With only a few more days till the Fall Tweed Ride, I’ve been getting questions about where to find the smashing duds, classic bicycles, et al that one needs for a proper Tweed Ride. Let me be clear, the Tweed Ride is open to ALL 21+ cyclists, no matter what they’re wearing or riding. Above all, the Tweed Ride is meant to be a social event with an emphasis on meeting new folks and becoming BFF’s by the end of the raucous night. Wearing tweed and riding an English 3-speed are most certainly not requirements, although they are very much encouraged. Because dressing up in goofy costumes and riding slowly facilitates a greater sense of recreation, and allows for an increase of shenanigans – not to mention the spirit of charity and strong camaraderiefelt by all when that old Raleigh gets a flat or has drivechain problems. We are all in this tweedy world together. So, please don’t feel like you MUST arrive clad in tweed or ashamed of your post-war bicycle. The spirit of tweed is not all about that, anyway.
If you decide you want to slog onward and spiff up, the following is a list of helpful resources.
The Tweedy References page on this site has links to good sites on proper dressing techniques for both gentlemen and ladies.
You + Me. This newly opened boutique in Uptown is run by fashion brothers extraordinaires Tim+Thom Navarro. Specializing in menswear tweed, you can either purchase or rent your duds there.
Local thrift & vintage shops have their crazier-than-normal-saved-for-Halloween-costume goods on the racks now. These are great places to find your entire tweed outfit for a minimal sum.
Your vintage-obsessed friend’s closet. We all know at least one. Ask them politely to lend you that velvet riding helmet. Then invite them along!
Your grandparent’s attics. If you’re lucky enough to still have grandparents or older relatives residing on this earth, spend some precious time with them going through their crawlspaces. Tweed and quality clothing were much more common in their day. You might find the perfect sportcoat or pair of oxfords squirreled away, just waiting to go for a ride.
As for the simple machines…
Chum up with a bicycle shop employee or owner. They’ve seen it all, and they know where the good stuff is kept.
Ask your bicycle-obsessed friends. We all know at least one. Ask them politely to lend you that rusted out old cruiser. Then invite them along!
Scour Craigslist and local Ebay listings. There’s still time to purchase your own!
If all the above fails, and you need a bicycle; or are a lady (size 0-6) in search of clothing. Contact me at tweedride @ gmail . com. I have a few bicycles and lots of clothes I would be happy to lend to you!
Good luck, beautiful people. I’ll see you on Saturday!