Sunday, July 10, 2011

le tour de france... to fleece?

Avid knitters, general fiber enthusiasts,  Ravelers,  know of the significance of le Tour de France as it relates to the Tour de Fleece.

As an ex-"friend" of an ex-roadie, France or Fleece has a whole new meaning this year.  A roadie, as defined by Jamie Smith in The Misunderstood World of a Bike Racer, is a cyclist who road races.  Upon reading this book, I have a new appreciation and understanding of the world of cycling, from the perspective of a spectator once associated with an ex-roadie.  I was a roadie groupie.  Not exactly France, but the Catskills, 2010.

I tuned in to the Tour de France as of last year, a nightly prime-time ritual as a new-found fan of the sport.  How it relates to Fleece this year?  I've owned my spinning wheel for some months, test ran and only slightly used.  I was hoping to be inspired by the actual tour to take it out for another spin.  This is the total cumulative effort of the yarn rope I've accomplished.

"rope" on the bobbin, along with the fiber
 There's plenty watching of the tour, but no fleece spinning yet, only some yarn knitting. 

The whole world of cycling was a foreign concept and never thought I would be watching and actually enjoy doing so.  I only learned to ride a bike as an adult, and do not ride it very well.  Yet,  I am caught up in the "draft" of the tour because of it's parallel to life.  Even if you settle into the "peloton" and move along with the mass, it requires focus and multi-tasking.  It requires team-work, trust, and there are different roles in the team, as does your support network (family and friends).  It is impressive to see cyclists tackling each stage, juggling the many tasks whether it be grabbing the musettes to feed, or doing some minor mechanical adjustments, or answering the calls of nature,  all while pedaling at the speed of a motorized vehicle.  Analogous to life, the stages can be like a roller coaster, from the climbs of the Pyrenees and the Alps to the flat stages, and everything in between.  Along the way, we have to learn to negotiate the turns, weather the storms, and may be caught in a crash (there have been some spectacular and unfortunate crashes a week into the tour)  hit pavement and get scratched up, but we get up, continue the "chase" to avoid getting "dropped";  positioning yourself in the "slipstream", prepare to "attack", and "catch" the "breakaway".  Only one can have the coveted maillot jaune (yellow jersey)  riding into Paris, but to be "field fodder" (defined in Jamie Smith's book) is okay, it means you participated.  Life, like the Tour, is cumulative of the results of each stage.  Unlike it, le Tour de Life doesn't end in three weeks, the "race" continues.

1 comment:

  1. YAY! Glad to see you playing with your wheel. Can't wait to see what you make.