Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tour de Fleece - The Finish Line - and why I like the Tour de France so much

The Tour de Fleece, three weeks of spinning yarn while the mighty cyclists ride around europe, arriving exhausted but elated in Paris.  200 riders set out from the starting line on the last day of June this year, however, only 170 riders remain to race from Versailles to the Champs-Elysees.  I'm cheering for a stage win from Cavendish, he's had such a rough year and this last stage is made for him.

But you know what, it could be anyone limping across the finish line at the end of the day, or zooming by in a photo finish, whatever the case may be.

That is what I love about the sport of cycling, especially these long distance races - anything can happen.

The cyclist isn't just racing against his fellow competitors, he's racing against the tour, his bike, the crowds, the weather, the roads, and France itself.  The Tour de France is one of the greatest equalizing force I've seen.  It doesn't matter how good the rider is, how hard he tries, how amazing his team mates, or his team support - all it takes is one little thing, and the best rider can loose the race.  A moment of inattention, being caught up in a crash, a dog or child running out onto the road in front of them, a poorly timed train crossing, or a mechanical failure when there is no support car around to assist... a slipped gear at the most critical moment might coast the rider 20 seconds time, but it's enough to snatch the yellow right off his back.

So, yes, there's been a lot of talk about drugs and stuff like that this last year, but to me, it isn't such a big deal.  Okay.  I do not like them taking drugs, it's disappointing - once they are found to take drugs, there is no way I would cheer for them again, even if they aren't taking it anymore.  But even those who do cheat, still have to compete with all these other equalizing factors in the race, and any advantage they have from the illicit substances, can so easily be lost in a moment of inattention.

The goals I set myself for the Tour de Fleece didn't exactly happen.  But I did spin almost every day, and I got quite a bit accomplished.

I washed lambs wool and carded alpaca

however, when the weather warmed, I decided to work on my medieval spindles

and eventually it became just too warm to work with either, so I switched to a hand dyed (by Ryan of Knotty by Nature) silk and bamboo fibre blend.

I'm happy with what I accomplished, not the best I've done, but I finished, and that make me happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didnt watch Tour de France, but I watched your Tour de Fleece. When here were spindles then I cycled to museum to see stones and holes in them. Today I finished my first "belt" made by tablet weaving method. I used 8 cards, huh, there is a lot of work in these belts! Next belt will be much better if I can avoid all mistakes I made now. Im happy I made it, your belts colours are good!