This weekend the Tweed Run took over London as 500 cyclists dressed head-to-toe in tailored tweeds stormed through the streets on bikes in all shapes and sizes, including several penny-farthings, a bike from the 1800s, Barclays Cycle Hire models and a leather-wrapped diamond-encrusted bike worth £25,000 made by Brooks.
Starting near the Royal Albert Hall, the ride wound its way across 12 miles of London through Hyde Park, Mayfair and Piccadilly before taking in Westminster, the City and Tower Bridge, with an official tea stop outside the Imperial War Museum.
The Tweed Run began in an online bike forum when somebody asked, ‘Anyone fancy going for a ride dressed in tweed?’ Some 150 people said yes, and four years later – with the London run going strong – there are now events in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Melbourne and Amsterdam.
This year’s London event was supported by Cordings of Piccadilly, which specialises in countryside wear, including tailored tweed; with previous sponsors including Brooks, Rapha – purveyors of ridiculously fine bike attire – Ralph Lauren and Dashing Tweeds, there has always been an emphasis on looking the part. Some cyclists had borrowed pieces from grandparents or even made items themselves, and there was a contingent decked out in Bookster, but most of the participants had lovingly assembled their outfits by searching through London’s many vintage shops such as Beyond Retro in Covent Garden and Brick Lane.