Tour de France – 5th July 2014

I’m not a fan of roadies but the event was going through some beautiful countryside not too far from home and it was likely to be a spectacle was a bit of a late decision to go, but Emma booked us to stop at the Bivouac a few miles from Masham as they’d luckily had a group cancellation so the whole bunkhouse was empty.

We set off fairly late to get there leaving after a meal on the outskirts of Sheffield at 21:30. It only took us something like 1h 40mins to arrive on site, hitting no heavy traffic at all which I did think we’d get even at that time.

The next day we got up and had a pricey breakfast, it’s nice but is a little bit too pricey at £10 for a Full English, then packing our bags up with a few refreshments for the day we set off the wal into Masham. Emma had been told it was a 45 minute walk, so 1hr 30mins later we arrived!!!  hmmm we didn’t get lost, the road is fairly direct, I think someone must have been having a laugh at our expense. The roads were close to traffic now and we found a convenient location next to and on a wall just as the riders enter the village.  There were still a few hours before the riders were due but you couldn’t expect to turn up last minute and expect to see much.

Directly opposite us, the owners of a house had decided to allow people to use their toilet for a charge of 50p, of which the donations would then all go to Altzeimhers Society. They’d also set a platform up using scaffold which not only allowed them to see the riders better but so allowed them to have their own stage, and considering they enjoyed a few bevvies they did manage to bring some light hearted entertainment to the waiting crowds.

Eventually the caravan of promotional vehicles came through, throwing out token gifts at the crowd, and 3 helicopters flew past and a short while later a 4th that was this time tracking the road, and a number of support and police vehicles came past us at quite a bit faster pace than the previous vehicles. Everybody knew what this meant so the crowds started cheering; the riders then cycled into the village at quite a pace and all packed together that would put sardines in a tin to shame, 10 seconds later that was it the riders had gone, and the crowds started to walk on the road to the village green where a large screen and beer tents were erected , well when I say the riders had gone past that’s what everyone had thought but two lonely riders cams sweeping past, with people jumping to get out of their way. It seemed weird that we’d waited so long and all the riders had gone past us already.

Like everyone else we headed down to the village green and sat watching the rest of the race,  unfortunately we all had to watch Mark Cavendish crash out, but that’s racing, it’s a shame but it wouldn’t be racing if these things didn’t happen as people push themselves in search for that extra place. (unfortunately the crash dislocated MC’s shoulder putting him out of the race).

Once the race had finished we had a gentle walk around the village before heading  back to the green for an ice cream and beer (for Emma), Theakstons and Blacksheep both have breweries in Masham and Theakstons were selling a special brew called ‘le Tour’

Eventually we headed off the long walk back to the Bivouac, this time taking just 1h 30 mins and then setting back off for home, once again managing to avoid the traffic.

Written by Chris

I'm a young 45 yrs old, born and bred in and around Mansfield Woodhouse. I biked throughout my childhood, but like many, I took a break for a few years when I first started working. By the time I was 23 I was riding again and started to get into...
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