Town goes yellow crazy for cycle extravaganza

Staff at Bee Mill Garage, Ribchester, created this tribute to the cyclists taking part in the Tour of Britain  by welding spare car parts together to create an eye-catching  tandem with rider.

Staff at Bee Mill Garage, Ribchester, created this tribute to the cyclists taking part in the Tour of Britain by welding spare car parts together to create an eye-catching tandem with rider.

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There’s a yellow glow spreading around Longridge as more and more bikes hit the heights on houses, shops and businesses heralding the Tour of Britain race through the town in 12 days time.

In honour of the famous cycle race, locals are starting to decorate the town with yellow bikes – similar to Yorkshire’s Tour de France decorations last year.

Barbara Willan is presented with her yellow bike by Longridge Community Group members including mayor Coun Sarah Rainford (left) and her consort Andrew Fordham on the right.

Barbara Willan is presented with her yellow bike by Longridge Community Group members including mayor Coun Sarah Rainford (left) and her consort Andrew Fordham on the right.

Staff at Bee Mill Garage in Ribchester got their welding torches out to create a tribute to the cyclists by welding spare car parts together to create an eye-catching tandem with rider.

Another town resident has used a bicycle basket to create an attractive floral display – in yellow of course.

But the biggest glow is at the home of Barbara Willan, when the thieves who had stolen her special yellow bike thought better of it and anonymously returned the item.

The town’s Community Partnership, which is coordinating race efforts, is headed by Longridge mayor Sarah Rainford.

She said: “We heard that a special wooden bike, also yellow, bought by Barbara’s late husband Ken for her at last year’s Tour de France in Yorkshire, had been stolen from the house wall where it had been fixed since then.

“We received requests from her family and friends for a ‘yellow bike’ to replace it, then found out that the wooden bike, although damaged, had been returned anonymously in black bin liners early one morning.

“But we felt it would still be lovely to provide Mrs Willan with a replacement, so we installed the bike and a very happy but tearful Mrs Willan was delighted with the community gesture.”

An emotional Mrs Willan was also delighted that her wooden bike was once again back on her wall, complete with a piece of it which was left stuck there when it was ripped away.

She said: “Whoever took it must have felt guilty, but I’m so glad to have it back.

“We always watched the race and I’ll be doing so this year.

“Ken loved cycling and biked to work at Berry’s mill in Chipping every day until he retired at 65.”

Also supporting the Tour is Longridge Community Gym, which has been running an exercise bike challenge.

From 8am – 1pm the entrants’ challenge is to complete 20 minutes on an indoor cycle covering as much distance as possible, with prizes to the winners.

Some of the things being planned to celebrate one of Britain’s most prestigious cycle races include competitions, displays and a shop decorating competition.

This year’s race begins on the isle of Anglesey and finishes in London.

Stage 2 comes through Lancashire, beginning in Clitheroe and ending in Colne, and coming through Longridge.

The Tour comes through Longridge on Monday, September 7.