“Cycling Option – tell us about your introduction to cycling – either as a cyclist or as a spectator. This could be something like a story about learning to ride a bike, your first century, your first race, or some early memories of watching the Tour. Have you met a cycling hero? Been to the Tour yourself? We want to hear all about it!”
I was torn between the Knitting and this Cycling option, but decided on this one.
As a child I think I spent most of my time falling over the handle bars of a bike at some point or another! I remember learning to ride for the first time and squeezing enthusiastically on the front brake – you know what happens next! – I also remember cycling down a steep hill, in the dark – the next thing I remember is being on the floor with a bloody nose! I had hit a rock! More recently i had a near death experience where I decided to use a road instead of the cycle path so I wouldn’t have to slow down at the bottom of the hill (you’d think I’d have learned by now wouldn’t you!?), not realising that the road has been resurfaced and where do the loose chippings lie? You’ve got it! My front wheel couldn’t get a grip and was wobbling so hard my shoulders were aching to hold it together, my cyclometer told me I had reached a speed of 23 mph and I could hear a car behind me, but didn’t dare turn around to see what he was going to do. I prayed, several times probably, squeezed the brake very gently and very nearly kissed the ground when I got to the bottom!
What I’m saying is, I was never scared of bikes – it’s second nature to me – never a chore, or a means to excersize, but a means of cheap transport.
I spent most of my teenage years on a bike, it was a pink Raleigh Racer, cheap bike, but it worked. Every Saturday I would cycle to my friends house in the wilds of North Wales to her farm, just outside Penrhyndeudraeth ( pen-rin-day-drithe) (“Head of two beaches”) which thinking about it now must have been at least 6 miles away, but the scenery whilst passing those roads you never quite catch in a car.
I’ve been that way ever since, my mode of transport has always been a bike. I can drive, but I hate it. My reason being, the usual cliches, the wind in my hair, I can stop wherever I feel like it and take in the scenery, nowadays the enviroment and carbon footprints come into it too.
Last year, after not having a bike for sometime (for two reasons, one: they were stolen (several times) and two: I was pregnant with twins) I came across Freecycle and managed to get myself exactly that – a free cycle. A Dawes Kalahari, which had been sitting in someone’s shed for years. She had told me it was in a bad way – in fact it just needed a rub down and the tyres pumping up! Now we (we as in my husband (who is a Sustrans volunteer ranger – and my four children all ride bikes).
We are very lucky to be in a part of the country where the cycle paths are off road, and we can get to pretty much anywhere, slowly but surely!
Right, on to the knitting bit.
This is “Diamants de Foegre” quite simply “Fern Diamonds” that to me, is the only simple bit. I’ve already made a few mistakes, but I have decided to leave them in…this is a learning curve, a mountain struggle if you will. And when I get to the end of this scarf, when I reach the top of the mountain I will have learned a few more techniques, such as don’t watch the Tour when you should be purling YO’s, they fall off the needle far to easily!
I’ll be able to look back down the mountain, admire my scarf and see what I have achieved.
I haven’t actually watched much of the race as I have been concentrating too hard on the kniting. I did hear Team Quick Step mentioned a few times today which was reassuring. Oh Tom Boonan, what did you do? Silly man!
Team Quick Stitch are doing far better! Keep going girls, you’re doing fabulous!
Oh and a quick craft update: This week I have been mostly making “Teddies”
Made from and odd sock, rice, googley eyes and some elastic bands.
Pour rice up to about the heel of the sock, tie an elastic band. Pour more rice to make the head, tie another elastic band and fold the cuff of the sock down th make a hat.
On the body, make two little arms by pinching a bit of sock and rice and tie another elastic band (make two this way), add googly eyes and a ribbon…et voila!
See you later for stage four!