In the world of professional cycling, the Queen of the Mountains is she who can ascend to the top of the mountains, using her own strength and energies, the fastest. The symbol for the Queen (or, King) of the Mountains is a white jersey with red polka dots. I have been conquering my own fitness goals and personal mountains and this fact coincides nicely both with my completion of this top (which just so happens to be white with red polka dots) as well as the Tour de France (which is, you know, a famous professional cycling race), which suggests that this shall heretofore be known as my Queen of the Mountains Top.
Pattern: Renfrew the Second
Fabric: Knit Jersey from Hancock Fabrics (about $3 per yard… total 2 yards)
Total Time: Approx. 3 hours
Total Cost: $6
My first Renfrew was mostly awesome, but there were a few moments of frustration with it… primarily with the neckline and my having significantly stretched it out over the course of several attempts to get it right. This second attempt at the pattern was about as perfect a sewing experience as can be had. Everything came together easily on the first try and I did not use my seam ripper once.
The finished top is comfortable and flattering. Initially, I was hesitant about combining the two fabrics, unsure how well they would work together, but I am delighted with the combo. I don’t have much else to write about this top – - just that this is going to be a staple of my new handmade wardrobe and I will be making many more Renfrews.
I would like to conclude by mentioning that I do feel this to be my well-deserved Queen of the Mountains jersey because, after cycling all throughout the the long and cold winter, through frigid sleet and snow and ice, and then putting in some massive efforts this spring, I seem to now by cycling the best ever in my recreational cycling career. Over the weekend, I rode from Boise to the tip top of Bogus Basin (44 miles and 4,400 feet of climbing) and beat my personal recreational record. Ultimately, self-improvement is my goal and racing against myself is my primary motivation. I did not, however, beat my time for when I raced this climb during an Official Race but I am thinking that I might register for this year’s Race, train hard, and try to beat my own race pace for this climb. Beating myself during the race would make me feel really awesome!
Below is a photo of me as I was nearing the second lodge at Bogus. And that is a flaccid ice pack hanging over my handlebars – - the day prior, I had tried to ride Bogus and suffered from a minor heat exhaustion, so when I tried to ride it again the next day, I stuffed ice packs down my bra to keep my core cool. Ice packs in the bra really do help for mitigating heat exhaustion! On the day prior, I suffered like I haven’t suffered in a long time to ride to the 3/4 point, and then stopped in some shade with my heart racing for 20 minutes before deciding to call it quits. I seem to be a sponge where temperature is concerned, and have no internal regulation system. From now on, I am going to remember to stuff my bra with ice packs to fend off the heat.