Bicycling attire today runs the gamut from serious cyclists in tight spandex pants, racing jerseys, and sleek helmets to kids or families biking in jeans and T-shirts. There was a time, however, when folks out for a leisurely ride could be considered quite dapper. Nineteenth-century cyclists often sported fashionable hats and woolen suits or suit dresses.
If you long for the days when ladies and gents cycled around town in their elegant best, have we got the bicycle ride for you! The Tweed Run and Tweed Rides are bicycle events around the world that celebrate a bygone era of British fashion which, as the name suggests, included copious amounts of tweed. Cyclists are encouraged to dress up in their best nineteenth-century finery. According to the website for New York City's Big Apple Tweed Ride (which was sponsored in part by Harris Tweed), riders are advised to start with at least one good piece of tweed and build a suitably old-timey outfit around it.
Each city's ride is different, but the events typically start with a ride around the city dressed to the tweedy 9s before enjoying some tea and crumpets, or perhaps a hot toddy. We especially love the after-party photos from this Minnesota Tweed Ride, held at the Hennepin History Museum. If you love tweed (and, really, who doesn't?) and like to ride bikes, we highly recommend finding the nearest Tweed Run or Tweed Ride for an oh-so-civilized cycling experience!