Tour de Fleece 2018: 5 Reasons to Ride

Tour de Fleece 2018 is nearly upon us (July 7–July 29, 2018). Will you be spinning along?

Before you say that you have a day job and therefore don’t partake in spinning competitions, stick around while I try to convince you that this is totally not a competition and instead just a whole lot of fun.

The Tour de Fleece has always been a time for socialization and camaraderie. That’s how it began in 2006, when knitting designer and spinner Star Athena, a fan and watcher of the annual Tour de France race, put a call out on her blog seeking virtual spinning companions. She and teammates would share in a handspinning “ride” coinciding with the actual race’s challenge and rest days. The stated goals were very much tongue-in-cheek in tone. There were 26 participants that first year. More than 8,000 participated in the Tour de Fleece Ravelry group in 2017!

Tour de Fleece

My Hutch of Inspiration will provide fuel for my Tour de Fleece spinning!

What is it about this event that calls to thousands of spinners worldwide to participate? Here are my top 5 thoughts on why Tour de Fleece continues to flourish:

1. Everyone knows when the Tour de France is.

Or everyone can look up the answer, so there should be no excuses for others to get in our way. This anual spinning event provides us all the opportunity to make handspinning our priority during these three weeks per year. Tell your mates, tell your kids, tell the dog, whomever—then follow through. “Sorry, we’re ordering pizza tonight (and the next night…) because I have to spin,” and “Gosh, I really wish I could head up that school fundraiser/attend your evening meeting, but I’ve committed to a global spinning event that I just can’t back out of,” will work perfectly during these days.

2. Tour de Fleece provides the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself.

The original goal of the event was to spin every day that the cyclists ride, but over time the goals have relaxed. Now, it’s about setting your own goal(s). You set the tone for your own ride.

3. Choosing to focus on yourself is rejuvenating.

You may think it’s “selfish time,” but taking time for yourself is good for you and those around you. (Really!)

4. Focusing on your spinning for a length of time helps to improve your own performance.

Just as athletic training leads to better abilities in the sport, the same is true in spinning.

5. It just plain feels good to identify and unite with your people.

Gather with your fellow spinners, even if online, each year.

Join us for the Tour de Fleece beginning July 7! To join up with a great crew of low-key, kind, yet serious spinners, please join us in our Spin Off Ravelry group.

—Deborah Held

Featured Image: It might not be good for a bike basket, but this gathering of goodies is perfect for putting over my wheel. Photos by Deborah Held

Get ready for the Tour de Fleece!

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