemen on powerful motorbikes zooming pass every 30 seconds. The organisation was amazing and they must love doing this job? And then, there they were, heading towards us at full speed. And then they were gone, heading away from us. Gone in a flash! 

Following a major tour on each stage must be fun, if you can see a number of stages and I'm sure people do it for the Tour De France. This got me thinking, "what a great way to travel around a country and see the sites as you go". A tour within a tour. It's why many cities have the bikes to hire. So seeing the tour (however briefly) it also got me thinking about how much fun can be had by exploring on a bike. Stop when you want, decide how far you want to go. So go on get on your bike and explore. Remember you can also explore the great cities of the world by bike, no better way I promise you. And you don't have to wear lycra! 

Have you spectated at a tour? Or know of a good cycle ride I could do? Then please share your adventures and perhaps I'll share some of mine too. 

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