On Sunday, our family had the absolute pleasure of joining one hundred other wool-clad riders as we cycled through the downtown peninsula for the third annual Vancouver Tweed Ride. Onlookers were both puzzled and enthralled by this parade of people on bikes right out of the turn of the century. For those participating, it was a wonderful opportunity to dress up and enjoy a slow roll with the city as our beautiful back drop.
The Tweed Ride was such a treat to the eyes, with participants taking great strides to dress authentically. There were even a number of penny-farthings on display thanks to the Ordinary Bicycle Company. And while the event is just one day a year, many mused that it would be lovely to be able to dress up like this every day. Truly, events like these are a fantastic reminder of how easy it is to ride in your everyday, or even not-so-everyday, clothes.
Sunday marked the third year this event has been organized, and it has continued to grow. Not only does it help celebrate urban cycling for transportation, but it is also the only casual charity ride held in Vancouver. Proceeds for the last two years have gone to Power To Be, an organization supporting programming for individuals and families living with disabilities. Through the generosity of participants and numerous sponsors, this year’s event raised over $27,500 for the charity.
Being new to this particular group of riders, our family felt completely welcomed, and we can’t wait to participate in next year’s event. Perhaps we’ll follow the example set by the travelling barbershop quartet and ride in tandem with our children – we’ll leave the singing to the professionals, though!
“Ode to the Tweed Ride” by Roger Holden
Come rain, come shine,
now is the time, we’ve donned our tweeds
to climb Penny Farthings, or mount velocipedes.
And like riders of yore, in their sturdy plus four
We’ll pace the miles, with taste, with style, and should it pour,
With wool and heather ensaddled,
Wind and weather we can battle!
There is a race, an epic race of mighty pace,
whose lean leader suffers the mountain. See his face,
a suffering mask. Hear his heart, roundly pounding.
Heavily sways his frame, the summit he’s surmounting.
From hard-hewn heroes we have learned:
In spandex, swift are pedals turned.
But heroes they fall, swearing victory is all.
And us? Listen we must, to cycling’s quiet call:
It whispers through breezes earned, vistas of long hours,
Proportion in work and reward: effort’s flowers.
But most of all, it says Have Fun…
Together now: in tweed we run!
To view the full collection of photographs taken by the authors please click here.