Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Cycling Widow's Weekend

Like every good cycling widow, as we got the car ready for our (read: his) three-day cycling extravaganza, I made sure there was plenty to keep me occupied.

Novel? Check. Weekend newspapers? Check. Swimming costume? Check? Sewing machine, assorted bits of fabric, thread, scissors, cutting mat, pencils, ruler? Check, check, check.

Yes, that’s right. On a three-day weekend to Bright for the Audax Alpine Classic, I took my sewing machine along for the ride.

But you can’t blame me - we rent a little house with a group of other cyclists, and everyone there does the road ride except me. I can handle a 20km cycle into town over mostly flat ground, but I cannot under any circumstances handle the thought of 200 kilometres, most of that uphill, and 12 hours in the saddle. Ouch!

So while they were off having gentle practice rides the day before, and then the full day of the actual event, and then the gentle recovery rides the day after, I took over the entire extendable kitchen table and had a whirl of a time.

I made up two cushions, Love and Home, out of lovely soft upholstery fabrics and cute cotton cut-outs. They look cute, don’t they? I’m going to put them on my next market stall, which is coming up all too quickly (and I haven’t enough stock …..)

Then for a break I wandered along the rail trail into town, which is about two and half kilometres from the holiday house. It was blazing hot, about 36 degrees, so I took my portable shade (my parasol) with me and it just about made the walk bearable.

Once in Bright I stumbled on two gorgeous little shops – one specialising in Japanese crafts, fabrics, beads and buttons, called BBBeads . Amazing! I bought lots of gorgeous little buttons which will become the eyes on my stuffed animals, and some beautiful Japanese cotton which I’ve already used. And the result is spectacular .... more to be revealed in the coming days

If you get the chance, go and visit Meg, the Japanese proprietor, either in person or via the website. She’s also going to be at the Stitches and Craft show in Melbourne in March if you feel like stopping by to fondle her wares, as it were.

I also went into Sew Bright Alpine Quilting, which stocks a fabulous range of my favourite Michael Miller fabrics as well as the Portobello Pixie pattern range, not to mention the most incredible quilts you’ve ever seen. I picked up an extra length of Ginger Blossom Breeze as well as a few fat quarters to fill out my stash (not that I need any more fabric, mind you).

I never knew that Bright was such a haven for the crafty type. It’s wonderful! I got so much done, I was very proud of myself. Three days of cycling is certainly enough time to sew oneself silly.

Oh, and for those who are interested, My One True Love and his mate Pommy John finished the ride in about eight hours, which is pretty impressive itself. The Gribble took nearly 12 hours and we started to think he might have fallen off the mountain! but lo and behold, just as we were dithering about whether to call someone or not, he rode slowly and painfully into view.
I think his bicycle seat is probably still imprinted on his rear end.

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