A CELEBRATION of all things two-wheeled is coming to town – and bike fans are invited to join in the fun.
It’s a chance to take part in the region’s first giant bike parade on the afternoon of Sunday, May 1 as part of a town-wide festival marking the arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire.
Middlesbrough is the start point for Stage 3 of the 2016 event which will bring the cream of world cycling to Centre Square for the final 198km leg to Scarborough.
And as the peloton sets off for North Yorkshire’s leg-sapping hills the town centre will be a blaze of colour in honour of the Captain Cook-themed stage.
Stellar Projects are creating a spectacular carnival and bike parade bringing together community groups, professional performers and musicians with a cavalcade of decorated bikes.
School and community groups from across Middlesbrough are already hard at work with carnival artists to make costumes ready to join the parade on the day.
The carnival parade will draw inspiration from Captain Cook and the ships from his famous voyages – Endeavour, Discovery, Adventure and Resolution – with the procession incorporating the sights and sounds, traditional colours, patterns and motifs of the exotic places he visited.
A riot of colour will feature Maori-inspired costumes and Polynesian tattoos, Hawaiian tikis, botanical prints, exotic animals and shoals of colourful fish.
Cycling enthusiasts from across the borough and beyond are invited to come along and get involved as part of the Enjoy the Ride Festival
Why not decorate your bike on the Captain Cook theme and sign up to be part of the bike parade section of the carnival – all you need is a bike and a sense of adventure, and there’s the added incentive of prizes for the best dressed and most bizarre creations.
For those who want to find their perfect viewing spot for the carnival and parade, the carnival departs from Middlesbrough Town Hall at 1pm, turning right onto Albert Road, and then left on Corporation Road.
Much of the carnival will continue on Newport Road and then turn left into the Bus Station, and continue through Captain Cook Square and on to Gilkes Street.
Larger structures will turn left at Newport Crescent where they will wait at the intersection on Gilkes Street.
The full procession will then continue from Gilkes Street and turn right at the junction with Linthorpe Road, turn left at Grange Road, left at Albert Road to return to the start at Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire in Middlesbrough is a major coup for the town, and one which we will be celebrating in style.
“There’s something for everyone in the build-up to the big day, and the carnival parade will be a fun free event which will draw on our proud links with Captain Cook, the inspiration for the final stage.
“And for anyone stuck for ideas, there are free workshops later this month that will help them transform their bikes ready for the show.”
Enjoy the Ride carnival parade workshops will take place on Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, April 23 from 10am to 4pm at the Hillstreet Shopping Centre
Anyone wishing to take part is asked to register in advance via www.enjoytheridebikeparade.eventbrite.co.uk (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)
Organisers are also keen to hear from local cycling and wheel-powered sports groups who want to get involved – for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For full details of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire, visit letour.yorkshire.com/ and for regular updates on Middlesbrough’s build-up to the big day, visit www.middlesbrough.gov.uk and lovemiddlesbrough.com/enjoytheride