Six reasons to get excited for Harrogate’s Big Bike Bash

Harrogate Town full of Tour de France fans
Harrogate Town full of Tour de France fans

It seems like just yesterday that Mark Cavendish promised Harrogate he would triumph in the opening stage of the Tour de France on Parliament Street.

Flash forward one year and Harrogate is attempting to recreate Tour excitement, and banish memories of Cav’s crash, with the arrival of the Big Bike Bash.

More than 1,000 bike boffins have already registered to take part in the event and the town is eagerly awaiting the return of more cycling stars.

But if you thought bikes were the only thing to look forward to this weekend then you’ve clearly forgotten all the other incredible moments the Tour de France in Harrogate.

Either that or you weren’t actually here for it...either way it’s totally unacceptable so here are six things to get excited for at the Big Bike Bash.

Return of the Event Village

Remember actually using the Stray last year for something other than sitting and enjoying the sunshine? As strange as it was, it’s going to happen all over again.

The return of the Event Village means the weekend’s excitement won’t just be taking place on the roads as visitors can enjoy a variety of cycling themed fun.

There will also be a wide selection of food and drink from Harrogate’s finest local produces, traders and organisations, as well as a live BMX stunt show on Saturday.

The Stray transforming into Glastonbury

Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch but there will be actual live music taking place on the stray supplied by local musicians which the Harrogate Advertiser has helped to organise.

Among the local musicians to get the chance to perform live in the spotlight will be young Ripon-based rock groups Summer City and Purple Mafia.

Connie Grimes, Robbie Miller, Rob Reynolds, Iron Hands, Paul Middleton & The Angst Band, Beck Bowe and Jonny Skinner will also be performing over Saturday and Sunday.

And who knows, I hear a certain Dave Grohl is free after pulling out of Glastonbury. I’m sure we could make a space for him and even throw in a pair of crutches.

Click here to download the official Big Bike Bash map

Everyone’s favourite young Peruvian bear

I don’t know any other young Peruvian bears so I can safely say Harrogate has got the only that counts tonight.

Paddington’s adventure to London will be shown on a big screen in the open air after which music and entertainment will continue until the Event Village closes at 9pm.

Marmalade sandwiches available on request.

Bikes back in Harrogate

Bikes! Harrogate fell in love with the alternative transportation method last Summer and our love affair can finally be re ignited.

On Saturday, a closed road racing circuit will be created around the town centre, for the first time in a generation, finishing with an all too familiar uphill spring along Parliament Street.

Elite teams from around the country will battle along this technical route, in what is known as a Criterium Race, where spectators can see riders fly past time after time.

This culminates in the furious peloton once more racing for the finish line on West Park, beside the Stray.

Harrogate’s chance to bike like Kittel

As well as the professional races, us non-professionals have the chance to ride the course during the later afternoon as well as three organised rides on Sunday.

For those who already cycle often the ‘Beast’ rides offer a chance to ride upwards of 30 or 50 miles with fellow cyclists from across the area and beyond.

Wether you’re a professional or not you’ll get the chance to get on the saddle and, as long as you don’t ‘do a Cav’ you should have a great time.

Road closures

Who doesn’t love a road closure? Having to plan your daily activities in meticulous detail to avoid those closed roads, nothing better if you ask me.

A number of roads will be closed from midday until midnight on Saturday, including West Park Road, Montpellier Hill, Montpellier Road, Crescent Road and Parliament Street.

Parking restrictions will also be in place on diversion routes to allow for the safe passing of buses.

Access to Tower Street will be managed by event stewards on the event day, but Tower Street will be open to all traffic.

Anyway, travelling by car is yesterday’s news. I’ve heard bikes are back in fashion.