Piano pull up Cragg Vale to celebrate Tour Grand Départ

Warning: bad puns ahead

by John Stevenson   February 11, 2014  

Grand-Departs-c-Yorkshire-F

The opening days of the Tour de France are called the Grand Départ, and as you know unless you’ve spent the last year under a rock, Yorkshire is hosting them this year. So, if you were going to celebrate the occasion by having a team of cyclists tow a large, horizontally stringed piano up England’s longest continuous climb, what would you call the event? The Grand Departs, of course.

On April 5, as a prologue to the Hebden Bridge Piano Festival (April 11-13), a team of Calderdale’s most resilient cyclists will pull a grand piano up Cragg Vale, the longest continuous ascent in England.

To haul the instrument, the riders will use a PianoPorté, a new invention by sculptor Andy Plant that has a 2CV gearbox as part of its gubbins. While they toil up the six-mile ascent, local and international pianists will play a specially composed musical work by the festival’s director David Nelson.

The piano-shifting team will set off from Mytholmroyd at noon on April 5, but aren’t guessing how long it’ll take to reach Blackstone Edge. It's a safe bet that that Richard Bideau’s and Vicky Clark’s Strava KOM and QOM of 16:26 and 19:03 respectively are in no danger.

However, Richard’s mark might be in trouble on July 6 when the second stage of the Tour heads up the Cragg Vale climb.

The Grand Departs is also an official part of Yorkshire Festival 2014, the first ever arts festival to precede the Tour’s Grand Départ in its 111 year history. It is also supported by Calderdale Council and Legacy Trust UK.

Want to take part? Drop the organisers a line at grand@imovearts.co.uk.

14 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

King of the Mehlin&Sons!

(get my coat)

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [237 posts]
11th February 2014 - 14:06

15 Likes

I'm no good at piano based punning - it's just not my forte.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
11th February 2014 - 14:43

8 Likes

Pull a piano up Cragg? that'd be grand!

Shay

posted by shay cycles [294 posts]
11th February 2014 - 14:58

9 Likes

Lots of hard work and training are the keys to this event

posted by Steve Jarvis [5 posts]
11th February 2014 - 15:05

6 Likes

That's quite a hill to scale.

YorkshireMike's picture

posted by YorkshireMike [92 posts]
11th February 2014 - 15:22

6 Likes

One thing's for sure - the pros won't be soft-pedalling. Big Grin

When I saw the headline I thought it was going to be a Last of The Summer Wine bathtub-type jape...

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [1163 posts]
11th February 2014 - 16:55

7 Likes

Hopefully no minor falls will accompany this major lift. Plain Face

posted by chokofingrz [390 posts]
11th February 2014 - 18:17

8 Likes

Hopefully it won't break loose and run down the hill and crush any kids or you'll end up with a flat minor.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
11th February 2014 - 18:38

8 Likes

They should play the Led Zep classic Steinway to Heaven...

Him Up North's picture

posted by Him Up North [241 posts]
11th February 2014 - 23:10

7 Likes

Pitch perfect interval training?
Rolling Eyes

chrisl's picture

posted by chrisl [47 posts]
12th February 2014 - 0:22

6 Likes

Hope they get better weather than when I battled up there on Sunday in the wind & hail.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3690 posts]
12th February 2014 - 9:47

5 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Hope they get better weather than when I battled up there on Sunday in the wind & hail.

You only had one job.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [867 posts]
12th February 2014 - 10:34

8 Likes

Let's be honest here, the event is about promoting the piano festival. The fact they're pulling the thing up a hill that the tour will ride up is incidental.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [1163 posts]
12th February 2014 - 11:36

4 Likes

KiwiMike wrote:
notfastenough wrote:
Hope they get better weather than when I battled up there on Sunday in the wind & hail.

You only had one job.

I'm sorry, I don't even know what you're trying to say.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3690 posts]
13th February 2014 - 19:17

2 Likes