A personal column by the Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers
When I am wrong, I am wrong, and boy, did I get it wrong about the Tour De Yorkshire.
I have form. I also got it wrong when the Tour de France came to our district in 2014
In both cases, one man was utterly right to be so positive - Sir Gary Verity.
At a time when the idea of the county playing host to the world’s greatest cycling race sounded a little far-fetched, he said that Yorkshire was the perfect location.
But even Sir Gary could not have forseen the incredible scenes at the weekend during the fourth annual TDY.
The pictures of the amazing crowds lining the route at every stage from Pateley Bridge to Barnsley, Masham to Halifax did more than boost ‘brand Yorkshire’ across the UK and abroad.
At a time when cycling has been battered by negative stories, the Tour de Yorkshire has helped restore the romance of the sport itself.
The phenomenal scale of its success even got to me on bank holiday Monday when I had to I drive up Old Pool Bank on the way to Ilkley Moor for a walk, or a slight hobble, I should say.
I was well aware that less than 24 hours earlier the same steep climb had witnessed glorious scenes as the riders in the peleton squeezed through excited crowds.
As I changed down the gears, I could feel my eyes starting to well up.
The Tour de Yorkshire was enough to make a Yorkshire man – or woman – proud.
And I’m not even a Yorkshireman.
The staff at Harrogate Hospital have been very patient with me during both of my operations in the last year, particularly in the hydotherapy and physiotherapy departments.
They may warn you that pain can be physically tiring but they don’t mention it can also be draining mentally.
A recent session of hydrotherapy saw me emerge from the hospital pool feeling, well, exhausted.
The shower made me feel better until I reached through the waterfor the towel on the handrail.
The fluffy cotton felt thicker than before and the shade of blue suspiciously richer.
Altogether it was a much-improved towel compared to the one I’d brought with me half an hour or so earlier.
My brain tried to solve the puzzle as I dried myself
Obviously another patient had accidentally taken my towel and left his or her’s with me.
I carried on drying myself then paused. No, that wasn’t it.
I glanced over my shoulder and spotted my towel by the pool side just where I’d originally placed it.
And there not far from it in the water was the patient who owned the towel I’d just used to dry myself.
I think some sort of apology might be in order.