One of the few things I look forward to each summer is the Tour de Fleece. I have fun figuring out who our team mascot will be, how I'll portray them on our official team "ravatar", spend hours thinking about what I want to spin, what new technique(s) I'm going to try to learn, what my friends are going to work on...
This year I thought Buddy might like to be our mascot. You know, give one of the older kids a chance to get back in the spotlight. Buddy's a great (and loud ;-) cheerleader and a real team player. He'd be perfect! Until he misunderstood about the whole bike thing. Buddy doesn't like to go fast. He's made that perfectly clear.
Even though we all tried to get him to calm down and listen, explain that he didn't have to actually ride a bike, he just covered his ears and then his eyes and then his ears and yelled "ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba"...and then 20 stepped up and said he'd be happy to cover the mascot duties this year and we all agreed that was a good plan.
Of course, 20, realizing that the Tour de Fleece begins tomorrow morning with the start of the Tour de France, decided we all needed to quit messing around posing with a bike and get ready to actually start spinning. He pulled out Petunia's roving from two years ago, Henri's from last year and helped me snip off the sunbleached ends of Baaxter's fleece so it's ready to wash. I'm hoping to make a run to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers next week!
The Tour de Fleece is a fun spinning challenge for all spinners, even brand new spinners. We follow the Tour de France bike race, try to spin every day, take official rest days the same days the racers do and, well, here are the official specs from the Ravelry page:
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Welcome to our group for participants in the annual Tour de Fleece spin-along during the Tour de France. They spin, we spin. A real spinning-themed spin-along.
The concept is simple:
This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday July 4 and runs until Sunday July 26th, 2015.
Guidelines (NOT RULES):
Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 4 through Sunday July 26th. Days of rest: Monday, July 13th and Tuesday, July 21st. (Just like the actual tour.)
Spin something challenging on the challenge day (usually the toughest high mountain stage: this year, it’s Stage 18, on Thursday, July 23rd, when they will climb 5 mountains, including the 1,924m high Col du Glandon).
Wear yellow on Sunday July 26th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’) Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie).
Teams: Join one, or many, or none.
Peloton (the main group)
Rookies (first years)
Sprinters (fast and/or high mileage, like lace, sweater quantities, etc)
Climbers (conquer mountains, big personal challenges)
Breakaways (textured “art” yarns)
Lanterne Rouge (you will participate as much as possible but you may skip days here and there)
Maillot Blanc (This team is intended for our younger participants. Anyone under the age of 18 who wishes to take part in the Tour is encouraged to participate in the Maillot Blanc team. This thread will be monitored and is required to be kept at the equivalent of a G/U rating.)
Wildcards (This is for people who want to form their own team. This includes sponsored teams, like those affiliated with a specific fiber shop or people who live in the same town, etc.)
The teams are inspired by the actual Tour de France.
Doesn't this sound fun? It is! If you'd like to join Team MyFavoriteSheep, it's not too late. Come join our group on Ravelry. We are a laid back group, all very nice, very supportive, many are very knowledgeable and everyone's willing to help. We even have prizes :-D.