Thursday, 25 July, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Lanterne Rouge

While cyclists from around the world push themselves in the Tour de France, spinners around the world push themselves at their wheels and spindles. The whole idea behind Tour de Fleece (now hosted on Ravelry) is to push yourself, but to have fun in the process. My first Tour de Fleece, in 2010, was completed on my toy-wheel spindle. My challenge to myself was to spin every day, and get much more comfortable with my spindle, and to decide if I really liked this spinning thing. It worked.

My Tour de Fleece output in 2010.
My Tour de Fleece output in 2010.

I got a lot accomplished on my little spindle, and then was all ready for TdF 2011. That was also the year I went to Fibre Week for Level 1.

Tour de Fleece generally begins the day immediately following Fibre Week. But that wasn’t going to deter me. I spun through Fibre Week, and then I spun for the whole Tour de Fleece. I ended up with quite a bit of yarn in the end (though I didn’t spin any homework, which would have been smarter).

Tour de Fleece 2011.
Tour de Fleece 2011.

After TdF 2011, I didn’t spin again for well over a month. I was still newish to wheel spinning, and it was just a bit too much at that time. In 2012, I might have done it again, but I came home from Fibre Week with a nasty cold, which didn’t go away for well over a month; I was still suffering a bit when I went to London to take in the Olympics. The laying about in bed put paid to any plans I had to do the Tour last year.

But this year, I had a plan. Fibre Week went well for my legs, and I have so little left on my Level 2 homework that I felt pretty good about making finishing the homework my TdF goal. I didn’t come home with a cold, for all that it seemed to be threatening, my legs feel okay, and I’m committed to completing my homework as soon as I can.

But you know what they say about plans, right?

It’s Tour De Fleece Day Five, and so far, I’ve not spun on two of them. Today might have been another not-spinning day, but I brought my new takhli and some cotton with me to work (yes, I know that’s not Level 2 homework). I’ll give myself a pass yesterday, what with the temperature being 44 C when you factored in the humidity, and I guess I’ll give myself a pass for Day 1 too, considering I drove home from Olds and unpacked that day.

I usually put myself in the Peloton group for Tour de Fleece. I work, and it’s summer, and sometimes life gets in the way, but I’ve usually been able to spin every day for just a little bit. Today, I mentally took myself out of the Peloton and planted myself firmly in with the Lanterne Rouge. But I’m not counting it as a mark of failure. Les Lanternes Rouges also complete the Tour de France, albeit with not the fastest time. But they still get to the end, on their own two wheels, on their own terms. And so will I.

Belgian Wim Vansevenant, three-time-winner of the Tour de France Lanterne Rouge title (2006-2008), borrowed from Wheelsuckers.
Belgian Wim Vansevenant, three-time-winner of the Tour de France Lanterne Rouge title (2006-2008), borrowed from Wheelsuckers.

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