Leeds today: bikes, trains, cars, empties, rugby, music, pride and book fair.

It’s Friday, and there’s so much fun going on this weekend (and an excellent weather forecast), I don’t know where to start…

Well, one year today will be the start of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. At 2.30 this afternoon schoolchildren will mark the start of the countdown on The Headrow, outside the Art Gallery, while Culture Vulture looks at Wheels in Motion – the ideas and culture around the Tour.

On yer bikes – it’s SkyRide this weekend, and if you are taking part, or if you’re a keen cyclist anyway, consider taking part in Rider Spoke – a memory bank of recordings about the city using computer-equipped cyclists. There are a few spaces left, apparently. Intriguing…

If picnics, rather than bikes, are your thing, LeedsFeast Part II will also be taking place on Sunday, 2pm-7pm, this time on Millennium Square. For those wanting to watch the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, remember that it’ll be on the big screen in the square, too. Remember to apply suncream.

For those sticking with their cars (shame on you!), note that there are road closures on Sunday,
while in other roadworks news, here’s the latest list of upcoming closures that might disrupt your commute.

So, what else is going on?

The Council has agreed to invest £100,000 in social enterprise Leeds Empties, to find innovative ways to bring empty homes back into use. Fantastic news.

Talking of housing, be it the city centre flats or the increasing private student accommodation going up around Leeds, students are opting out of grotty shared houses in areas like Headingley, Burley and Hyde Park. Gosh, I wonder why?! I’m not really feeling much sympathy for the landlords ‘scratching their heads’.

As one of many who have faced ‘the dilemma of relocating to the south-east to follow work opportunities, or stay in the north and have a better quality of life’ (I chose Leeds), I still can’t make up my mind about HS2. Today we have a positive viewpoint from the Guardian Northerner.

I don’t really understand sport, but this is something to do with rugby – a Festival of World Cups.

John Baron usefully summarises the blogs and news for us and Mick McCann tells us about Leeds’ hidden music heritage, both from The City Talking.

We have the brand-spanking-new Leeds Book Fair coming up on 26/27 July, with a ‘worldwide and alternative literature’ theme.

Ooh, nearly forgot that it’s Leeds Pride this weekend, with a march, and the Arena is lighting up in rainbow colours, apparently.

Finally, South Leeds Life gives us useful lists of the bands playing at weekends in Cross Flatts Park and events coming to the glorious Middleton Park.

Phew. I think I need a lie down… preferably in the sunshine with an iced coffee. Enjoy your weekends, all!

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