CTC volunteer Pippa
CTC volunteer Pippa - note her gorgeous bicycle blouse

A simply spiffing day out

CTC had an absolutely marvellous time at the Tweed Run in London on Saturday 13 April, despite a little light precipitation. Styled as "A metropolitan bicycle ride with a bit of style", the run was one of the highlights of the year for the many dapper ladies and gents who took part.

In fact,  just 500 lucky riders were successful out of 4000 who applied.

Savile Row salutes the sartorial cyclists

The tailored two-wheelers set off from Marleybone at 12 noon before heading towards Trafalgar Square via Savile Row, where the traditional tailors doffed their caps to the besuited brigade of bicyclists, and the Houses of Parliament. The pedalling procession then pootled on towards Lincolns Inn Fields.

The need for tweed

It was not a race nor were there competitors, despite the Daily Mail Online's assertions to the contrary! They must not have been familiar with the etiquette of cycling before the days of Wiggins, Cavendish and the appalling sight of behinds clad in overly tight Lycra shorts! In fact, The Tweed Run is the very antithesis of a race as the entrants, on a wide range of mounts that included penny farthings, tandems, old-fashioned racers, fixies, and vintage cycles trundled merrily through the streets at a very civilized and sedate pace, waving at pedestrians and the patiently waiting (most of them!) motorists as they went.

A nice sit down and a lovely cup of tea

Eventually the parade of posh pedallers reached green space of Lincolns Inn Fields for a picnic lunch and afternoon tea - leaf tea poured out of giant teapots and served in bone china teacups of course! There was even a spectacular  birthday cake to celebrate the fifth running of the event, complete with tweed icing. Polite chitchat was made and outfits admired, whilst the accompanying French-style musicians created a very civilised atmosphere.

Roll up, roll up!

For the more energetic, a few genteel games were provided for entertainment. These ranged from throwing a tweed cap over a pigeon (fake, obviously) on the Cordingly stand to croquet to guessing the number of sweets in the jar on the CTC stand. Thanks to volunteer Pippa who helped man the stand clad in a gorgeous retro-flavoured outfit in CTC's colours of yellow and blue, complete with penny farthing blouse.

The last hurrah

Finally, the colourful cavalcade departed en route to its final destination in Kings Cross. The musical accompaniment continued thanks to some very 21st century iPods attached to cycles and there was even bicycle dancing when, as if on cue, 'Singin' in the Rain' started playing just as the heavens opened. With stiff upper lips, the riders pedalled on to the warmth of the hostelry and the final prize giving ceremony, where the sponsors rewarded the most elegantly attired men, women and steeds. Tally ho till next year!

Riders were not deterred by a smattering of light drizzle


Julie Rand