Tweed Run 2014
If you’ve read Preposity before then by now you’ll be familiar with the Tweed Run. It’s become something of a cult event, so much so that this year places on the ride sold out in a mere 90 seconds. For the uninitiated the Tweed Run can best be described as a group bicycle ride through the streets of london with riders all wearing traditional tweed attire.
But to describe it in such plain terms is to underplay the experience of being part of one of the friendliest, most cheerful and well-mannered groups you’ll come across on the streets of London.
The sunny weather was the perfect backdrop to our day riding through the City. After meeting at Somerset House for a group photo we set off through the City, stopping for a leisurely tea break at Guidlhall before continuing past as many London landmarks as you’d care to mention; Tower bridge, the Tate Modern, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Savile Row. At every point passersby and tourists stopped and pointed, took photos and videos of this moving timewarp. It’s not just the vintage bikes (including a few penny farthings which stick out a good few feet above all the other riders) or the traditional tweed clothing to which the public react so positively, it’s that once you’re on your bike, dressed in tweed and amongst a few hundred other riders, you just can’t help slip into character and act that little bit more gentlemanly. Calls of “tally ho” and “good day” are common as are doffing your cap to anyone waving from the pavement. White van men lean out the window and snap photos with their phones, drivers stuck in traffic honk in solidarity, the positivity is infectious.
We eventually made our way to Russell Square for a well earned lunch break complete with picnic hampers, a phonograph dj and croquet. A short ride onward took us to Clerkenwell for a champagne reception and chance to rest our legs.
I first joined the Tweed Run in 2011 and I can’t recommend it enough. It has been well summed up by others as “possibly the most British thing ever” with which I concur. I’m already looking forward to the next one.