Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Le Tour de Yorkshire Ride Report

The Tour de Yorkshire is a legacy event established as a thanks to Yorkshire for the grandest of Grand Departs in last year's Tour de France.

Once again, thousands of spectators lined the roads of Yorkshire to cheer on the competitors as they sped by.

Earlier in the day, at a slightly more sedate pace, around 6000 cycling enthusiasts had braved grim conditions to ride on the same Stage 3 roads as the professionals. I was one of them.

The Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride was largely based on the full stage route, it would involve a number of tough categorised climbs and many other sharp ramps that, despite the official categorisation, would certainly have many pairs of legs screaming for mercy.

Although it may not seem far to most keen cyclists, 142km (or 87 miles) was (un)comforatably longer than any ride I had previously completed in my 12 months or so of mid-life crisis. To prepare myself, training plans were pored over, scrapped and modified.
A full ride report can be read here -> Le Tour de Yorkshire Sportive Ride Report
The final bend into Roundhay Park brought warm sunshine and more emotion flooding over me amid a cacophony of noise; hoardings were drummed and whistles blown. By now, I could barely muster the power to spin my legs but the encouragement from the sides pulled me across the line. People of Yorkshire, I salute you – Chapeau!

Still grinning inanely—despite 7 hours 33 minutes in the saddle and the toughest ride I could ever have imagined—I received hugs from family members and picked up a rather fetching medal. My ordeal was over.

There then followed the sight of the police outriders milking some unexpected adulation and the professionals flying across the line to even louder shouts of joy.

Rather than be jeered at, revved, or beeped at. Rather than be attacked by waterbombs, heckled from car windows or even mooned, I had entered a bizarre alternative reality where both policemen and cyclists were celebrated and cheered.

A year ago, I was procrastinating about whether or not to buy a road bike as a means to build my fitness. Now, I commute regularly by bicycle and enjoy weekend spins to places I probably would never visit in the car.

And for one day, I lived Le Tour.

A full ride report can be read here -> Le Tour de Yorkshire Sportive Ride Report

I rode the Tour de Yorkshire sportive in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital who are raising funds to buy a pioneering 3T MRI scanner that will make the hospital a world-leader in the treatment and removal of brain tumours. For more information and to see how the fundraising is going, please click here.

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