'Tasteless' Tour de France tributes under fire - including 'crashed' bike

"Like Jeremy Clarkson welcoming the Tour" says cyclist who spotted bizarre tribute

by Simon_MacMichael   June 18, 2014  

Tasteless Tour Tribute (picture credit Mick Jones @strollerbird1 on Twitter)

A bike that appears to have crashed into the side of a house has been described as “tasteless” and "like Jeremy Clarkson welcoming the Tour" by a cyclist checking out the roads of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire. Meanwhile, a banner elsewhere on the Tour de France route proclaiming “Welcome to Widowmakers’ Bend” has also attracted criticism.

With a little over a fortnight before the race begins Leeds, people across Yorkshire have been busy putting up all kinds of decorations to welcome it, including bicycles painted yellow in tribute to the leader’s jersey.

But Coventry cyclist Mick Jones spotted one in the Swaledale village of Gunnerside that he believes is in bad taste, and he posted a picture of it to Twitter.

He told the Northern Echo: "We have not been to the area before and have come up ahead of the Tour to cycle and drive round the route.

"We were impressed with the wonderful scenery and the way that the villages and towns were welcoming the event.

"But I found this the depiction of a cycle at odds with the spirit of the area and more like Jeremy Clarkson welcoming the Tour."

Cyclist Mick Jones from Coventry tweeted a picture of the bike in the Swaledale village of Gunnerside

Meanwhile landowner Christopher Bourne-Arton admitted that people had complained about his “Welcome to Widowmakers Bend” banner at West Tanfield, near Ripon.

He told the newspaper: "People keep trying to say that someone has died on the bend but nobody has died there.

"The only crash there has been was a lad who had a bit too much to drink and he wasn't hurt.

"It's not that dangerous a bend. If you were in a soap box derby it might be but not for professional riders.

"It's for the Tour de France that's all it is and it's just a bit of fun. As soon as the race is finished it will be taken down."

But one cyclist told the Northern Echo: "I just don't think it sends out the right message to tour riders who are risking life and limb for their sport, not to mention what the television audiences will think."

Tanfield Parish Council said it had received “comments” about the banner but added that it was unable to take any action in the matter.

20 user comments

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Crikey, life must be tough when you are this sensitive. It's not like it's at Elephant and Castle or some other accident site.

Definitely worthy of a news article, though. Big story this.

posted by duncbell [6 posts]
18th June 2014 - 15:16

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God help Mick Jones if he watches an episode of Last of the Summer Wine...

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
18th June 2014 - 15:36

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farrell wrote:
God help Mick Jones if he watches an episode of Last of the Summer Wine...

My thoughts too - the irreverend boys from LotSW would have poor Mick apoplectic

posted by mad_scot_rider [544 posts]
18th June 2014 - 16:27

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Now if he'd have complained about the A4 paper sign on the telegraph pole that said something like "Cyclists... Warning, If you are on the wrong side of the road, and I'm coming the other way, I WILL NOT BRAKE FOR YOU"...

(Wish I'd grabbed a photo of it, but I was giving it the beans (on the correct side of the road I may add)

It was somewhere between Gunnerside and Reeth IIRC. and attached to the pole under one of the yellow "Cyclists, Stay in Single File" police notices

posted by BigYin [10 posts]
18th June 2014 - 20:20

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I saw that sign at the weekend too. I'm not sure how the writer will judge whether a bike qualifies under his or her criteria to be run over as there is no centre white line for much of the road above Reeth, the road being essentially single track with any two vehicles wider than bikes needing to slow when meeting each other. There's an awful lot of agricultural traffic at the moment too, being grass cutting time, so it would also be interesting to see whether he applies his no braking rule to tractors and harvesters he finds coming towards him on 'the wrong side of the road' by reason of their width taking up most of the road.

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posted by Northernbike [127 posts]
18th June 2014 - 20:47

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Back to the topic of 'crashed' yellow bikes, yes, it may not be a big deal, but there is a festive air about the dales right now with bikes/bunting/banners everywhere and feigned road accidents are not really in keeping with the prevailing spirit of celebration, neither are they a great advert for the dales

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posted by Northernbike [127 posts]
18th June 2014 - 20:56

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I just don't think it sends out the right message to tour riders who are risking life and limb for their sport!! risking life and limb?? slightly overstated!!

D A Brett

posted by darenbrett [18 posts]
18th June 2014 - 20:57

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One coming down from Cragg Vale to Ripponden, yellow bike embedded in big pile of manure with caption next to it
Smile

posted by langsett [19 posts]
18th June 2014 - 22:06

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Northernbike wrote:
feigned road accidents are not really in keeping with the prevailing spirit of celebration, neither are they a great advert for the dales

Yes, I can see that you are right actually. Someone painting a knackered old bike and pretending that it has crashed into their wall is in no way a humorous and irreverent nod to the forthcoming party. Going to these efforts clearly shows that these folk are against the Tour and wish physical harm to cyclists. Please can someone who lives nearby remove the offending item before the whole of the Dales is brought into disrepute?

D Oh

posted by duncbell [6 posts]
19th June 2014 - 0:02

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duncbell wrote:
Northernbike wrote:
feigned road accidents are not really in keeping with the prevailing spirit of celebration, neither are they a great advert for the dales

Yes, I can see that you are right actually. Someone painting a knackered old bike and pretending that it has crashed into their wall is in no way a humorous and irreverent nod to the forthcoming party. Going to these efforts clearly shows that these folk are against the Tour and wish physical harm to cyclists. Please can someone who lives nearby remove the offending item before the whole of the Dales is brought into disrepute?

D Oh

This is up right up there with the Beckindale Air Disaster.

RIP in Pieces Tour de France riders, u r wiv tha angles now....

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
19th June 2014 - 0:08

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well, I suppose we will have to differ on how completely hilarious road accidents are as you haven't really convinced me of the funny side yet I'm afraid

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posted by Northernbike [127 posts]
19th June 2014 - 7:46

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Isn't the internet age great ? More pointless writing, more pointless reading. Stop, go out and do something.

posted by Beaufort [143 posts]
19th June 2014 - 8:51

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Mick if you are that sensitive about how things are named then count yourself lucky the TDF isn't in the Peak District and passing through The Devil's Arse.

posted by leqin [94 posts]
19th June 2014 - 8:52

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Northernbike wrote:
well, I suppose we will have to differ on how completely hilarious road accidents are as you haven't really convinced me of the funny side yet I'm afraid

I have to ask to make sure:

You do realise this wasn't actually an accident, right?

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
19th June 2014 - 9:23

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Blimey, Yorkshire humour passes another visitor by. Don't go to Rigton near the route then - they've got a snapped bike with a polka dot rider upside down in the tree!

posted by fustuarium [11 posts]
19th June 2014 - 10:45

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leqin wrote:
Mick if you are that sensitive about how things are named then count yourself lucky the TDF isn't in the Peak District and passing through The Devil's Arse.

..or Dead Woman's Bottom (Somerset). After the intervention of the constabulary during a road building protest back in the 90s, this lead to the most excellent headline "Police Enter Dead Woman's Bottom".

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posted by fukawitribe [358 posts]
19th June 2014 - 10:50

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"not in the spirit of the area" How can Mick Jones say that if he's never visited before. It's pretty representative of the local humor be assured. I like it.

There are some real party poopers out there.

posted by mt [4 posts]
19th June 2014 - 11:51

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It is a mock up road accident in a valley where a number of people have been killed or badly hurt in road accidents involving cars, motorbikes and bicycles in recent years. I am still waiting for someone to explain why they think it is funny I'm afraid.

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posted by Northernbike [127 posts]
19th June 2014 - 13:11

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Before anyone even bothers to try, as I fear this would be an exercise in pissing in the wind, have you ever found a joke funny?

posted by farrell [1394 posts]
19th June 2014 - 13:24

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It seems to me that some folk are just determined to be offended.
You have to wonder what childhood incident occurred to produce such a bewildering thin-ness of skin.

Mike

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posted by mike the bike [126 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 16:27

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