07 July 2014

This is the wheel I just invented

What have I gotten myself into this time?

The Tour de Fleece, that's what.

The Tour de What Now, I hear you saying. Isn't there a bicycle race ...?  Yes.

This is one of those occasions, like the Ravellenics, when generally not-very-athletic fibre folk get excited about sporting events. I am not particularly excited by bicycle racing in general, but for most of us it's more about the camaraderie of doing the thing all together than it is about fast bikes.

(I will also note that even if you don't care much about bicycles and the men who race them, the coverage of the race is fun to watch, because so much of it is from helicopters. You get to see lovely sweeping panoramas of the countryside through which the race passes).

The idea is simple: Spin every day that the race is on. Rest on rest days. Take a lot of pictures so you can show off your progress. There are teams but there's no requirement to join one (or limit on the number you can join, either). I am spinning along with the same team I did the Ravellenics with, because they're
a bunch of enabling enablers ... ahem ... really nice folk.

The Tour is smaller than the Ravellenics because it's specifically for spinners, and it's generally lower key. You can set your own goals. Teams may choose to give out prizes, but there is no central scoring authority awarding 'medals' at the end. You're encouraged to spin and take pictures every day, but you won't be disqualified if you miss a day here or there. Spindles and wheels are equally welcome. It's a good event for a new spinner to get experience and encouragement.

So here's where I started:

Tare photo Tare_zpshdyzt7j6-1.jpg

with a 100g braid of Black Welsh Mountain fleece from HilltopCloud.  'Black' as fleece goes is somewhat relative. This particular braid is very close to the colour of my own hair, occasional strand of white and all.

And here's where I was at the end of Stage 2:

Stage 2 450 photo bc68bf13-31e4-4990-be8a-4b87bf85fdb2_zps64393d10.jpg

Not very far, perhaps, but we must walk before we can run. There are people who spun entire 100g braids on the first day. I am somewhat in awe of them.

I am hoping to take a picture of my progress every day and make a collage when it's over. Watch this space.

Billy Collins

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