Thousands of people are expected to re-live the spirit of le Tour this summer with the Big Bike Bash in Harrogate.
Around 10,000 cycling enthusiasts are set to make the most of the festival atmosphere, more than a year after the Grand Depart brought the excitement of the world’s biggest cycle event to town.
Cyclists of all ages and abilities will have the chance to ride a race circuit just hours before elite cyclists tackle a relay of the route on Saturday June 20.
Riders will hope to hold their nerve better than Mark Cavendish as they power up Parliament Street finishing on West Park where a festival style event village will entertain the crowds from Friday June 19 to Sunday June 21.
Harrogate Borough Council is working with Pennine Events to plan the Big Bike Bash as a follow on to the enormous success of last year’s Tour de France.
Lois Toyne, head of culture, tourism and sport at Harrogate Borough Council said: “Last year’s Tour de France Grand Départ was an immense success, which united people in the district and proved to be a wonderful community event.
“One of the main reasons for holding this cycling celebration was to recreate that sense of community feeling. We want it to be an event which will showcase local businesses, provide the chance for local cyclists to meet other cyclists from the area, and allow residents to relive the excitement of the Tour de France. Of course, it will also provide a great opportunity for visitors to discover all of the wonderful things that Harrogate has to offer.”
Up to 2,000 cyclists will be able to have a go at riding on a traffic-free mile-long route on Saturday June 20. Registration to ride the route is set to open soon.
On Sunday June 21 three organised rides will head off from the Stray in Harrogate, taking in a 50 mile, 30 mile or 10 mile route.
Dave Prince of Cycle Harrogate said that he has seen a huge increase in people taking an interest in cycling since the Tour de France whizzed along the district’s roads last year.
He said: “You just have to look around and you can see more people on bikes.
“The event sounds like it will great, especially for people wanting to get involved a bit more in cycling.
“It won’t be the same scale as the Tour de France, but it will hopefully have the same type of atmosphere. I hope we can get the weather to be fine again.”
Mr Prince said he would like to see more training and lessons for cyclists in the area.
“People getting a chance to ride on a traffic free route is great as it takes away that fear. We need to teach people safe cycling so that they don’t have that fear cycling at any other time.”
Ms Toyne said: “The Harrogate Big Bike Bash is gearing up to be an exciting event for all the town to enjoy.”
The event village will sit opposite the Yorkshire Hotel on the Stray in Harrogate. Musicians will entertain the crowds alongside street performers and bike stunts while local businesses and producers will have food stalls.
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Tour de Yorkshire
The first Tour de Yorkshire will take place across the county from May 1-3.
Stars such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Ed Clancy will be taking part.
A link to a live blog will be available on our website next weekend, so you can follow the event.
Stage One (Friday, May 1): Bridlington to Scarborough.
Stage Two (Saturday, May 2): Selby to York.
Stage Three (Sunday, May 3): Wakefield to Leeds.