With just five days now until the start of the 101st edition of the Tour de France in Leeds, here’s our latest round-up of the news surrounding the Grand Départ.
Parlez-vous Yorkshire? JE James Cycles issues handy phrasebook
Rotherham-based bike shop JE James Cycles has produced a handy guide to the Yorkshire dialect. Aimed in part at visitors from across the Channel, a number of the phrases have been translated into French.
Among the gems are “Ey up, r’s tha doin owd cocker?” (“Hello, how are you doing old friend?” or “Bonjour là, comment faites-vous ami?”) and “Thar eyes ar’ bigger than tha belly” (“He tends to put too much on his plate and can’t finish it all” or “Il a tendance à mettre trop dans son assiette et ne peut pas terminer tout.”
It’s not just French visitors to Yorkshire who will find the guide invaluable – there are dozens more local phrases that could mystify people from other parts of Britain and for which English translations are given – so if you’re an “offcumden” who is going to the race and don’t want to be made to feel a “doylum,” head over here and brush up your skills.
DLR train gets added VaVaFroome
Attitudes towards bicycles on the Docklands Light Railway have thawed of late – in January, it was announced that cyclists would be allowed to take non-folding bikes on the trains outside peak times following a six-month trial.
Now, one of the trains has received a Tour de France makeover, with a photo of the carriage’s graphic celebrating defending champion Chris Froome posted to Twitter by Team Sky.
Tour de France crimewave warning for Harrogate
Not everyone in the North Yorkshire town that hosts the end of Stage 1 on Saturday is looking forward to the race – the Harrogate and District Neighbourhood Watch Association has advised locals to dig trenches on their land or put up barriers to thwart would-be thieves, reports the Northern Echo.
In a newsletter sent to 18,000 homes in the area, the organisation’s chairman, Keith Roberts, said: “Our enviable record of the lowest level of criminality could be decimated over a couple of days unless we can support our police by reporting suspicious activity and where appropriate warning members of the public of the vulnerability of leaving possessions exposed.
"For our rural members there could be an additional risk of vehicles parking on your land and after the event quad bikes and other items found to be missing.
"If it is feasible do consider digging a trench across points of entry or creating other obstructions,” he advised, cautioning also that sheds and garages should be locked to prevent theft as well as avoiding "unwitting hospitality [which] could be the ideal location for overnight accommodation.”
Local councillor John Blackie described the advice as “absurd.” He said: "When I heard this my mouth dropped open in complete and utter amazement that someone should put out something so absurd.
"We are here to enjoy ourselves and are certainly not expecting a crimewave."
Singing plumber celebrates Tour in song
A singing plumber from Sheffield has teamed up with local newspaper The Star for a song, Get on Yer Bike, to celebrate the Tour de France – getting in the spirit by donning a beret and striped Breton jersey. Watch it here.
Cycling photography exhibition at Leeds City Museum
Leeds City Museum is currently home to an exhibition of cycling photography called Bicyclism, including some pictures dating back to the 19th Century, which runs until this Sunday 6 July.
Combining contemporary and archival video and still images, the exhibition is being staged by local photographer Casey Orr, former Chumbwumba musician Boff Whalley and events producer Jenny Harris, and forms part of the Yorkshire Festival, reports the British Journal of Photography.
A free 44-page newspaper produced for the show by London printers The Newspaper Club will include full-page reproductions of some of the exhibition’s pictures, and Orr said: “We wanted Bicyclism to celebrate cycling as a world before, and apart from, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome – the world of a northern English cityscape, where the bike is for shopping, for getting to university, for going on long Sunday rides with the local club, for taking the kids to school and for exploring the countryside.
“Leeds has a long and fascinating history of cycling, and much of it springs from the city’s access to the Yorkshire Dales,” he added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.