Whenever this time of year rolls around, cycling fever seems to grip the county as we await the Tour de Yorkshire. This year it’s held from Thursday 3rd May to Sunday 6th May – will you be watching? The men’s course covers 442 miles in four stages (one stage a day) and the women’s course covers 159 miles over two stages with one stage per day. The tour is always exciting to watch and see the talented sports men and women race through our beautiful countryside; let’s take a moment to mention the fact they cycle up the steep hills like they’re nothing! Whilst we might take a little cycle around the course ourselves in our fab new cycle jerseys, on the days of the tours, we’re planning to attend some of the wonderful events taking place around Yorkshire and take a picnic with us of course!
The stages of the Tour de Yorkshire:
Stage one – Beverley to Doncaster
Stage two – Barnsley to Ilkley
Stage three – Richmond to Scarborough
Stage four – Halifax to Leeds
The food you take with you to watch the cyclists whizz past, whether that will be at one of the designated events or along the route in the countryside, should be eaten cold and convenient – ideally not requiring too much fuss! For our picnics, you’ll find us with a plate piled high with pork pies – we go mini for this as they’re bitesize and easy to eat! Then, we usually have a pre-made salad full of different flavours and textures; for this have a look at our California quinoa twist recipe on our recipe section which works great if you pre-prepare it and pop it in a Tupperware to take along.
For a sandwich, we love to use a French baguette as with normal bread you run the risk of it going a little soggy! Filling wise, a chicken and avocado salad sandwich sounds good to us! Or maybe go with a cheese and ham traditional sandwich! You’ve got to have some crisps and then there’s the best bit – dessert.
Now, whilst you might not technically be racing, it’s exhausting to watch the riders race up the hills, so treat yourself. We’d go for one dish that everyone’s a fan of; a marshmallow and honeycomb rocky road. Make a tray pan of it at home, slice it into bite size pieces and then serve it up at the picnic – we’re sure it’ll make you very popular!
Are you going to do the route after the Tour is over? We do love cycling so were thinking of doing part of the route from their Stage 2; from Barnsley to Ilkley as it’s such a beautiful route with some unbelieveable scenery and you get to finish in Ilkley which boasts stunning moorland in the Wharfe Valley – plus there’s the Cow and Calf pub which has great beer, unrivaled scenery and a roaring fire and tasty food to warm you up! The average time for the route is 3 hours 40 minutes and you can find the map here on the Tour de Yorkshire’s website, but we plan to take our time – racing against the clock is thrilling but we love to take our time to enjoy the scenery and stop every so often for a pork pie break!