I’ll be honest: I have a pretty chequered history with bikes. I remember loving them when I was a little kid. There was the gleeful triumph of having the stabilisers removed and my pride at cycling up a hill in Guisborough Forest when I didn’t think I’d make it. I remember loving the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.
Then I fell off.
It wasn’t a big fall, although I do remember rolling down a hill and ending up in a ditch. I was fine, except for a scraped knee and hurt pride. I did ride my bike again, but the love affair had ended.
One thing I absolutely can do, however, is cheer. When the Klondike Bike Race came through Guisborough, I was out there shouting with the best of them. There’s something so exciting about watching a bike race. There was a hushed silence when we first heard the rush of wheels, then a sudden roar as the bikes came whizzing past us.
I’ll be front row for the Tour de Yorkshire. It’s a massive race that’s coming right to our doorstep. It’ll be amazing to see. But the really exciting thing is the legacy that the race leaves.
People from all over will be able to watch the race on ITV4. It’ll show off our lovely surroundings, from the gorgeous coastline to the beautiful countryside. That’s not to mention the visitors that will join us during the race. They’ll fall in love with our borough. Why wouldn’t they? Even if you forget about the landscape, our local people are the most welcoming there is!
Redcar and Cleveland is especially brilliant for those who are inspired to take to their bikes: there are dozens of cycling routes for all ability levels. Take Guisborough Forest for example, where I fell in love with the surroundings and off my bike! There are routes for mountain bikers with nerves of steel or gentler routes for anyone else.
More visitors can only help our local businesses. We’ve already started offering some advice and support to Ambassadors who want to make the most out of the Tour de Yorkshire. I’ll be watching the race and cheering as loud as I can. What are you going to do to celebrate the race? We’d love to know. Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with your plans and you might turn up on our website!