Wow – that was hard! Norfolk is a poor training ground for Yorkshire hills. There were 6 major hills, all but one of which I walked up – too steep for me when in company of others who were also finding them challenging and, like me, weaving over the road so there wasn’t always a clear path to ride in. I opted for the easy way out and walked.
But Yorkshire was amazing: roads in the towns and villages decorated with official light blue Tour de Yorkshire flags etc and with a delightful assortment of bunting, flags, miniature jerseys, painted bikes – and people cheering us on from their front gardens, laybys, outside the pubs etc.
Yorkshire has a great reputation among cyclists for its welcome and I can now attest to that. Yes, there was also a professional race coming through – but several hours after us. I saw one mum setting up with two young children and chairs and picnic. Bridge Church in Otley with jugs of orange squash to refill our bottles (very welcome in the heat – it was a really nice day).
Knowing the hills, I deliberately set out with no target time, planning only to finish in one piece, frequent stops plus a mile or two walking (only way to admire the view – the descents obviously also very steep!).