Sunday, May 01, 2016

and the bands played on


it's now some six or so hours on from when these pictures were taken, look you see, and still the music plays on. as part of the festivities and celebrations of the Tour de Yorkshire coming through our village we have some sort of "mega gig" on the go, with (i believe) three bands playing live on one of the many (two) greens that we have. there's also, well, also lots of stuff, but more of that as we go.

after much anticipation and excitement in the build up and getting ready, today was the day that was day three of three of the Tour de Yorkshire. the day began with an "unofficial" outside of the actual race start within the boundaries of metropolitan Middlesbrough,  before moving on to us on the official route.

the above pictures is about, give or take, an hour or so before the cyclists were due to pass us by. people had started coming and getting ready from about 9am, with the race only due to get to us at some stage between 11:30am and that central part of a day what gets called noon. i can assure you, and as i trust you shall see, more still came to watch as the morning progressed.

we got down there ourselves at not much after 10 in the morning, having a walk around and a bit of a gander at all that was going on. as has become custom with the Tour de Yorkshire, villages like ours have taken to celebrating the event with a get together, featuring local businesses selling their wares from both their usual place of business and from some specially erected stalls positioned at suitable spots.

even the library was open on this somewhat wet Sunday, and it was upon the steps of the library that we felt we'd get the best view of it all. so, there's where we ended up, and stood and waited for the race to come.

i should probably warn you know, if i should have not done so earlier, that if you are looking for any sort of facts, figures or details about the actual race itself then it's probably going to be best for you to go right ahead and consult a different site. although the Tour de Yorkshire is the backdrop for the day today, this is all going to be very much just us for the most part, with some race images later.

as i mentioned earlier on the build up for the day today has been going on for quite some time, with many people putting a lot of time and effort into decorations to celebrate the race coming our way. for at least six weeks, possibly eight, a number of blue and yellow decorated bicycles have been placed around the village to mark the event.

as for just how many such decorated cycles are around, here you go, here's the boys with yellow and blue bicycle number one hundred, situated just outside Suggitts.

yeah, sure, you can see more of the number 100 than you can the bike, but still. look, you can make out the yellow tyre of the front, and the handlebars beneath the bunting.

how many yellow and blue bicycles did we have around the village? i believe, as mentioned in my post yesterday around the value of parking suspensions, the final figure was 108, but it could well be the case that there were a great number more.

if the day today, as far as it is conveyed in these pictures, looks like it was a bit wet and rather cold, that would be because it was and indeed it is. no matter, for of the many traditional items of Yorkshire cuisine which were available, but one was the magic of hot chocolate.

the above, as regular readers here would hardly need me to point out, is indeed young William. both he and James, who you will catch a further glimpse of just now, were both all very excited about all this Tour de Yorkshire business. at school they had spent a reasonable amount of time discussing it, and indeed had between the students made a banner which was on display. they also, i believe, had one of the competitors from the Tour last year come in and give an assembly.

yes, i have uploaded quite a few pictures here and indeed i am struggling somewhat to know what to write when around these images. stick with me, dear reader, or otherwise skip the writing and just admire the pictures.

speaking of pictures, is it at all possible, you may be asking, to have a picture which features just the 75% of my family that you all actually like, which is to say one without me present in it? why of course it is, here you go.

that is indeed my (considerably) better half, dressed in her finest summer wardrobe, also enjoying a warm beverage. not hot chocolate, though. no, what she has is what they now call an "Americano with milk", which once upon a time was called a white coffee.

the Denis Leary prophecy off of Lock N Load has come true. you can't just order a coffee any more, you have to ask for an "Americano". otherwise they ask you if you want a latte, a cappuccino, a skinny or something. what was wrong with just having coffee flavoured coffee?

anyway, the Tour de Yorkshire. after some coffee, some hot chocolate, some more wandering around and a little more waiting, the signs were with us that the race was soon to be passing our way. one of the more interesting signs was the sight of Airwolf out of Airwolf passing overhead.

ok, so that's not actually Airwolf out of Airwolf, but it is a helicopter so it's pretty much the same thing.

i would not suggest that i am expert in such matters, but i would suspect that the helicopter in the skies was there to perform two important functions - to film the race for the benefit of TV broadcasters and to observe any problems which unexpectedly laid ahead on the roads of the race.

did we have any other signs that the race was close to coming our way and did i make any video of such signs before the battery on my phone ceased to have enough charge in it so as to make it possible for it to be a going concern? yes, absolutely.

what was the police presence like? exceptional and impeccable. whereas one would understand why you would need a police presence at an event in order to make sure that all went as it should, there really wasn't a need for one. everyone was there to celebrate the coming of the race and to enjoy it.

to this end, then, the police pretty much just served to alert all that the riders were coming, and to remind all and sundry that the roads must be kept clear. and they did so in a friendly way, slowing down and giving "high fives" to the children of the village. quite exciting for them, seriously, as in our day to day life here it would be quite rare to see a member of the constabulary. 

it's our general behaviour with things like this that does make me proud of our English way of doing things. sure, there's an incident every now and then when someone gets carried away, but normally we can be trusted to behave with the dignity and conduct the event requires. one of the loveliest things i ever had said to me was by my dear friend Ronel in this regard. we were at verk watching the most recent of Royal Weddings. neither she nor anyone else watching in that office in Johannesburg could quite believe that the tens of thousands watching were just slowing and considerately walking towards the Palace. she pointed out that if a similar event happened there, there would be a stampede, a riot, and people would be dead.

over the years - and i do mean centuries - us English have done much wrong. we have, however, atoned for it all and then some, and also we have done so much so right. i do wish we could, on a wider scale, celebrate the good that we do and deliver to the world.

but hey, a picture of me and the boys before we get to have a look at some of the actual race? sure, why not. a better quality picture than usual, too, since my (considerably) better half took it with her fancy phone camera thingamajig.

and so, after all the preparation, after all the waiting, and quite soon after we were advised that the cyclists would be coming, here we go, the Tour de Yorkshire made its way through our home village.

how was it? quite exciting, both minutes of it. yeah. well, i mean, it is a race, after all, and the idea is for the cyclists to go through as quickly as they can, not to stop around and wave. i'd like to think, though, that when the cyclists reminisce about this day, they remember and recall fondly how the applause and cheers were that little bit bigger, more passionate and enthusiastic as they came through our way.

i am informed that the TV coverage of the Tour de Yorkshire did exceed itself in ensuring that the section of race through our village was given full and superior coverage. my brother over in the Africa of the South was watching, and was delighted to see it come up on screen. alas no, i doubt he or anyone else would have made us out in the crowd, what with the coverage meant to focus on the cyclists rather more that the spectators. it is smart, though, that people around the world saw broadcast images of something what we were involved in. something good, too.

i would imagine that most, if not all, of the cyclists who sped past us during the day today will be featuring in the Tour de France. whilst i am very much just a cyclists of leisure, i would suspect and indeed hope that the Tour de Yorkshire gives them all some valuable practice ahead of that race. of course ours is a prestigious thing to win, but let's be honest here - the Tour de France is the biggest thing in cycling. it's the one that all and sundry have heard of, and is quite a remarkable thing.

and so a little while after the cyclists had safely and speedily passed by us, an absolutely massive billboard on a truck followed, welcoming the world to Yorkshire, thanking all for contributing towards making this race a spectacular success and advising everyone that the roads behind the truck were now open.

a quite handy notification too, as many were heading from us towards Whitby, so that they may have witnessed two different stages of the race on the same day. a bit like when Phil Collins played a concert in two countries on one day for Live Aid, except you would hope that them that went to Whitby from us were considerably less twat like about doing it.

did we head off to Whitby? no. we thoroughly enjoyed what we saw, and had a wonderful morning out as a family, doing all that sort of family stuff you are supposed to do on days like these. and, yeah, selfies.

the intention, i believe, is that the Tour de Yorkshire will take a different route each year. this will allow all areas of our beautiful part of the world to host days like ours, and i think that's just brilliant. sure, it means that it might be years - if ever - before we get to see it again, but there you go, we got it once, and good luck to those that follow with it, hope you have better weather and just as an amazing time as we did.

yes, i can still hear music coming from the direction of one of the greens we have here, some six or more hours after the cyclists have passed and some two or so hours, as far as i know, that the whole race had concluded in Scarborough. i believe the parties and festivities are planned to go on throughout the evening. and so they should.

nice one, thank you, bravo and well done to all and sundry who contributed to making the Tour de Yorkshire a thing. i trust all around the world who saw the race saw just what a beautiful corner of the world i have the luck of birth to forever call home.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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