The Tweed Run markets itself as ‘a metropolitan bike ride with a bit of style’. However, having attended last Saturday’s jaunt through London’s back streets, we feel that this official description fails to capture the real spirit of the day. With this in mind, we thought we’d help them out by having a go at expressing the magic through the medium of an illustrated blog post.
For us, the Tweed Run was a curious event. We’ve attended a lot of mass-participation rides in our time, but they always revolve around an element of protest, charity, or competition. By contrast, the aim of the Tweed Run seems simply to be to dress up in a predominantly tweed-based outfit, go for a spin on a vintage bike, and generally just have a rollicking good time!
Sound like the recipe for a fun day out, right old chap? Right you are!
Chocks away, here’s the story of our day
Beginning at our shop in Camden
, our first task was to choose a pair of handsome and classically-styled bikes. Harry wanted to bring his sound-system, so he selected his antique SCO Long John
; with only three gears, no handbrakes, and a fully-loaded basket (packed with speakers, batteries, and picnic paraphernalia), he was definitely hoping for a gently-paced ride!
Being perhaps a little more sensible, Kristina chose the supremely elegant Gazelle Tour Populair; based on a frame design that’s almost as old as cycling itself, the Tour Populair was bound to fit right in!
After a short trip to the meeting point, we were relieved to see that others had also made a good effort with their bikes and attire. Some families even had a whole theme going on!
Everyone was enjoying the atmosphere as more and more people showed up in brilliantly vintage outfits. Knitted-cardigans, flat-caps, bonnets, and brogues were clearly popular themes, with plenty of wicker baskets on the bikes.
Some of our favourite outfits from the Tweed Run
Carefully-coordinated outfits made for some striking portraits. Looking around at people’s clothes, we wondered to ourselves whether this crowd is normally so stylish, or whether everyone pulled out the stops just for the day…
With her flower-bedecked pink bike, radiant smile, and charming outfit, the cameras simply adored this lady! Her hair-do won her the title of ‘Best Headgear’ and the prize of a healthy little bottle of Hendrick’s Gin.
Upright riding was the order of the day, and for a rare moment, civilised cycling was celebrated on the streets of London. People put on faux-posh accents and everyone was frightfully pleasant!
These cats were two of our favourites. Rocking the red lipstick and matching riding gloves, the 1930s trouser suit, and channelling Bugsy Malone himself, we wonder how the lady on the left kept those epic bags from getting caught up in her chain! The chap on the right was just plain cool with his shades and old-school style. We have our suspicions that he actually dresses up like this all the time, so effortless is his look and general demeanour.
Beards and other facial foliage (some more authentic than others…)
This guy has amazing taste, not only for tweed suits, but also for novelty moustaches.
OK, this is a tricky one: what do you reckon, real or fake? The consistency of the colour and thickness makes us think fake, but people have grown stranger things on their faces!
I guess if you’re going to go for a fake beard, you might as well go for the most extraordinary one you can find!
The London Tweed Run is a great day out for everyone – you don’t even have to be old enough to actually ride a bike to enjoy the fun of taking part in the festivities. It raises the question though: who makes all these miniature tweed suits!?
In fact, you don’t even have to be human to enjoy the Tweed Run – furry, four-legged friends were also welcome on the ride. These pooches travelled in real style!
For the bike nerd in all of us, the London Tweed Run is a real feast for the eyes. There were plenty of vintage tandems on display…
…lots of classic, steel frames, and a healthy range of gorgeous Penny Farthings (with some very skilled riders!)…
……and even a genuine nineteenth century velocipede, complete with wooden wheels! Unsurprisingly, this antique bike won the ‘best vintage bike’ prize, but quite frankly, we think the rider must have robbed a museum!
For a rare and pleasant change, Harry and Kristina weren’t the only ones riding gorgeous Dutch bikes from the Flying Dutchman
. Not only did we spot a few of our customers on the ride, but we were also joined by two friends of ours – Paul and Kari (who were riding the Flying Priest
and the Secret Service
respectively). It was nice to ride as a chic little convoy, and we each had our own unique, tweedy style.
Naturally (and as is the case for all happy rides), the day finished with a well-earned drink at The Blackfriar Pub. All in all, the Tweed Run was a great excuse to go for a relaxing ride around town with friends, both new and old. We can’t recommend it enough, and we hope to see you there next year!
Although this blog post contains shots from different sources, all of the genuinely good photographs were taken by Kari, who is a true master behind the lens.