A Fantastic Day in London!
Pennine Cycles were invited by Welcome to Yorkshire (the official Yorkshire tourism company who won the successful Tour de France bid) to be part of the Lord Mayors Show in London. Welcome to Yorkshire had their own section of the parade to promote the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France which takes place in July 2014. 4 members of V.C.Bradford:Pennine Cycles were in the parade riding their Pennine bikes which are custom-made at our Bradford premises.
The first ever Lord Mayors parade was held back in 1215 and it is the longest TV show in the world. It was an honour to be invited to be part of such a prestigious and historic event.
Pennine Cycles’ Managing Director Paul and V.C.Bradford members Mark, Tim and Paul all arrived in London on Friday afternoon in preparation for the big event. It was then an early start on Saturday when they met with other people who were part of the Welcome to Yorkshire section, this included Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, Bernard Hinault, 5 times winner of the Tour de France and Gary Verity, CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire. Also included in the Welcome to Yorkshire procession were 4 flag bearers at the front and rear of our group, a French car dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, with the driver wearing period costume. Behind the car were 3 old bikes with the riders in period dress, 2 Welcome to Yorkshire cars and our 4 Pennine riders wearing the newly launched Welcome to Yorkshire jerseys, these can be purchased here. The various bikes represented old and new which was the theme of the Lord Mayors Show.
We took our Pennine bikes to the meeting position and formed part of the long procession of 4000 people. The route started in the financial district passing the Lord mayor at Mansion House. The crowds were incredible, despite the rain. The beginning section of the parade was shown on BBC1 and we were on! Did you spot us?
After a lunch stop the non-televised section of the route was completed in better weather and the crowds in places were 10 deep. We were also passing out Welcome to Yorkshire flags to some of the children in the crowds to help spread the word of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.
After bidding farewell to Mr Hinault we made our way back to central London and then headed back up north. Although the route was only about 4 miles it took us around 3 1/2 hours to travel the length of the parade, one of the hardest parts of the day was riding so slow!
Here is a video from the day, taken by Paul whilst he was riding!
Overall it was an amazing experience and we are grateful to Welcome to Yorkshire for the opportunity of a lifetime and inviting us to be part of the Lord Mayors Show. It was wonderful to ride the streets of central London and not have to stop at any red lights!
For more photos from the day you can check out our Facebook page.
Did you watch the Lord Mayors Show? Comment below sharing your excitement of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire!