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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We have a winner!

I wrote this blog post last night but was too tired to edit and add photos:
I know I promised to draw the winner of the 'Shaping Shawl' e-book last Friday. But we decided to take the day off and be Tour of Britain groupies for the day. Tour of Britain is a road cycling race. Like Tour de France but much smaller and in Britain.

The winner is MaryMaryQuiteContrary. Congratulations. can you please e-mail me on ahallisATyahooDOTcoDOTuk (replace AT and DOT with @ and .) with your address and your choice of a skein of yarn from my website and your Ravelry name so Anna can send you your e-book.

On Thursday and Friday the Tour of Britain came to Devon and Somerset (which is one and two counties away from us - so fairly close). We couldn't go on Thursday although watching them on Dartmoor would have been fantastic. But I was teaching a workshop so we took Friday off instead. First we drove to Somerset to watch the start. Before the start all the riders have to go up on the stage to sign in.

A few of the British riders, including British no 1 and Tour de France Green Jersey winner, Mark Cavendish, were interviewed (I've no idea if the cyclist below is actually Mark Cavendish as I can't remember who I took photo of and it's difficult to recognise cyclists with their helmets on. All the photos were taking on my mobile and have been cropped so sorry for the bad quality.

Simon and i followed watched nearly every stage of the Tour de France this year so we were quite excited to see some of the riders close up. Norwegian no 1 cyclist and World Champion and Tour de France stage winner, Thor Hushovd was there too.

Here's the start:

Once the race started we got back in the car and drove on to Cheddar Gorge. For those who are not British, Cheddar Gorge is a big tourist attraction. We drove through the gorge and it was already lots of people ready at the road side and lots and lots of cyclists cycling up and down the hill. We drove to the top of the hill and set up camp about 100m before the 'King of the mountains' banner.

As a Norwegian, using 'King of the mountains' in a British race is kind of a laugh. Compared to the mountains we have in Norway, there are only hills here. And Cheddar Gorge is not a mountain. Although I wouldn't have wanted to cycle up it.

We thought waiting at the top of the mountain, we'd be able to see the riders more clearly as they would be slower at the top of the mountain. Well, they were unbelievably fast.  They whizzed past and I barely managed to get a pic. I didn't even manage to see who was in the front. When the pelaton went past the 'air drag' was the same as when a lorry drives past you on a fast road.

The most amazing thing was the number of motorbikes that go ahead of the cyclists.

There must have been more motorbikes (police & 'race officials') than push bikes. After the cyclists there are a huge number of cars.

The Tour of Britain is a fairly small race compared to Tour de France so I can't even imagine how many motorbikes and cars are involved in that race.

After the cyclists had passed through Cheddar Gorge we jumped back in the car and raced down to Wells. It was fairly close and we had to get there before the cyclists. The race went through Wells once, then out again and did a loop and then back into Wells for the finish. Wells is a beautiful city and the smallest city in Britain. After finally finding a parking space we headed down to the main street as quickly as we could and saw the last few support cars go past. Which meant we had missed the race. We walked on to find the finish line and found a spot in the crowds a few hundred meters before the finish.

 Watching the sprint to the finish was almost a waste of time as the riders were so fast I couldn't even see who it was.

After the race had finished we walked through the cathedral and popped into a couple of shops. On the way home, we stopped in Exeter for a meal.

it was a great day out and we really enjoyed it. When the girls have left home, we're planning to take a few weeks off and follow the Tour de France so this gave us a taste of what to expect.

I did knit a bit during the day. We spent about 40 mins waiting in the sunshine at the top of Cheddar Gorge and I was working on the mystery shawl.

I cast off the mystery shawl this morning and it's waiting to be blocked. That's going to have to wait till tomorrow as I'm too tired. I'm planning to run the mystery shawl in October. We'll probably start mid-October. More details soon. I can't wait to see the shawl blocked.

This week I'll mainly be swatching for new designs but I need to start a couple of deadline projects too. One is an aran sweater and one is a delicate lace shawl. it'll be fun knitting these side by side. Switching from 3.5mm to 5.5mm needles.

Have you signed up for 'Amazing Luxury Knits' yet? If not, go and do it now. You know you want to. I'll be casting on for the November design this week too.

1 comment:

marymaryquitecontrary said...

I am so pleased to have won. I have sent you the details you require