Before the Grand Depart

At the moment, the plan is pretty simple: Ride over to Harrogate on Thursday, time for a quick refresh before heading down to Leeds Arena for the team presentation, then spend Friday looking for the best viewing spot for Saturday’s stage. On Sunday I’ll ride over to Howarth, Hebden Bridge or maybe Cragg Vale to see the riders pass through on stage 2, then head home. Simple…

…Ok well maybe not. First of all, I live near the west Lancashire coast, so the shortest route over to Harrogate is nearly 80 miles. Last time I attempted it, I ended up riding nearly 100, as I tried to avoid the busy A59. Secondly, I think some of the organisers of ‘Le Tour’, and most of the people attending the English stages (myself included) have hugely underestimated just how busy it is going to be! Don’t get me wrong – I’m really looking forward to the event, and the atmosphere should be fantastic, however getting around is going to be less than straightforward – even on a bike.

I’m not the biggest fan of the Tour De France (I’ve never travelled to watch the stages in France), however I must admit that the prospect of seeing the world’s greatest riders tackling the local roads is really fascinating – to see the difference between us ‘mere mortals’ and the peloton on the same piece of tarmac.

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I’ll be tackling this mission on my trusty Ribble Gran Fondo – still excellent after nearly 18 months of (almost) daily use. Please read my main review for the full details of this great bike. Stay tuned for updates!

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