Are we in 21st century Portland or 19th century Oxford? You might not know if you witnessed the participants of yesterday’s Tweed Ride rolling around the city. The Portland Tweed Ride has been a staple of group bike events in the city every year since 2010, and though yesterday’s soggy weather kept the group relatively small, the truest tweed-heads showed up for the occasion in their finest wool blazers and caps.
“Woah, tweed,” said a mesmerized onlooker sitting in Kelly Plaza when the group passed through the Hollywood District. We tipped our hats to him in response.
Something I like about the Tweed Ride (which aptly started in London but has chapters all over the world) is that it demonstrates how you can ride a bike wearing practically anything. As long as you roll up the cuffs of your pants so the hem doesn’t get caught in your bike chain, the world of fashion is your oyster. If you must wear spandex, so be it, but tweed skirts are perfectly bike-friendly as well.
The group was joined by Melissa Bryden, who came to Portland from Sacramento just for the occasion. Bryden hosts tweed rides in her neck of the woods, and wanted to see how it’s done in a city where the weather bears more resemblance to that of the British Isles (a.k.a., the land of tweed.)
“Dressing up in costumes, biking and drinking tea? It’s all the fun of being a kid, even though I’m in my 60s,” Bryden said when I asked her why she loves to bike in tweed.
With group ride season kicking off, the Tweed Ride shows the range of themed bike activities available to Portlanders. Only in Portland can you enjoy a posh and classy ride like this in April and then, come July, exchange the wool blazer for a cat costume, yachtwear…or your birthday suit. (It’s getting to the point where I need a second closet just for themed bike ride attire.)
So sit back with a cup of tea and check out our photos from the Tweed Ride. And be sure to follow the Portland Tweed Ride Instagram so you can stay informed on next year’s tweed activities.