Informal rides with opportunities for tea and buns, beer and chips, etc., along the way as well as picnics and sea-bathing for the adventurous, participants are those whose dress is dignified and stylish, urbane rather than urban. Pipe-smokers are particularly welcome!
What it's all about
The purpose of the Tweed Run is of course to restore style and panache to the pursuit of bicycling which has in recent years fallen prey to an unpleasant, plastic-helmeted, sweat-stained vulgarity, so much so that many bicycles manufactured nowadays have dispensed with mudguards; the intention is one of making the rider look as dirty and ridiculous as possible. Garish Lycra, knobbly knees and bilious-coloured 'Martian brain' helmets complete the humiliation.
Naturally the spirit of the event is 'Tweed' (as popularised by The Chap magazine in 1999) though in July the actual cycling outfit might well be light wool or linen should sun and warm zephyrs be in evidence. The watchwords are elegance and dignity though of course conviviality and jollity ought to play a big part in the proceedings.
All effort is made to devise a route to avoid collar-wrinkling perspiration, undignified gasping and heart-imperilling exertion!
This is not a race or a distance-covering exercise of interest only to the sort of deviants who are morbidly enthusiastic about sweating; riders can stop as often as they like to admire the views, take photographs or slip into a poetic reverie. As the jaunting company will include women, children and senior citizens there will be plenty of opportunities to visit lavatories for the adjustment of tie-knots, the straightening of stocking seams and the the waxing of windswept moustaches (in case anyone is worried on that score).
The original Tweed Run took place in London in 2009 and since then the runs have taken place in over fifty cities around the world. Rather than wait for someone else to organise one in our city, we decided to grasp the nettle and do it ourselves before such a good idea was hi-jacked by snobbish sprocket spods with poor diction, stubbled faces and dirty fingernails.
For information on individual jaunts, see below and click to your heart's content!
The Health & Safety Bit
1. The recommended helmets for this jaunt are the deerstalker, the pith and the Pickelhaube.
2. The recommended caps are the flat cap, the smoking cap and the fez.
3. Horrible injuries can occur to cyclists wearing denim, baseball caps and sportswear. Riders are advised only to wear natural fibres, preferably ones that have been fashioned into garments to delight the stylish eye!
4. It is not envisaged that machines shall be left unattended at any point but riders are always advised to have a lock aboard at all times!
5. This is a friendly, informal jaunt and participants join it at their own risk. For example, should your expensive new trilby be whipped off your head and into the river by a freak gust of wind it is your own responsibility! (Either wear a well-fitting older one or bring a light scarf or an extra tie to strap down your headgear. Alternatively follow the example of Miles Malleson playing the tricycling bishop in The Hound of the Baskervilles; he kept his topper in the basket on his handlebars whilst under way!)