and so here we are. today is not so much a day that we are on the eve of May, although to be fair we are indeed that, look you see, but rather a day that sees us on the eve of the race coming through our part of the world. the much vaunted and celebrated Tour de Yorkshire is very much underway as a going concern, and tomorrow is the day that it will pass us by.
preparations ahead of this day have been underway, but they are somewhat all the more underway today. things are being done in advance of it, with particular focus being placed on ensuring that no cars, or any sort of vehicles, are parked on bits of the road where the cyclists will all bomb past.
these parking restrictions, or if you like suspensions, have caused a fair degree of controversy. we shall have a look at that as we go along in this post, with the "we" element depending a very good deal indeed on you bothering to read all of this.
it would be fair to say that not everyone is thrilled by the Tour de Yorkshire heading our way, and even those who are find themselves less than impressed with the best efforts of the council to get everything ready for it. but let's have a look at some more of the parking restrictions, along with some of the blue and yellow bunting that has been put up all over the place.
one of the major concerns about the parking restrictions has been that they are seemingly in effect now, some 24 hours before the race passes by. these concerns are not without justification - as we are on the last Saturday of a month people have been freshly paid, and so this Saturday tends to be one where businesses attract the most coins of money. this is an important part of keeping businesses, and the economy, going.
from the perspective of the council, i suppose it "makes sense" to get the streets and course of the race cordoned off as soon as possible, although that mostly only "makes sense" in that it would cost them too much to get council workers to come and do it all early on a Sunday morning.
are delays going to be possible as a result of the Tour de Yorkshire coming our way? yes, for this sign tells us that this is quite likely to be the case.
there have been signs around like this for a couple of weeks now. it is most smart that they are alerting people to the fact in a way that is as advanced as possible.
as valid as many of the complaints and concerns people have had about how the council has gone about things, one has to remember that there is a great deal of pressure on us in terms of the Tour de Yorkshire. as we are, after all, the most prestigious and important area of Yorkshire - making us in effect the most important part of the most important part of the world - we are naturally hosting the most prestigious and important part of the race itself; all ten minutes of it. give or take.
look, you see, they have even arranged for the decoration of the ceremonial statue of James Cook, discoverer of Australia and possibly ruler of it too.
am i excited by all of this? but of course i am. i think it's absolutely boss that cyclists from around the world can come and do an official tour of our beautiful part of the world. also, this race gets an audience from around the planet, or if you like a worldwide one. allowing them to see how the world should be - as in it should all be like Yorkshire and then everything will be ace - gives them all something to aspire to. put pressure on their leaders and politicians, you know.
some more of the celebratory items placed up in advance of the race, along with some more notifications of parking suspensions? sure, why not. here's another yellow and blue bike, and indeed another yellow and blue sign warning you not to park or unload anything there.
how many of these yellow and blue bikes are around the village? i think officially there are one hundred, but i am reliably informed that, due to renegade actions seeing people adding their own unofficial ones, there could well be upwards of one hundred and eight. no, i have not painted my own bike and put it on display.
it is truly magnificent, though, that so many have put so much effort in, as well as personal cost in terms of time and money, to celebrate and embrace this event. it could well be that this is the one and only time that the Tour de Yorkshire comes our way. why would you not, then, make the most of it?
what is interesting, of course, is that Middlesbrough town and Middlesbrough council are decidedly making the most of it. whilst i would always consider Middlesbrough itself to be in Yorkshire, the powers that be in charge of the town have always had a "flexible" approach to this subject. the council, the mayor and other authorities are all, like totes 100% adamant and absolute that Middlesbrough is in Yorkshire as and when this can be used to promote themselves and the town. not so much when it comes to doing things for the region that would cost them, i note. bus routes between us in "actual" Yorkshire and the "assumed" Yorkshire of Middlesbrough? sorry, no - then they are "Redcar & Cleveland", and so do not subsidise or pay for the buses to go between the two.
more the pity, really - if they hadn't brutally knacked public transport by lowering the budget and cutting the services then not so many of us would have cars, and there would not be so much controversy about these parking restrictions. when officials from Middlesbrough council watch the start of the Tour de Yorkshire's third day tomorrow, i will take it as a given that they do so with an inherent sense of shame about this.
have we had any more snow today? yes. do you want to see a video of it? no, too bad, here it is.
what's that, you want to see another parking suspension sign? sure. questions - valid ones - have been asked about how come the council has all this time, money and other resources to nail parking suspension signs virtually everywhere, and yet cannot afford a lollipop man for the school crossing, or afford to fix roads, or afford to pay for new road marking painting.
i suppose if we jazzed all that sort of stuff up, calling it "Safely Allowing Children To Get To School de Yorkshire" or something, they would soon find the budget to do it and bask in the glory of it. which would be absolutely fine, since it meant by default children could cross the road safely.
some more of the decorations, but from a distance and just slightly after the snow of this last day of April had stopped falling? sure, why not.
from what i could see the parking restrictions in place have not, as such, prevented the businesses of our village from engaging in some brisk and successful transactions so far. but yeah, it would have been nice if the council was just that little bit more committed to the benefits of the Tour de Yorkshire and had instead arranged to do all these closures and warnings later this evening, or even early in the morning. but they didn't, so there you go.
yes, i expect i will be off to watch the activities, the racing and the festivities tomorrow. i will of course take pictures and that, and no doubt shot them on here. until then, then,
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!