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17 June 2014 No comments
The London Tweed Run 2014Style & Fashion Events Heritage Urban Cycling Stories
Over the past four or five years there's been a well documented global surge in the number of non-competitive group rides requiring participants to dress up like extras from Downton Abbey. In fact, there's hardly a country that hasn't now hosted some sort of Tweed-themed day out on bikes. We like the steely glint. He could be the spirit of John Brooks made flesh. It's a development that finds our hearty approval. Since way back in, ooooh, 2009, Brooks has been happy to lend a hand wherever organisers have detected the latent demand for a spin celebrating simpler times and traditional fabrics, and so it was that we returned in May to London - English capital and birthplace of the original Tweed Run. Best Vintage. And apparently the oldest roadworthy Highwheel on the planet! We say non-competitive, but there are all sorts of non-speed related prizes up for grabs at a typical Tweed Run. Best Dressed, Best Group Outfit, Best Moustache, Best Vintage Bike and Best Decorated Bike were all keenly contested categories in London. Tweed Run wasn't the only group ride taking place in London that day. The LCC Space for Cycling crowd were also on the move through the streets of the capital. The two groups were briefly united along the route which took in Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Part of the quintet that won Best Group Outfit. There was a tea break at the Guild Hall, lunch at Russell Square, and things wound up at St James' Church Garden, with a Champagne jolly to help dull the pain of a day's gargantuan exertion in the saddle. It's hard work keeping a pipe juttingly clamped for seven hours. Winner of the notoriously subjective Best Dressed Gent category. Some riders even had smoke coming out of their pipes. The Tweed Run Morris saw to it that the ride's leisurely pace stayed just above Static. Our Best Dressed Lady. Probably beats an energy bar stuffed in a jersey pocket. If maintaining a serious Fop Look was easy, everybody would be at it. It's perhaps the one day in the year when moustache-shaped biscuits make sense. Looks like somebody's overdone it with the cucumber sandwiches. The tykes are at a Gymkhana, Jeeves has the afternoon off, and the Smartphone's on silent. Relax. The Tweed Run welcomes most any type of bicycle, as long as it has an exhibitionist in the saddle. Stewards were on hand throughout to ensure a ubiquity of plump, compact Windsors. Still internally questioning the wisdom of matching his ensemble with a Boris Bike. The organisers conferred for two hours before deciding he could leave them on. So much free Champers that emergency hipflasks were surplus to requirements. Five years on, and the enthusiasm for Tweed riding seems as buoyant as ever. As always we were happy to be involved, with many from Brooks on site in their dapperest attire, and astride their steeliest bikes. Our thanks go to photographer Liz Seabrook for the fine selection of snaps.