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Hedgehog Cycling

 Hedgehog Cycling is an online cycling magazine. We love all sorts of cycling - road biking, mountain biking, commuting, and family pottering on cycle paths and canal towpaths. We aim to cover cycling issues in Harrogate, the UK, and beyond. There are regular posts on our cycling blog. We're excited about the Tour de France coming to the UK in July 2014, and we have a guide to the three UK stages of the Tour

Tour de France 2014

Cyclists on route of Tour de France 2014 stage one near Leyburn

Our Tour de France section has a guide to the first three stages of the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire, Cambridge and London, as well as the latest news in the build-up to the Tour, videos of the routes, and more.

See the timings for the UK stages of the Tour, and where best to watch the race. We also have ideas about where to stay during the Tour de France 2014.

Stage One

Bridge in Kettlewell

Stage one starts in Leeds, and goes through Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, and the Yorkshire Dales, before reaching the finish line on Harrogate's West Park. 

Stage One climbs

Cote de Grinton Moor climb, Stage 1, TDF 2014

There are three categorised climbs on Stage 1 - Cote de Cray (Kidstones), Cote de Buttertubs, and Cote de Grinton Moor. They'll be popular places for spectators, who will have gone there well in advance. Read about the climbs of Stage 1, Tour de France 2014.

Stage Two

York Minster

Stage two begins in York, and heads west through Knaresborough, to Bolton Bridge, before turning south. It takes in Keighley, Howarth, Hebden Bridge, and Huddersfield, climbs Holme Moss, and finishes in Sheffield.

Stage Three

Christ's College Cambridge

Stage three begins in Cambridge, then heads through the flat Essex countryside, into London, through the Olympic park, and finishes on The Mall.

Barry Hoban predicts Stage 1 will split the field

8th April 2014

Road up Grinton Moor

Veteran British cyclist Barry Hoban says that people are wrong to believe that Stage 1 of the Tour is flat. He thinks that it will blow the field to smithereens. Read about Barry Hoban's thoughts on Stage 1...

The Grand Departs today at Cragg Vale

5th April 2014

Cragg Vale

The Grand Departs took place at Cragg Vale today. As part of the Yorkshire Festival, a team of cyclists pulled a piano (being played) up the climb. Read about the Grand Departs...

Yorkshire Tour de France legacy update

5th April 2014

A new strategy document was released at the recent Y14 conference, by Cycle Yorkshire, the body charged with ensuring a legacy from the Tour de France in Yorkshire. Read our update on the Yorkshire Tour de France legacy...

Official Tour de France 2014 spectator hubs announced

28th March 2014

The official spectator hubs for the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire have been announced. These are locations along the race route with facilities for spectators, including big screens, food, and entertainment. Read more about the official Tour de France 2014 spectator hubs...

Harrogate has enough Tour de Bunting jerseys

25th March 2014

Tour de Bunting jerseys, Harrogate

Harrogate Borough Council has received enough mini Tour jerseys, to be used as bunting decorating the town. The project was launched in November 2013, and at the time, the target was 3,000 jerseys. The total sent in is now 22,529. Read more about the Tour de Bunting in Harrogate...

Second TDF readiness report

22nd March 2014

TDF Hub 2014 Ltd, the not-for-profit company co-ordinating preparations for the Tour de France in the UK, has produced its second readiness report. It says that 12,000 people have applied for the 10,000 Tour Maker vacancies; that a survey indicates that the start and finish of the stages will be the most popular with crowds; and that the official spectator hubs are to be announced soon. There's also information on procurement and budget. 

Wiggins to ride the 2014 Tour

In an interview with The Guardian, Bradley Wiggins reveals his plans for 2014. He has unfinished business with the Tour, but he accepts that he will be riding for Froome.

Cavendish hopes to win in Harrogate

In an interview with The Independent, Mark Cavendish said that his season will be built around Stage 1 to Harrogate, and the Grand Départ will be massive and spectacular.

Yorkshire Festival to be launched in Harrogate

Harrogate International Centre

The Yorkshire Festival is to be launched in Harrogate with a chat-show style event, one hundred days before the Tour de France. Read about the Yorkshire Festival launch in Harrogate...

Tour de France in Ilkley

Cow & Calf pub, Ilkley

Ilkley has big plans for the Tour. There's a week-long Festival, starting with the White Rose Classic Sportive a week before the professional race, and continuing with led rides, town centre races, films and talks. Read about the Tour de France in Ilkley...

Tour de France plans in Masham

21st March 2014

Black Sheep Brewery, Masham

Masham Sports Association is organising events in Masham over the Tour weekend. They're centred around the recreation ground, which is very close to the route of Stage 1 of the Tour. There'll be a big screen, entertainment, bouncy castles, food, wine, beer, and more. Read about Tour de France plans in Masham...

Read our guide to the UK stages of the Tour de France 2014...

Cycling in Harrogate

Beryl Burton cycleway

All that's good about cycling in and around Harrogate, and some of the things that could be even better.

Nidderdale Greenway

We have a guide to the Nidderdale Greenway cycle route from Harrogate to Ripley. It includes details of the route with maps and photos, a video, how to get to the start of the Greenway in Harrogate, a guide to Ripley, and Nidderdale Greenway news

You can also read about the Beryl Burton cycleway between Harrogate and Knaresborough, and we've begun looking at the cycle lanes in and around the town

We've begun our suggestions for road cycling in the Harrogate area, with a guide to a Penny Pot Lane loop, and ideas for improving this cycle route.

Harrogate council debate on cycling feasibility study

15th March 2014

LibDem councillor Helen Flynn has initiated a council debate on the desirability of a feasibility study on cycling projects. The idea comes from Sustrans, who say that without such a study, it is much more difficult to get funding for projects from central government. Read about the council debate on a cycling feasibility study...

£4m road improvements in Harrogate

Cyclists dismount - less of this in Harrogate?

11th March 2014

North Yorks CC has announced £4m of road improvements for Harrogate. This includes road resurfacing in advance of the Tour de France, and changes to signals and junctions. There are some, very limited,measures for cycling, including the Yorkshire Showground greenway. Read about the £4m road improvements in Harrogate...

More Harrogate cycling news

In further Harrogate cycling news, we report on the lack of plans for decent cycle routes from the proposed housing development on Penny Pot Lane; the new LibDem Parliamentary candidate, and her ideas for cycling improvements in Harrogate; and the cycling manifesto launched by Harrogate Cycle Action. 

You can find links to Harrogate's cycling clubs, and other Harrogate cycling websites.

Also on this site are a section dedicated to the Tour de France in Harrogate, and a guide to the town of Harrogate.

Read more about cycling in Harrogate...

Cycling in the UK

Penny Farthing

Our guide to cycling in the UK, including news reports on the latest developments in the world of the bicycle.

UK cycling news: Space for Cycling

15th April 2014

Space for Cycling

Cycling charity CTC is taking London's Space for Cycling campaign nationwide. The aim is to allow anyone to cycle anywhere, and CTC is asking councils to create the right conditions for cyclists on the roads. People can upload examples of good and bad cycle facilities. Read about Space for Cycling...

UK cycling news: Sheffield council produces cycling inquiry report

14th April 2014

Sheffield City Hall

A Committee of Sheffield council has produced a report following its Cycling Inquiry. There are nineteen recommendations, including apppointing a councillor as Cycling Champion by June 2014, and drawing up a long-term, strategic plan for a coherent and comprehensive cycling network by June 2015. Read about the Sheffield Cycling Inquiry report...

Design activity back into our lives - physical activity commission

8th April 2014

The All-Party Commission on physical activity published a report today. They say we have never been so inactive in human history, and ask for long term investment in making walking and cycling safer and more attractive. Read about the physical activity commission report...

Chief Medical Officer backs active travel

5th April 2014

Annual report on the State of the Public's Health

The Chief Medical Officer has identified overweight and obese people as a major public health issue in her annual report. She advocates making the roads safer for active travel (walking and cycling). Read about the CMO's annual report...

UWE survey of attitudes to cycling in Britain

4th April 2014

Cycle track separator in Barcelona

Responses to a YouGov survey commissioned by UWE show that cyclists are viewed positively by a large majority of people in Britain. 65% of respondents would like to see more funding for cycle infrastructure, and protection from traffic would encourage more people to cycle. Read about the UWE cycling attitudes survey...

Boardman: failure to commit to cycling in the UK

30th March 2014

Chris Boardman is disappointed by the government's response to British Cycling's 'Choose Cycling' manifesto, and believes it doesn't treat cycling as a grown up form of transport. Asked if the opportunity for a legacy from the Tour could be missed, he said, 'It's quite possible. If there is no action you can't expect a reaction.'

Commuter cycling rates in England & Wales static for 10 years

27th March 2014

An analysis of 2011 census data shows that commuter cycling rates in England & Wales have remained static over the decade since the last census (at around 2.8% of the working population). 

Meanwhile, Cyclescheme are predicting that an extra 2 million people will commute by bike this spring, and a further 4 million will try leisure cycling for the first time.

Read more about commuter cycling rates in England & Wales...

British Cycling launches manifesto

10th February 2014

British Cycling launched its 'Time to Choose Cycling' manifesto on 10th February 2014, accompanied by research showing the health benefits of cycling. Amongst the recommendations is that cycle funding be set at £10 per person, rising to £20. 

London to ban dangerous lorries

London is to introduce new measures to protect cyclists and pedestrians from dangerous lorries. This will include better mirrors, and side guards. 

Boardman criticises government apathy on cycling

In interviews with Bloomberg and road.cc, Chris Boardman has criticised the lack of goals, strategy, budget, and measurement of progress, in the UK government's cycling policies.

London cyclist KSIs

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London's roads is rising, according to a Transport for London report, as is the rate of KSIs per million journeys. Read more about London cyclist KSIs...

European attitudes to cycling and urban mobility

A survey for the European Commission reveals attitudes to urban mobility and cycling in Europe, including the UK. It shows that 69% of people in the UK never cycle; 32% are in favour of better cycle facilities; and 61% of people believe problems, including congestion and air pollution, will get worse. Read more about European attitudes to urban mobility and cycling...

Cycling and climate change

report from the Climate Change Committee underlines the health benefits of cycling, and the way it can reduce congestion. 

More UK cycling news

We also have reports on the Inquiry by the Transport Select Committee into cycling safety, the Shadow Transport Secretary's ideas on cycling, the DfT's Think! safety campaign, and the latest announcement about the Women's Tour of Britain 2014, which takes place in May. 

We report on the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, and its Inquiry and report in April 2013.

Cycle City Ambition

There's also a page with all the details of the government's Cycle City Ambition grants, which were anounced in August 2013. They provided cycle funding to eight cities and four National Parks.

Read our guide to the latest developments in the world of cycling in the UK...


Bike at flower market, Utrecht

Our blog on all the latest in the world of the bicycle.

Real and perceived dangers of cycling

6th April 2014: Why are our politicians so keen to talk about the perceived dangers of cycling, not the real ones? Is it because it gets them off the hook? If most dangers are perceived, not real, then they're the fault of the daft cyclists, who don't understand, not the insightful politicians. Perceived dangers don't cost money to fix, whereas bad road design does. Read about the real and perceived dangers of cycling...

Peeky Rider on spring, Lennon, laminate flooring, & Cav

16th March 2014:  There's something about spring that for me brings a certain poignancy, a feeling of aching melancholia, one that many feel when confronted with the fragility of life, the transience of beauty - like a rose pressed between the pages of time, or the latest series of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. Perhaps it was the drawing out of the night, the appearance of Wordsworth's Daffodils. For a pound a bunch. In Tescos.

Read more of the Peeky Rider's spring post...

Southampton's bad junction design

1st March 2014: Southampton has redesigned a junction. The council calls it Dutch-style cycle infrastructure. Cyclists think it is 'preposterously bad'. Read more.

Time to Choose

15th February 2014: The Hedge-blog's thoughts about British Cycling's new manifesto, Time to Choose Cycling. Packed full of good recommendations, will it make any difference?

Cycling minister talks about 'Lycra mobs'

Bike with basket

16th January 2014: Cycling minister Robert Goodwill accuses 'Lyra mobs' of putting off new cyclists, and calls for more baskets on bike handlebars. Read the Hedge-blog's response.

UKIP against TDF spending in Cambs

11th January 2014: UKIP members of Cambridgeshire County Council have been grumbling about £20,000 allocated to celebrating the Tour de France. The Hedge-blog explains why this bunch of miserable so-and-sos are wrong.

Peeky Rider on nutrition

14th December 2013: The latest post from our guest blogger the Peeky Rider, on nutrition.

Passing distances study

2nd December 2013: Did you see this academic study on how much space drivers leave when they pass cyclists?

Expensive cars & driving psychology

Expensive cars in Harrogate

20th November 2013: we report on a study about expensive cars and driving psychology, and how this can affect cyclists.

Oi Wiggo post from Peeky Rider

6th November 2013: Oi Wiggo! A post from guest blogger the Peeky Rider, with his thoughts on Wiggo-related heckling (and the absence of Froome-related heckling). 

What Equipe readers think of the TDF in the UK

23rd October 2013: What do the readers of French sports paper l' Equipe think of the Tour de France coming to the UK? Well, it's not entirely positive...

Read the most recent posts on our cycling blog...


More on Hedgehog Cycling

Where to stay during the Tour de France 2014

Crown Hotel, Harrogate

There is sure to be high demand for accommodation on or close to the route of the Tour de France 2014. Many hotels will be booked up a long time in advance. More unconventional guest accommodation is also available, such as Ashville College in Harrogate, which is opening up its boarding houses to cycling fans.

Many people will camp. There will be pop-up campsites, which have been permitted by local authorities without the usual formalities. Such campsites have been planned, for example, by Harrogate Rugby Club, Spofforth Cricket Club, and the National Trust.

Read more about where to stay during the Tour de France...

Review of cycle lanes on Oatlands Drive, Hookstone Drive, & Hookstone Chase

We've begun looking at Harrogate's cycle lanes, and making comments and suggestions. See what we thought of the Oatlands Drive/Hookstone Drive/Hookstone Chase section, and add comments and suggestions of your own. These photos give an idea of what we've got, and what we could have (no prizes for guessing which is which):

Hookstone Drive cycle lane & road works   Zicla 'armadillo' cycle separators

Cycle lane on East Parade, Harrogate

The cycle lane on East Parade, Harrogate, is not an example of high-quality cycle infrastructure. It asks cyclists to give way to pedestrians and traffic. Instead of providing a seamless journey, it's likely to be ignored by most cyclists, as it's more convenient to ride up the road. Can Harrogate do better than this? Read about the cycle lane on East Parade.

Give way to the bin...cycle lane on East Parade

Plans for Harrogate town centre on the day of Stage 1 of the Tour

Harrogate town centre Tour de France map

Plans for Harrogate town centre, on the day of Stage 1 of the Tour de France (5th July 2014) are taking shape. One side of West Park, near the finish line, will be a private area for the race organisers and TV crews. The other side, around the war memorial, will be open to the public, with grandstands. There will also be a Tour Fan Park/spectator hub on West Park Stray, with a big screen. Roads into the town centre will be closed from 4am on Saturday 5th July, and there'll be parking at the Great Yorkshire Showground. Read more about plans for Harrogate town centre on the day of Stage 1 of the Tour de France...

20,000 tickets to watch the start of Stage 2 at York races gone in hours

York races, start of Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2014

Free tickets to watch the start of Stage 2 of the Tour de France on 6th July 2014 at York races went on offer at 9am on 23rd January 2014. By 1.30pm, they had all gone. Read more about the start of Stage 2 of the Tour de France at York races...

Yorkshire Festival of Cycling tickets on sale

Tickets for Harewood's Festival of Cycling went on sale on 7th November 2013. They also announced the programme of participation events over the weekend of the Festival (5th & 6th July 2014). There'll be led rides to watch the race, a family fun ride, and time trials within the Harewood grounds. Read more on the Harewood Festival of Cycling...

Utrecht cycling video

This is a glimpse of what cycling in towns and cities can be like. Utrecht, in the Netherlands, is a city where 33% of journeys are by bike. It's proof that if you build a quality, safe, complete cycle network, people will use it. See our video of cycling in Utrecht from the summer: