CYCLING and crochet are not activities people generally associate with each other but that is set to change in the Peak District National Park.
With just 101 days to go until the Tour de France cycle race comes to the area, park staff wanted to mark the event in an extra special way.
Organiser Alison Riley said: “We wanted to bring to people’s attention the close links between cycling and enjoying the park’s special qualities.
“We came up with the idea of covering an ex-cycle hire bike with wool sourced from sheep raised on park farms, 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 more than 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.”
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.
The colourful crochet-covered bike will be on display during April at Parsley Hay cycle hire centre, near Hartington,
For details on where to see the bike check www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/tourdefrance where there are also updates on the Tour de France.