On Saturday 21st, the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International competition started in Wetherby. This was the first time the Para event had run beside the UCI World Road Championships. The UCI event has been running since 1921 and it was only the 4th time the UK had hosted the event. The last time was in 1982. The local craft shop, Create asked for people to knit/crochet bunting in the colours of the UCI to decorate the town. A mile of bunting was needed so a lot of 7”x7”x7” triangles had to be worked. I estimated that they would need around 3730. In the end over 4200 were made. For my part, I only managed 20, but I felt I had done my bit.
Now to get to the point of my post. The whole event seemed to be very unpopular with some people. Because most of Wetherby town centre would be closed for a great part of the day, A number of businesses decided to close. I think that was a shame, but that’s up to the owners and their business assessments. But it was some the comments I heard that brought out the Grump in me! Comments such as:
“They should have done it on Sunday … I’m going to lose money…” and “There should have been more riders … only 70” and “It’s so inconvenient on a shopping day …” and (from a charity shop) “Disgusting waste of tax-payers money …” and “So badly organised … only one crossing point” (3 actually). Luckily there seemed to be more positivity than negativity. It was the second comment in my list that wound me up “… more riders … only 70”. I’m afraid I had to tackle the person and comment back. I asked “What did they want … more people to be disabled or more disabled to get on their bikes? When was the last time you rode a bike round the Yorkshire countryside?” Still waiting for an answer to that one.
All in all, I think the whole competition has proven that Yorkshire is quite a exciting place for the professional cyclist. Just need to get the general cyclists to learn the rules of the road. But that’s another