Welcoming Le Tour to Yorkshire!

Thrilled that the Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire for the first two stages in July 2014!  The route will take in iconic and difficult terrain near Bradford and in the Yorkshire Dales.  This image of cyclists on Kex Gill Pass during the 1930s gives a sense of the challenges to be faced, although we hope the weather will be slightly better for the Tour.

Cyclists in the snow, Kex Gill Pass near Blubberhouses, Yorkshire, by Fred Robinson Butterfield, 1930s

Cyclists in the snow, Kex Gill Pass near Blubberhouses, Yorkshire, by Fred Robinson Butterfield, 1930s

This photo was taken by keen cyclist Fred Butterfield: find out more about him and his fascinating Yorkshire photographs in this entry from our 100 Objects series.

Bradford University and the City have a long interest in cycling.   Like rambling, it has long been popular in this region, the closeness of incredible landscapes to Yorkshire’s industrial cities allowing workers and students to find themselves in rural and remote settings just a few minutes outside the urban bustle.   J.B. Priestley’s writings often show the value he and his contemporaries placed on the Dales as a place for freedom, beauty and adventure.

Here’s the Cycling Club on Richmond Road, just outside the University, in November 1968.  It looks rather chilly, and the accompanying news story observes that “the weather this term has not been favourable”, but “the more hardy members have been going out regularly each week”.

It might be cold, but notice the lack of cars on the road – bliss!

Bradford University Cycling Club outside the University about to set off for a Wednesday afternoon ride, from Javelin 28 November 1968.

The more hardy members of Bradford University Cycling Club, from Javelin 28 November 1968.

Cycling is still really popular at the University: if you’d like to know more, see the University Bicycle Users Group and the Cycling Club websites.

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