The Tweed Ride, despite its old-timey appearance, is a fairly new phenomenon. Started as the “Tweed Run” in jolly old England (London, to be exact) in 2009, Tweed Rides around the world have been quickly gaining in popularity.
While not as large as the London event, which numbers in the hundreds, the Winnipeg ride had itself a very good showing this past weekend. Approximately 40 riders of all ages and degrees of tweediness gathered at Assiniboine Park shortly before 2 pm this past Sunday to admire each other’s finery before setting off, en masse, for downtown.
For the occasion, I wore a fetching sleeveless brown knit dress (vintage), a jaunty beret (new), brown, black and gold diamond-patterned scarf (vintage), lady-like yellow gloves (vintage), argyle socks (new) and sensible brown oxfords (new). I had a cute little brown and camel houndstooth jacket with me, as well, but it stayed in my bike basket for the entire day, due to the unseasonably warm temps.
The ride itself was quite leisurely and lots of fun. As this year’s ride was part of the “Cyclovia/Manyfest” celebrations, we had a marked route and, with the exception of one stretch of Wellington Crescent close to the park gates, we were free to amble along, waving and shouting such pithy statements as “Hip-hop cheerio!” “Jolly good show, Gov’ner!” and “F*ck prohibition!” (The latter of which I was later informed was historically inaccurate, to which I replied “F*ck accuracy!”)
Once we arrived downtown, we posed for a group shot on the steps of the Legislative Building, and then made our way to Danalvert for croquet and an impromptu picnic.
Plans for next year are already starting to brew, and include an earlier start time and a possible kick-off tea. I, for one, will be spending the next 12 months planning my outfit and searching for a suitable flask. For non-alcoholic refreshment, of course.
There are plenty of great photos of the Winnipeg Tweed Ride on Leif Norman’s site, as well as on the official WTR Facebook page.