Tweed: “The most stylish Metropolitan group bike ride around.”

The participants of Tweed 2013, an annual group bicycle ride that celebrates "the golden age of bicycles" at the turn of the 20th century.

The participants of Tweed 2013, an annual group bicycle ride that celebrates “the golden age of bicycles” at the turn of the 20th century, pose together at the Kansas City Museum.

Last Saturday, something magical happened in Kansas City, and I actually almost missed it because I didn’t feel like getting out of bed that morning. I swear I actually tried talking myself into sleeping in! *smacking forehead*
Fortunately though, I talked myself out of bed. And I’m glad too, because it was one of  the best Saturdays in Kansas City’s cycling history. And really, that’s what Kansas City’s 4th Annual Tweed ride was all about that day anyways: history.
“Tweed Ride” is a stylish group bicycle ride that originated in London in 2009, and has since been held annually in over 50 cities worldwide (including Tokyo, Paris, & São Paulo).  The ride celebrates “the golden age of bicycles” at the turn of the 20th century. In memory of this bygone era, cyclists (of all ages) come dressed in their best vintage attire (NO SPANDEX ALLOWED) ready to ride. Many brought an antique bicycle to show off at the leisurely Saturday afternoon ride and picnic. BikeWalkKC hosted this smashing event, and the generous organization emphasized that ”[Tweed] is about style not speed, elegance not exertion.”
But really, I had no idea Kansas City had this much style. And tweed. And facial hair.

A dapper gent' with a very rare oak wooden bow tie!

A dapper gent’ with a very rare oak wooden bow tie! (& sweet ‘stache…& tandem!)

This perfect 50-degree-mostly-sunny-October-morning started at Cliff Drive in the colonnade . Here, the participants enjoyed hot coffee (compliments of Velo +) and live accordion music before the ride commenced.

A sweet 'stache and accordion serenade.

Another stellar ‘stache accompanied with an accordion serenade.

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And then, the ride! A short and sweet 5 miles. The weather couldn’t’ve been more perfect.

All smiles this morning!

All smiles this morning! Founder of the Velo Vixens KC, Arminda Apgar, pictured left.

Have you ever in your life seen anything like this? I had not.
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A man clad in Italian military officer riding pants. The buttons on his boots were 1850s-era British half-pennies.

A man clad in Italian military officer riding pants. The buttons on his boots were 1850s-era British half-pennies.

We stopped briefly for a picnic at the Kansas City Museum. Besides the ride, the picnic was my favorite part of the day’s adventure. Cyclists unfolded their sheets, unloaded their backpacks (snackpacks) to share, inviting others to join them for lunch. Additionally, BikeWalkKC offered the riders mini bagels and grapes. The Velo Vixens (a noncompetitive all-girls cycling club) surprised the Tweed participants with an assortment of festive mustache cookies.

A Tweed Picnic!

A Tweed Picnic!

Are those sprinkles on your mustache, Sir?

Are those sprinkles on your mustache, Sir?

A Tweed Picnic!

A Tweed Picnic!

And the day made a full circle, literally ending where it began. After the picnic everyone cruised back to the colannade and congregated in hopes of winning some of Tweed’s contests and raffled prizes. The contestants lined up to be judged to win a prize for the best facial hair, best dressed man, best dressed woman, and best bike. The winner of each category was determined by the volume of the crowds’ cheering for the individual contestants.

The contestants of the Best Facial Hair" contest. (I spy an imposter!)

The contestants of the “Best Facial Hair” contest. (I spy an imposter!)

Raffle tickets were sold prior to the ride. BikeWalkKC had a fantastic spread of biking paraphernalia to win! Additionally, Velo + donated the grand prize (a restored ’74 Schwinn Sprint). I’m not a gambling woman, but regardless, I purchased 7 raffles tickets. I was happy to learn that all the proceeds support BikeWalkKC’s advocacy and educational programs.
I should consider testing my luck more often because…I WON THE GRAND PRIZE!

Thanks for the slick ride Velo +!

Special thanks to Velo + for donating the grand prize, this  ’74 Schwinn Sprint!

A truly epic day in Kansas City’s cycling history, and now a day I very much look forward to repeating in the future. And you must[ache] attend next year!

-Tika-

Click here to read The Kansas City Star’s article about Tweed 2013 in Kansas City!
Click here to see stunning professional photography and to read an additional article about this spectacular day.

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