North Yorkshire is gearing up to host one of the world’s hottest cycling events – the UCI Road World Championships – which take place from Saturday 21st to Sunday 29th September.
Our Harrogate is the ‘host town’ for the championships and will be the focus of the entire event. All races will finish in the town and eight of the races will use a Harrogate ‘inner circuit’ route. This means there will be road closures, diversion routes, parking restrictions and alternative parking areas during the Championships. So here’s a five helpful hints on how to ride out the UCI this September:
1. Know your road closures
We all experienced the ciaos that was the Tour de France; Grand Départ in 2014, and each year the Tour de Yorkshire (a road race organised by Welcome to Yorkshire on the back of the Grand Départ success) brings back those feelings of joy – or is it road rage?
The UCI Road World Championships will be no different – in fact it could be a whole lot worse – we’ve lived through the roadworks in preparation for the race and now we need to know if we can get to work over the nine-day cycling event later this month.
My advice to you is to know your road closures well ahead of the event. Plan your journey for the nine days as there is nothing worse than having to join the queue when you need to be somewhere. You can find out how this might impact your journey to and from work via this interactive map from North Yorkshire County Council: northyorks.gov.uk/uci-road-world-cycling-championships
Sadly it’s not just the roads that will be affected, busses and trains will too. If you usually travel by bus here’s what The Harrogate Bus Company are planning over the nine days: http://www.harrogatebus.co.uk/news.jsp?newsID=2794 And the are no exception for trains with expected delays they are doing everything they can to minimise the impact: https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/uci
2. Get involved
Sometime, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The UCI Road World Championships will be a spectacle so if you can go and experience what this event has to offer.
There will be a fan zone on the Stray, offering the chance to watch the race as it sets off and returns each day to Harrogate. There’ll be activities, food, drink and entertainment for the whole family. But here’s some tips from the UCI itself about the fan zone:
- Dress for the weather – we are in Yorkshire peeps!
- Keep bag size to under 25L (50 x 40 x 40cm) – view full restricted items list here. https://worlds.yorkshire.com/spectator-guide/fan-zone/#ri
- Allow plenty of time for entry – know where your entrances are and the walking routes from transport hubs should you be using them.
- Come with an empty stomach – With the very best quality curated food & drink options from across Yorkshire, UK and around the World you best be prepared for a feast.
3. Support our locals
If anyone is going to suffer during the nine days of the UCI road race, it’s our local shops, cafes and restaurants; where possible shop local. Try not to avoid your usual hang outs for fear of them being too busy. And if they are, find a new local independent that isn’t as busy – maybe one’s off the beaten track. If you can’t get out then support them in other ways, take to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to give the a like or a follow. It really will make their day.
4. Prepare and hide
Ok, if you are like Dangerfield and Keen (the hairdressers on cold bath road) and have decided the UCI isn’t for you, then you need to ensure you’re stock up and ready to hibernate for the week.
Make sure you have petrol in your car, enough food to avoid the masses of visitors stocking up their rentals for the week and cancel any unnecessary journeys. I know some friends and colleagues are exploring the ability of working from home and becoming a proper hermit.
5. Get outta ‘ere
You might want to consider the extreme idea of leaving Harrogate altogether. As it’s term time the likelihood of finding a good deal on holiday pirate is a sure possibility. Why not up-sticks to far away sandy beach? Or, if you read my recent blog why not book that trip to the Cotswolds?