Project: Yellow Bicycles

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July is a special month in Yorkshire this year – le Tour de France is passing though! Two of the three stages of the Grand Départ are being held here, with stage 2 passing through my village on its way from York to Sheffield. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for the famous cycle race, with Le Tour themed displays in nearly all the local shops, schools and pubs. In particular the iconic yellow bicycle is near ubiquitous.

My X-E1’s autofocus is not well suited to trying to grab snaps of the peloton as it zooms by, but recording how the community celebrates le Tour on the other hand most certainly is. So here’s a little taste of what it’s like to live somewhere that the famous race is about to peddle through. Photos are from Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale.

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 Apertureƒ/2.4  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/750s 

The Yorkshire Soap Company has produced these wonderful bike themed soap bars which they’ve been proudly displaying in their window.

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 Apertureƒ/2.4  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/750s 

Hebden Bridge is a creative hub so it’s not surprising to see more than a few handmade displays to compliment the plastic yellow bikes.

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 Apertureƒ/5.6  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO320  Shutter speed1/125s 

Some shop owners have really gone to town creating Le Tour themed displays like this hair salon in Mytholmroyd.

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 Apertureƒ/2.8  CameraX-E1  Focal length27mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/400s 

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 Apertureƒ/5.6  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/210s 

This display of ascending yellow bikes a café window caught my eye. There was very little colour in the scene apart from the bikes so I decided to try desaturating everything else.

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 Apertureƒ/5.6  CameraX-E1  Focal length27mm  ISO1000  Shutter speed1/125s 

Some home owners along the route are really getting into the spirit too with bunting and yellow bikes galore. It really adds to the festive atmosphere.

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 Apertureƒ/5.6  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/150s 

A slight variation on the yellow bike theme. Lots of local businesses are making the most the expected surge in visitors with sales and specials to attract customers.

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 Apertureƒ/5.6  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/280s 

Hebden is an LGBT friendly town so it’s nice to see this bike with rainbow wheels above Nelson’s Wine Bar.

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 Apertureƒ/2.4  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/900s 

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 Apertureƒ/2.4  CameraX-E1  Focal length60mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/420s 

It’s hard to escape Le Tour at the moment, even relaxing in Mooch (a lovely bar/café in Hebden Bridge) my eye is drawn to more yellow bikes across the street.

Robin Hood Pub

 Apertureƒ/5.6  CameraX-E1  Focal length18mm  ISO200  Shutter speed1/140s 

Finally a shot of the Robin Hood Inn in Cragg Vale. Cragg Vale has been attempting to set a world record for the longest stretch of bunting. I’m sure a few of the cyclists racing on Sunday will wish they could stop for a nice cold pint here as they struggle up England’s longest continuous incline.

If you’ve enjoyed these photos please consider supporting my work by buying a print or supporting me on Patreon (like Kickstarter for artists).

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