Thursday, 14 July 2011

It's getting closer.....Bastille Day is upon us!

Well it's now July, my birthday's next Sunday and we fly out to Paris ONE MONTH AFTER THAT!!!  Not that I'm excited you understand dear readers.  We now have everything except the UK part of our journey locked in.  Two cycle tours in France before we come home - one in Provence and one around the Loire Valley (with an extra day thrown in so I can see Chenonceaux!)
I get some quality (read: shopping) time in Paris with the WAG's while BikeBoy does his thing and we get to ride the Chunnel back from the UK provided I book it in time.  We will be whizzing around France in their wondrous high-speed trains while we aren't cycling and sampling the local fare so it should suit both of us down to the ground.
Now to get the UK tamed....
And of course, while all this is happening, we also have the Tour de France (Go Cadel!!!) for which I am a participant in Ravelry's Tour de Fleece - only three or four spinning teams you understand, didn't want to take on too much - plus knitting a 'green jersey' to go with the KAL as well.
Ah yes!  You may have noticed I've gone to the DARK SIDE!  While no spinning wheels have joined us Chez Harrow, there are an increasing numbers of spindles of all kinds and much fibre and yarny goodness being created.  Here's the Tour de Fleece, Team Ixchelbunny project that is coming to a conclusion as we speak to give you all some idea of how things are going...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Le Grand Tour (or Paris here we come!)

It's getting closer!  Yes, BikeBoy has qualified for the Paris-Brest-Paris Audax ride which starts on August 21.  That means we have to go to Paris.  Qu'elle domage! swoons  So far we have flights (arrive at Charles de Gaulle on the 19th) and ideas that we will spend some time in the UK with a cycling tour in France before we head home on September 25.  Apart from that and the ride, plans?  Who needs 'em!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, 13 February 2011


How slack can I really get?  We are already into February and I haven't even said hello yet.  This is due to a lot of life getting in the way of course.  I was on holiday all of January - yes I could have said hello then!  Had a week at the Hopman Cup tennis with friends I see once a year for this event.  The tournament went swimmingly until the final couple of sessions when favourites Serbia were forced out of the final due to Joker Djokovic's partner, Ana Ivanovic, having a stomach tear.  So we watched Justin Henin and Rubin Bemelmans play Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner.  Belgium won the ladies but the US took the tournament and won the lovely diamond and pearl encrusted tennis balls.  Oh!  And the trophy of course!
'Bike' fence near Ovens on the Rail Trail

Had some free time after that then went over to the Victorian Alps for BikeBoy's chance at another Alpine Classic.  He rode the Alpine Raid last year - same thing but over 2 days - because of a niggling injury.  This year, all 240km plus or minus a bit, in 11 hours 17 minutes.  I had a nice lie in, lunch at a cafe with a glass of red and a bit of shopping time before he came in. 

Me moving slowly up Mt Buffalo
I did do some cycling while over in Victoria.  They really have a most excellent system of cycle paths - the Rail Trail.  This was well covered in a recent article in Treadlie magazine - Valleys, Vines and Velos.  The fact that we were able to get me a hybrid instead of a Mountain bike or roadie this year, meant I had 3 days of riding and BikeBoy got less grumpiness.  We went from Bright through to Myrtleford on the Thursday, spending an hour and a half at the Boynton's Feathertop Winery for lunch and tasting.  On the Tuesday, we rode towards Tawonga Pass, BikeBoy went up and I waited!  On the Wednesday, we went towards Mt Buffalo, I knitted and watched water falling over rocks - a novelty for someone from Perth - for a couple of hours while BikeBoy crested the mountain and returned for lunch.  Altogether I rode about 126km and he did about 600km with around 10km climbing I think!  This did contribute to some loss in weight while I was away though.  All good!

I did plenty of knitting but did not accumulate too much more in spite of a yarn shop and Wangaratta Woollen Mill visit.  Caught up with the North Eastern Yarn Lovers Group for a knit in on the Friday as well as seeing a good friend (pharmacist) at the regional hospital.  Knitted on the weekend with the mob in Bright for a visit - Maree thought she would be seeing BikeBoy finishing but the ride was Sunday not Saturday much to her dismay.  She did get to meet him though as did Beth and the other girls.
BikeBoy finishes the 2011 Alpine Classic Extreme, January 23
Went over to see real water at the Hume Dam after our ride on the Tuesday and also picked up some yarn from a fellow Raveller to complete a project.  Who would have thought that not only would there be the right yarn in the right colour but also the same dyelot close to where we were staying?  Anyway, it was lovely to see a water storage facility that was pretty much overfull compared to our sad mudpits back home.
The Hume Dam 89% capacity
Mind you the weather is so all over the place - Victoria having had fires and the like a couple of years back, now was suffering the aftermath of the flooding further north in Queensland and New South Wales over in their north-west.  Shortly after we returned from Victoria, we all had the after effects from Tropical Cyclone Yasi - Queensland got blown and washed into the Northern Territory and everywhere else received the winds and rain (the latter not quite an event in the West!) following the main event.  This after the major flooding that had already occurred in Queensland.  Almost like someone wants a clean slate up there!