Wednesday 9 July 2014

Little Adventures with Barny at the Tour de France

We've been on several little adventures with Barny, the sponge bear snack. First there was an insect hunt and then we went to Clumber Park. Neither of these could match seeing the Tour de France go through Yorkshire!

We decided to we wanted to watch both days. Over the years we have been up and down the country to see cycle races. In this time we have learnt two things. Firstly, you have to arrive very early to get a good spot – up to five hours beforehand! Secondly, for such a wait you need to pack lots of food and drink. Good job we had Barny with us!

On the Saturday the Tour de France started from Leeds and went through the city centre out to Harewood House. To get to Leeds on time we got up at 5am in order to catch the early train. Before the race starts the procession of promotional cars and floats rolls past. These are always fun to see for their wacky designs and the chance to see grab a freebie.

Once the cyclists set off we had the pleasure of seeing defending champion Chris Froome and the 'Manx Missile' Mark Cavendish roll past us first. Sadly 'Cav's' Tour de France came to very premature end when he crashed just before the finish line in Harrogate.

It wasn't such an early start for us on the Sunday. Our plan was to go the now famous Jenkin Road, situated just round the corner from the Meadowhall shopping centre. The street is only 800m long but at times the gradient touches over 30%. It's tough enough to try and cycle up at the best times but the riders encountered this after nearly 200km and 5 hours of racing.

We found our spot and pitched up for the day. Barny also found a place but don't worry we made sure he was safe before all the cyclists came past! Sometimes when you go to watch a cycle race the whole group can be all together and they just whizz past you in matter of seconds. As the route was so tough it split the riders and it took over 20 minutes for them all to come through.

After all the support cars had gone past it was time to finally pack up and start on the journey home. Many happy memories for us and hopes that Le Tour will return to these shores again.

This is a post for Barny #LittleAdventures with Mumsnet Bloggers. We were sent Barny and no payment was made for this post. All words and photographs are my own.


  1. I love these little snacks there so tasty, looks you got a great view of tour de france :-)

    1. It was a long wait but certainly worth it for all of us. Good job we had plenty of Barny to keep us filled up!

  2. what a fab post, i love the posing scarecrow fige and his bike at the top , our neighbour village does a full show with these and its a great site to see x

    1. A lot of the people living on the route really got into the spirit of things and decorated their houses. It really added to the atmosphere.

  3. we came across the Tour of Dubai by accident earlier this year and got held up for an hour, we really enjoyed the experience and not something we've ever considered watching, but we decided next year we'll watch more of the stages


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