“I want an atmosphere, I love a party with a happy atmosphere” – “Atmosphere” Russ Abbot
A mix of bemused tourists and contenders for the Sherlock Holmes look-alike competition gathered outside the RL Rugby store in Covent Garden for last Saturday’s Tweed Run.
The order of the day was a 13 mile jaunt around London’s sights with 300 other elegantly dressed cyclists stopping for tea and cakes in Knightsbridge. It turns out that wearing tweed is more a state of mind than a garment. Politeness, cap doffing and courteous behaviour were in abundance. A great video can be seen at I Bike London
I didn’t know anyone, but the event was cordial with everyone keen to talk bikes. In fact I was able to identify a few people through their bikes including blogger Lady Velo and chap behind Classic Lightweights.
The event was great for bike spotting. I saw some fantastic examples Peitersen, Motobecane, Paris, an early 50’s Gillot, a Bates Flying Gate, a bright yellow French postbike and a small wheel tandem (a forerunner of the Helios I featured before) were all present. I was hoping to meet another Allin owner, but the closest I found was an Alan. I was secretly pleased to be the only one there.
Tweed turned out to be a good option for late November. I’d roasted on the train in, but the wind had picked up and I was grateful for the extra warmth. I was also grateful that the recent house moves hadn’t sent my Grandad’s double breasted naval jacket to the charity shop; it’s not tweed, but it didn’t look too out of place.
It was a shame it only happens a few times a year. I’ll certainly be looking out for the next run, but how’s this going to branch out? Look for other fabrics? Velvet Velo, Corduroy Cycling Club?
The high points
- great atmosphere at beginning and during the ride
- promoted politeness and considerate cycling behaviour
- friendly people all keen to talk bikes and style
- British eccentricity at its best
- people removing their hats as they rode past the Cenotaph
- well marshalled
Not so good
- start-stop riding
- being sworn at by pedestrians in Trafalgar Sq.
- finish location was a damp squib; not everyone was able to go to the club
- people riding who hadn’t got much experience of riding bikes in close proximity
- cyclists disregarding red lights