“As with home design, where curio cases, taxidermy and other stylish clutter of the Victorian era have been taken up by young hipsters, many of today’s popular men’s styles have their roots in the late 19th century.”
— The New York Times, Nov. 11, 2009
The tweed ride contagion crept into North Texas without my notice.
Since cyclists in London staged the first Tweed Run on Jan. 24, 2009, the fad of dressing up in tweed and riding around on vintage velocipedes has spread like swine flu to cities around the world. (See Feb. 23 post, “From lurid Lycra to earth-toned tweed.”)
Among the U.S. cities to stage tweed rides during the past year was Dallas, only 30 miles east of my home in Fort Worth. But I was unaware of the Dallas ride until a reader of this blog sent me a message pointing out my omission.
The Dallas Tweed Ride, held on Nov. 22, was organized by Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, one of Dallas’ oldest neighborhoods. About 200 eccentric Dallasites turned out for the ride, which was deemed a “smashing success.”
A blog called “Riding Pretty” has chronicled the tweed ride phenomenon and offers guidance on vintage cycles and attire, particularly for women. The blog, founded by in 2007 by Shelly Schroeder, is “dedicated to all the girls in the world tho want to ride pretty on a bicycle.”
“Garment after garment has arrived on the scene that one might think more Gilbert and Sullivan than Bergdorf and Goodman, only to be taken up by the young beards,” the Times observed.
“This flamboyance is part of a curious new movement called Tweed Rides, informal gatherings of spiffily dressed ladies and gents cycling leisurely through town and disdaining finish lines.”
I have some tweedy togs in my closet. I’m no longer a “young beard,” but if Fort Worth cyclists ever stage a tweed ride, I’ll be prepared.
Check out these videos of the Dallas Tweed Ride.