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.
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!