Silsden gears up for Tour de France

Craven Herald: Members of the Silsden community gather in anticipation of the 'Tour de Cobbydale' (6912889) Members of the Silsden community gather in anticipation of the 'Tour de Cobbydale' (6912889)

A COMMUNITY is gearing up to welcome the world’s greatest cycle race.

Silsden is staging a host of projects as the Tour de France looms.

The town centre has taken on a yellow theme in honour of the coloured jersey worn by the race leader.

Baby-sized knitted yellow jerseys are appearing in windows.

And once the Grand Depart has passed through, on Sunday, July 6, the garments will be sent by Silsden Churches Together to parents of new-born babies in Africa.

This week, Bodyfix Physio in Silsden has been out and about in the town with an exercise bike encouraging people to take part in a challenge to cover the 200 kilometres of the Tour's second stage.

Silsden Methodist Church is also involved in the celebrations.

It is holding a Le Bike' festival on June 28 and 29, and then on the weekend of the race itself the church will be filled with bike-shaped floral displays.

Businesses and residents will be decorating bikes to display outside their premises and homes, and the creations will be judged on the Friday of the Grand Depart weekend. A walk-round trail will take place the following day.

Silsden Camera Club is asking townspeople to take photos on the day of the race so they can be uploaded onto the internet to provide a lasting record of the event.

The Rev David Griffiths – vicar of St James' Church in Silsden, and a member of the committee coordinating the town's Tour activities – said the many initiatives had helped galvanise the community.

“It’s drawn the community together,” he said. “I know people now who I didn’t know before.

“We are very excited as a committee about the celebrations and are anticipating a great day on July 6.

“But we also want to build on this and have a post-race event in the town. It’s important that everything we have achieved doesn’t just suddenly come to an end after the race has passed through.”

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