Police assemble from across Cumbria for this major sporting event. They’ve already searched the area long before the crowds assemble. The morning is a great opportunity to talk with people, to learn about the challenges of mounting such a major sporting event, to explore in a way that is impossible once crowds begin to gather.
3 Lions Security from Whitehaven are out in force . One was at Glastonbury, and at q music festival where drugs were a big problem. Kids bury drug caches at the location then retrieve them when the event takes place.
Barriers for crowd control are emblazoned with advertising by sponsors. Vittoria takes the opportunity to show the importance of graphene for cycle tyres. Barriers line the Beast Banks climb and there are several crossing points, one by a wall overhung with flowering ivy full of wasps. A red admiral butterfly nectars on buddleia.
On the grass by Belmont there are bikes awaiting the arrival of Border City Wheelers, of Carlisle. A group of young cyclists who’ll try out a stretch of the climb on Beast Banks which concludes stage 4 of the Tour. Children from Heron Hill and Ghyllside School will ride too. There are shrieks of delight as they cycle downhill against a backdrop of the chimneys of Kendal and the fells.
I have a long chat ( I listen) to someone representing The Tour who tells me OVO are constantly requiring them to think about their environmental impact, to minimize it. I ask again about green generators. Expensive, it’ll take time he says. The Climate Emergency is urgent and needs action now. He carries a bag of plastic ties to secure the barriers. Single use items, there's not yet an alternative to plastic. He tells me every one will be collected after the event. All these conversations are purposeful and positive. It's important to keep questioning the environmental impact of such a major event.
Next morning, a team of workmen are taking up the protective covering laid over the grass at Beast Banks which isn't quite how it was before.