Thursday April 24th 2014

TWEED RIDE, TAKE IT EASY

By: Shannon Bryan

Portland Tweed Ride

1:30 pm Sat, free, meet in Monument Square, Portland

Bicycles aren’t just for high-speed riders in spandex. And they’re not just for Toto-stealing witches or young boys pedaling a getaway with a good-natured alien tucked into the front basket.

Once upon a time, bicycles were for leisurely rides about town. They wheeled people to work. They pedaled off to the market, their riders wearing wool coats, plus-four suits, and monocles. Ah, those were the days.

Photos courtesy Gillian Cridler

On Saturday, enthusiasts of yesteryear will relive the bicycle rides of the past during the third annual Portland Tweed Ride.

The Tweed Ride commemorates a vintage bike’s wide leather seats, quaint wicker baskets, and the brring-brring of its bicycle bell. And the event encourages bicycle riders to embrace a bygone era of British cycling by donning attire of the tweed, wool and argyle variety.

Vintage bicycles are encouraged — if you have a vintage bike, this is the day to bring it out — but the classic bike isn’t a requirement.

Dapper attire, on the other hand, is essential.

The Tweed Ride begins in Monument Square, Portland, at 1:30 pm Saturday. There’s no cost to pedal along, and the course will be a leisurely 4-mile ride around Portland, ending in Deering Oaks Park for some photos. Interested folks can then continue on to Novare Res to partake in another classic pastime: beer drinking. John Brooking of the Portland Bicycle Commuting Meetup (who also organized this year’s Tweed Ride) will lead a chat on “all manner of topics, including how to ride all winter.”

FMI: Tweed Ride 2012 event on Facebook