THINGS TO DO
VISIT: A street party
This is Yorkshire’s Olympics and its towns and villages are set to embrace the party atmosphere.
So if camping or festival tickets seem a bit steep, take a day trip to a street party. With two of Yorkshire’s famous breweries located in the town, ‘Le Grand Party’ in Masham (July 5) looks hard to beat.
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EAT: Betty’s Butter Biscuit Bear
This Harrogate tea room is a Yorkshire icon; to mark the Tour de France they’ve produced special teddy bear biscuits with delicious polka-dot or yellow marzipan icing. If you’re in Harrogate this July, it really would be rude not to.
DRINK: Tour coffee
Taylors of Harrogate has come up with a special blend to commemorate the arrival of the Tour. Called ‘Allez! Allez!’ it’s claimed to be a “deep nimble blend that’s as balanced as the riders”.
DRINK: Yorkshire Tea
If coffee isn’t your cup of tea, then the official tea of the Tour de France Grand Départ, Yorkshire Tea, will be handing out free bags on the roadside all weekend. If you tweet a picture of yourself with your tea and the hashtag #teaonletour then you can win a year’s supply of the stuff too.
RIDE: Wensleydale Railway
The heritage Wensleydale Railway will be running a special service on Saturday July 5 to link up with the Tour. Running from Leeming Bar to Redmire, the stop at Leyburn will be popular as the race passes through the town on stage one. Cycles must be pre-booked onto trains, but hang around until Sunday when a steam train will be out on the line. www.wensleydalerail.com
Plan ahead and leave plenty of time
The Tour won’t be back next year, so don’t get caught out by road closures, traffic or the sheer volume of people. There will be plenty going on in Yorkshire in the days before the race.
Take a stroll around the team buses at the start
Don’t just spend hours jostling for position around Team Sky; there’s plenty to see at the smaller teams’ set-ups but with none of the crowds.
Respect the riders and the race…
…and let’s not forget the drystone walls.
Bring plenty of food and drink
You can’t climb Holme Moss on an empty stomach, can you?
It has been known to rain in Yorkshire from time to time.
Expect to be able to drive
Be prepared to walk from your car to see the race — unlike France, vehicles will not be allowed to park on the race route.
Rely on getting your bike on the train
Northern Rail will put on extra trains but with a limit of just two non-folding bikes per service.
Pretend you’re the next Graham Watson
Don’t hide behind a camera lens; your photos will be blurry and you’ll wish you’d made the most of the moment.
Rely on the weather
No really, it can get a bit nippy when the sun goes in.
Try to see too much
Plan your spot, arrive early and enjoy the atmosphere. No need to go rushing around.
Take dogs (or kids) off their leads
Animals and bike racing do not mix. The same goes for toddlers.
Where to watch the Tour de France on the opening two stages this weekend (July 5-6), with maps and timings
A road cyclist's guide to the climbs of Yorkshire's Grand Depart, by 100 Climbs author Simon Warren