FROM collecting old bicycles to calling for volunteers, preparations for this year's Tour de Yorkshire are well underway in Ryedale.

As is becoming customary for these tours, there are plans afoot to decorate the route with painted bicycles. Kirkbymoorside Town Council is among those looking for unwanted bicycles to help with the decoration.

Angus Ashworth, town councillor and owner of Ryedale Auctioneers, said: "We had a town meeting to see what we could do to brighten up the route. Lot's of local businesses are getting involved and everyone is coming together.

"We offered to collect up the bicycles as we have a yard. If anybody's got an old or unwanted bike that they're happy to donate we'll be glad to receive them at Ryedale Auctioneers where they'll be stored before being painted."

The bicycles will be painted blue and yellow - the colours of the tour - before being distributed round Kirkbymoorside.

Mr Ashworth added: "On that day there's also the Kirkbymoorside 10k and the Beadlam tractor run so there's a lot going on." The start time for the 10k has been pushed back to 3pm to allow the runners to first watch the Tour pass by.

Stage three of the three-day cycling tour will start at Middlesbrough, head south through Northallerton and Thirsk before turning east, through Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Hutton-le-Hole. It will then sweep back north, over the North York Moors, then double back down the coast from Whitby to Scarborough. The day's cycling will be nearly 200km, with total ascent of 2,593 metres.

The Tour de Yorkshire has also put out a call for Tour Makers.

"We are looking for a passionate and reliable team of volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a Tour Maker for next year’s race, complete our survey and we’ll get in touch with you," a Tour spokesman said.

"It’s a fantastic opportunity to be part of the race and be very close to the action, as well as being the welcoming face of Yorkshire for the race spectators."

The Tour Maker survey can be completed at