Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tweedy Fun

I'm a bit late in getting to my summary of Monday's tweed ride.
As has been widely reported, the weather was lovely (if a bit smoky) and fabulous bicycles and costumes were in abundance.

I spent WAY too much time looking for the perfect outfit.  I hit 4 vintage and used clothing shops, H&M (twice) and a variety of discount stores.  I bought lots of options, and finally put together a combination that I liked a lot.  I wanted it to be tweedy but not hot and heavy wool,  and I was going for something Gibson Girl-ish.  Technically earlier than the heydey of 3 speed clubs, but definitely associated with bicycles.   I found some great information on the "Society for Rational Dress"  who advocated split skirts and "Tailored Suits" that would allow women to bicycle and exercise while providing modest coverage.  I also learned more than I wanted to about what corsets did to women's skeletons and organs.

So, corsetless, in a long linen tweedy skirt (used, Eileen Fisher), a puffed sleeve blouse and cinched belt (H&M) elbow length gloves (vintage) and a straw hat (used, added the feathers that I got at a fabric store)
I met up with E from work, and Somervillan from Boston Retro Wheelmen at my house, and we rode along the river to the meeting point, drawing curious glances from passersby.  Once we arrived, there was plenty of time to chat with others, admire their costumes and bikes and generally killed time waiting for things to start.

Once we got on the road though things were generally fine.  We observed all the lights, so we got chopped up into several groups fairly quickly, but Vin and Ed from Cambridge Used Bicycles were kind enough to be the sweepers, carrying many pounds of tools just in case of mechanical  complications, and making sure that no-one got lost or left behind.  Vin even brought a floor pump!

The route went through Harvard square,  along Mt. Auburn/ Mass Ave/ Main st, across the Longfellow, up and around the pedestrian overpass,  stop for pictures at the Hatch Shell,  across another Ped overpass,  around the public garden and down Comm Ave (on the new bike lanes!)

We stopped for refreshments at Old Sully's on Comm Ave and Harvard Street.  Fortunately we were practically the only ones there, because despite people peeling off, we were still 30-40 people.
After that, we headed mostly straight back to the starting place. We met a 20 person fixie gang who wanted us to come and take some pictures for a photo project they were doing- but since we were the sweep group, we didn't feel like we should be too delayed.  We encouraged them to join us, but they had somewhere they had to be too.  Could have been fun though.

Back at the starting point, I was joined by the Scientist with a full picnic hamper.  The Cucumber sandwiches were pretty lousy (they needed better bread)  but the hamburgers were tasty, and it was great to unwind with a beer and some more bike conversation.  A good time had by all!


  1. What blogs do i need to read to find out about this sort of thing? Maybe i just missed it - but i would have liked to join in if i could have. [pout]

    (And my apologies if in fact _your_ blog mentioned this and i failed to see it.)

  2. That sounds amazingly fun - and great pics, too! :-)

  3. indeed, good times! it was great to meet up with cycler again, and it was fun meeting others in retro threads (i was probably the least tweedily dressed!). i got to meet some of the other local bike bloggers, and i came away feeling more connected to the local biking community. i wish i could have stayed for the finale, but oh well...

    and humble cycler didn't mention that she was nominated for best outfit!

  4. It looks like a wonderful time, I was so sorry I couldn't make it. Next time...

  5. I forgot about the door prizes! Do you know if there is any documentation re: the winners? I wish I could've stayed-- I particularly wanted to see some elegant mounts/dismounts!

    Also curious about the whereabouts of some of the video that was shot, like when we all did our grand loop around the Hatch Shell...

    But it was such a nice event. Too bad we can't all be ladies and gents of leisure on a more regular basis!

  6. Though I am scandalised by the news that you went corsetless, your outfit was none the less one of the highlights of all the Tweed Ride photos I've seen. Margonaute's too - most definitely the 2 best ladies' outfits.

    I think the 20-person fixie group you met was from Open Bicycles; they were doing a ride on the same day for a book photo-shoot.

  7. Mark,
    Sorry I didn't flog it more heavily- I did mention it in a post last week "Bike Community" Check out Boston Biker as a good source of all kinds of bike activities.

    And, um, I did win the best dressed lady, I got a tote bag from the Boston three speed club, with the image of a SA shifter.
    I know the guy in the three piece suit and bowler won "best dressed man". The ceremony wasn't very elaborate. I know they gave out a bunch of cool bells...

  8. Yay I've been waiting for your post.

    I wish I could have gone- sadly no pick up truck to bring the big girl out of town. ( I do covet a wooden trailer for it but my driving would be really bad with it I bet!) I really hope Oct I can join. will anyone be at the redbones party? I'm going I think although I'll be bussing it to get there with the kids.

  9. This is a post I could not do, but which is great to see. My tongue in cheek "flapping tails" photo has languished for six months now.

  10. oh by the way- where are the pics of YOU?