This is an archived press release
Friday 21 March 2014
Cycling and crochet are two activities people might not normally associate with each other but that is set to change in the Peak District National Park.
With just 100 days (from March 27) to go until the Tour de France cycle race whizzes through the Peak District (July 6), national park staff wanted to mark the event in an extra special way.
Organiser Alison Riley explained: "We wanted to bring to people's attention the close links between cycling and enjoying the national park's special qualities.
"We came up with the idea of covering an ex-cycle hire bike with wool sourced from sheep raised on farms in the national park, and that has been spun and dyed by local spinners using natural products.
"Our crocheted bike is a fun, colourful way of representing the story of how farmers look after the national park environment whilst supplying natural materials that are manufactured into products.
"We have done it in our own time – all together over 100 hours craft work has gone into it – and most of us couldn't crochet a stitch before we started! Staff really got behind the idea and it's involved people from across the organisation, from our legal and policy teams, communications and building conservation officers, an ecologist, administrators and a planner."
The natural wool yarn and the colours it has been dyed, represent the national park landscape: pink for heather, brown for the Dark Peak and peat moors, grey for the White Peak and limestone walls, greens for plants and trees, orange for autumn bracken, blue and white for flowers and skyscapes.
This wool has been supplied by Chris Clark and Margie Stuckey of Peak Yarns and Fibres, at Brough Lea Farm, near Bradwell, who hold the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark for good conservation farming practices and traditional rural wool crafts.
In contrast to the natural wool, brightly coloured man-made yarns have been used on the bike to represent the Tour de France race jerseys: yellow for the race leader, green for the current points leader, white with red polka dots for the best climber in the mountain stages, plain white for the best rider under the age of 25.
Peak District National Park staff learned to crochet and covered the ex-cycle hire bike in their own time. Tuition was provided by local textile experts Margie Stuckey of Peak Yarns and Fibres and Monica Haddock.
The colourful crochet-covered bike will be on display during April at Parsley Hay cycle hire centre, near Hartington, www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/parsleyhay.
In May the woolly bike will go on a 'Tour de Peak District' and be displayed in national park cycle hire and visitor centres.
For details of the Tour de France visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/tourdefrance.