September 24, 2013

Thunder Bay’s first ever Tweed Ride is coming to town on September 27!

Greg Allen

Do you romanticize the days of yore, when life was simpler and people dressed better?  Turn out the tweed for this fancy-pants event!  Folks dress up in formal tweed-wear, reminiscent of Britain in the early 1900s, to cycle in a classy-looking group around the city. Participants are encouraged to dress up in the style of any by-gone era of fashion and enjoy, as John F. Kennedy put it, the “simple pleasure of a bike ride.”

While the dress is old fashioned, bicycles being ridden don’t have to be antique, ancient, or otherwise aged. As long as it’s got wheels and is powered by the rider, you’re good to ride.

Since the first Tweed Ride in London in 2009 (then called the “Tweed Run”), these events have spread widely, showing up in cities all over the world, from Brazil to Spain, Russia to Australia, and in Canadian cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Windsor.

Toronto’s Tweed Ride (tweedridetoronto.com) serves as a fundraiser for Bikes Without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to using bikes and bike-related solutions as development tools in marginalized communities. Eventually, Community Spokes hopes to follow suit, featuring teams who collect pledges from the community before entering the ride.

Community Spokes is proud and excited to host this event, especially in light of the fleet of bikes they have for hire. Thirteen old-fashioned, single speed cruiser bikes, complete with chain guards, fenders, and baskets, are part of the new BikesToGo program at LU, and Community Spokes is offering them for people to use on the Tweed Ride. They’re free of charge but first come, first served. If you’re interested in matching your boots to your bike, this is a good chance.

Anyone and everyone is encouraged to join in on the fun. The pace is slow and they avoid hills. To participate in the Tweed Ride, meet Community Spokes, at the LUSU Bike Shelter (BS), at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, September 27. The group leaves at 6:00 p.m. and winds back to LU at the end. The ride will take us into the flatter sections of Thunder Bay, stopping at various sight-seeing destinations for photos-ops.

This is also the first of a series of costumed rides that Community Spokes is hosting. Stay tuned for Halloween Ride, the day after Halloween, and the soon-to-be-famous Moustache Ride on November 29th. See the website for more details: CommunitySpokes.com

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