tour de fracJoin us for a delightful jaunt from the front line of fracked gas production to the country’s only live exploratory drill site.

Beginning in Blackpool, via dinner and a nice chat in both beautiful Hebden and York and finishing in Hull, we shall skim this year’s Tour de France route in Yorkshire, accompanied by tunes from our bike towed sound system. Sample longer distance cycling with a friendly and supportive posse and help us spread the word about fracking while eating lots of chips and zooming down hills!

What’s the plan?
To go on a four day adventure from the end of the Reclaim the Power camp outside Blackpool, to the countries only live drill site near Beverly. We’ll be taking in some of the Desolate Norths finest views and spending nights in lush green Hebden Bridge and elegant York. We then plan to be stopping off to say hello to fracking industry lorry providers Total Environmental Technology in Driffield, and arriving to join locals for a march in Hull on the Saturday.

We hope to ride relatively light and sleep in community halls. Basic fitness but minimum experience will be needed, none of the days will be longer than 55 miles and we can travel at speeds to suit the least confident. We’ll be actively inviting local campaigners to join us on route.

Subsides for getting bikes on trains are available if you let us know you’ll be riding with us by Monday 4th August. Rack and Pannier loan is also available if we’re given plenty of notice, and we hope to ride with a couple of experienced bike mechanics. Participation is free but donations of around £5 a day for food would be appreciated. You just need to bring your sleeping bag, a change of clothes for all weathers, and your enthusiasm!

This year there were two extreme energy sites calling for support from Reclaim the Power, who wanted to work with both.

Yorkshire has two contested exploratory drill sites. At remote West Newton a protection camp has been bearing witness to test drilling since May. Rathlin, the company responsible, are disingenuously claiming that they don’t intend to frack the site, leading to local confusion. While this may be technically true – they are gathering data to sell on to a third party should gas be discovered, their application to the local council explicitly requests permission for hydraulic fracturing. Community concern and resistance is growing, with the first big community rally last week, but there is an urgent call for more support, particularly with awareness raising.

Up the road at Crawberry Hill a well was drilled last summer under the guise of being purely conventional, but also penetrated the Bowland Shale to take core samples. Rathlin now want to return to continue testing the well, including a mini-frac on the Bowland Shale. A camp has been set up outside the site and the community is getting organised to resist Rathlin’s plans.

We hope that by riding from the drill sites of Lancaster to the drill sites of Yorkshire we can increase our own understanding about the industries plans for the area and start conversations about what these might mean. Bikes are a great way to immerse yourself in a landscape, appreciate what there is and have plenty of random chats along the way.

If you’re interested in coming along for the ride, or want a bit more information first, please get in contact!

Join and share le Tour de Frack on Facebook: