I spent much of yesterday afternoon checking out participant blogs -- I have to say, I am truly humbled. There are a lot of things going on out there. I know that you've been listing your goals here and updating your progress, but it was still fascinating for me to see the range of things folks chose to do during the Tour, and how they were feeling about their goals.
Some of you are struggling to balance off your goals with, well, life. Which does what it does, and throws us some curveballs. Even just getting through what passes for normal and everyday can be a challenge, so my hat is off to you.
Some of you are taking time away from the Tour and your spinning to get out there and cycle yourselves. Some of you are finding yourselves in the pleasantly surprising situation of having underestimated your abilities or your time and have re-set your goals for the continuation of the Tour.
Some of you are frustrated. Now, if this is your case, what I'd like you to think about doing is taking a deep breath, maybe taking some time away from your project, and have a think. The Tour is about goals, sure -- but it's also about strategy. The best teams on the Tour know how to work with the skills and talents they've got and change tack when things don't work out as they were expecting. You see this every day on the Tour, so cut yourself some slack, and re-think your strategy for getting through to the end.
It's allowed. If the elite cyclists of the world can change strategy mid-race, then so can you. The point is to get to the end, and feel good about what you did.
I have to say, I'm falling into the pleasantly surprised category. I mentioned that when I fell sick during the Giro, I couldn't finish the project I was working on then. When I'd set my original goal for the Tour, I thought it was slightly ambitious, but do-able. When I fell sick again (and I'm still feeling a bit wibbly), I figured I'd never meet the goal.
But interestingly enough, I think I shall do it. And probably this week. And I'm astonished. But during the Giro, I just stopped spinning. This time, I've continued -- I stop and start frequently, and I'm doing far more park and draft with the spindle than I'd like to -- but the progress has been steady.
I had a bit of a surprise with the roving when it arrived -- I had expected a riot of colour, but I had thought that the colour repeats would be shorter than they are, and was aiming for something else entirely. Instead, I've separated the two repeats of several colours, will spin them separately, and will attempt to ply them in order to get as much of the same colours plyed with same colours. I'm sure there will be *some* barber-poling, but maybe I'll be surprised.
And I already know what I want to do with it -- part of my goal was to have a project idea at the end of this, and that I already know where I want to go has made me very happy indeed.
Now, if only Tom Boonen could win a sprint.