There are so many cycling races taking place around the world. With the Tour de France making its way to our home county of Yorkshire this summer we thought we would share some tips to ensure you make the most of your day spectating. We are grateful to have watched many local amateur races and travelled the world watching professional races. Some of the races we have seen at Pennine Cycles are the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, the Tour Down Under, the Tour of Britain, the road and time trial World Championships, the Olympic Road Race and lots of track racing too!
Decide in advance which area you want to watch the race at. Although you are not guaranteed to get your exact spot – If it is good everyone else will want to be there too. A hill or a corner are always good due to the riders slowing down so you can catch a glimpse of them. The start and finish lines are always exciting and occasionally you may be fortunate enough to get a photo with a rider, like Sandra did at The Tour de France last year when she met Juan Antonio Flecha!
Although many towns and villages will have areas where you can purchase food and drink it is always good to be safe and take a drink and a snack with you. If you find a good spot you will not want to move from it! We recommend having a little rucksack for these – Not a huge bag which blocks other people’s view and hits them when you are walking!
You could be walking and standing for a long time waiting for the race to come past. It is important to have comfortable shoes, we are loving these Mavic Podium shoes at the moment. They look great and are just the thing to be wearing at a cycling event.
The weather can be unpredictable (especially if watching in the UK) and so it is important to protect your skin with factor 30. We like to use Arbonne’s Water Resistant Sunscreen.
Take some time to know which riders and teams are taking part in the race you are watching. We usually have a read (or look at pictures) of a local magazine beforehand, it’s important to know your Cav from your Kittel!
Take a camera as you will want to capture the moments! Also have a back up memory card and phone incase you get carried away with your pics and run out of memory. The days before ensure everything is fully charged and take a charger with you on the day in case you get chance to top them up.
Wear something colourful or take a flag to wave (just make sure it doesn’t get near the riders). Or for the Tour de France grab yourself a Welcome to Yorkshire flag! This makes it fun and also helps to spot yourself on the TV!
Those are just a few of our tips to help you make the most of watching your race of choice. The most important thing is to enjoy the race and take in the atmosphere.
What would your top tip for watching a bike race? Comment below!