Kiltmaking and the Tour de France

July is not normally the busiest month of the kiltmaker’s year, but for me July is almost always exciting. In addition to watching the Red Sox (who are in first place by 1 game over the hated Yankees) July brings the Tour de France. This is a three-week bicycle race , basically one lap of France, that runs from the 2nd to the 24th. It is fascinating to watch, because it’s a combination of individual and team tactics, with exciting chases, tough mountain climbs, and speedy descents. These guys are tough!
So, every July I find a project that I can work on for about 3 hours a day while the Tour is on–I get myself situated in our family room, with coffee and air conditioning, and stitch away as the 22 teams of riders sweat their way around France. This year I’m making a quilt, and I can look up when necessary to see all of the action.
This is a bit of a family affair, because my husband and daughter also enjoy watching the Tour. They will never forget the year that I was watching the television downstairs while sewing. All of a sudden Lance Armstrong, who was leading the race, was knocked to the ground after catching a handle bar on the strap of a musette bag held by a spectator. There was Lance on the ground, no doubt spouting every rude word he could think of as he tried to straighten out his bike, while his competitors pedaled away from him, and all my family heard from the family room was ME, incredulous, loudly saying a few rude words of my own. My daughter Katie thought that I had (at least) cut off a finger with my rotary cutter, and ran to the top of the stairs to see if I was all right. I called back, “Lance Armstrong fell!!” and they all clattered down the stairs to see what was going on. Lance was OK, and managed to make his way back to the front of the race after a terrific climb, but it is a story that was retold a number of times–I am not sure that my daughters knew that I knew (or ever used) such language. I can only say that it was under duress.
So, check out the Tour. You might become a fan as well.