We’re not competing in Yorkshire’s Le Tour de Farnce

A number of people from “across the moss” in the other county have been looking for yellow flowers to plant up their baskets and containers as they prepare for the arrival of Le Tour de France in Yorkshire.

Wiggins wins
Wiggins wins

Pansies are, of course, a firm favourite, along with calendulas, French and African Marigolds, trailing Bidens and Lysimachia.

Apparently old bicycles painted yellow are now starting to appear on village greens and in front gardens as unofficial tokens of support for this major sporting event, which only ranks in status behind events at Turf Moor and my own cycling tour with the lads.

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We did consider competing on Le Tour to liven things up a bit. We have always considered the competitors light weights and, compared to all of us, I think that a fair description.

Paul, our team leader, eventually vetoed any thoughts of participation when he discovered pork pies and scratchings are considered “performance enhancing substances” by Le Tour authorities. Of course they are. They help you maintain the vital salt:beer balance.

Most distressing of all, however, was the discovery that, after pedalling over Buttertubs Pass, the cyclists are expected to race PAST the Farmers Arms in Muker.

Our own health and safety assessment reckons that at least half a gallon of ale is necessary to maintain the correct isotonic balance in our bodies, and crucially, ensure a low centre of gravity for cornering as our Lycra encased bellies straddle our cross bars, demanding we would have to call in.

No wonder Brad was fast: he wasn’t carrying a front satchel.

So my own preparations are going to be restricted to the proper tour in September. That has meant getting some tickets for Clitheroe Beer Festival and getting up before six each morning to actually turn my pedals. My only companion being little Monty who runs alongside.

I say runs, but in truth he waddles.

A fondness for pies and a skill at mugging innocent customers for food (actually he has a fan club of treat providers), means he is (like me) a bit of a porker.

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So out we go into the early dawn with lots of puffing and panting by me and the odd cooling dip in the canal for him.

Both of us need to shed some lard and get in trim, but at last we are making a start. But if you do watch Le Tour, there will be no yellow jersey for me.

I’ll be the one standing outside the pub shouting words of encouragement based on years of research and experience ... and no doubt Monty will be nearby begging for scraps.