It’s that time of year again, the time when the leisure and pleasure cyclists like me dust their bikes off and get ready to start riding again and to start the cycling season off nicely London plays host to the annual Tweed Run (https://www.facebook.com/TweedRun). This wacky and somewhat eccentric event has been freewheeling through the streets of London for the past 5 years and spin-off events have appeared all over the world including Tokyo, New York and St Petersburg! The run is hugely popular and entries are limited to 500 made by lottery draw. This year’s run on 13th April traversed the following route:
Trafalgar Square, Regents Park, Marylebone High Street, Savile Row, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, the Mall, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square
Sadly I was not able to take part in the ride this year, but I shall definitely be applying for next years’ ride, I did go along to watch however and after studying the route published on the Tweed Run Facebook page (this proved to be a mistake as I found out later almost to my cost!) I decided to wait at Piccadilly for my first sighting and photo opportunity. According to the route card the run was scheduled to arrive at 1.00 at Piccadilly, so imagine my horror when I was checking my Twitter feed for route updates at 12.00 on emerging from Green Park tube when I read tweets that stated the run had started at 11.00 and at 11.50 was proceeding down Savile Row – argh! This caused me to do something usually unheard of… I ran down Piccadilly towards the Circus. Fortunately people stepped aside to allow me through, I was after all “on a mission”, or perhaps it was because they wanted me to pass by quickly in case I dropped down dead from heart failure and they then felt obliged to try to assist me! Whatever the reason I did catch sight of myself galloping down the street looking similar to a rampaging buffalo or more poetically, a galleon in full sail (on a choppy sea)! Fortunately just past the Royal Academy I spotted some stationery cyclists and then a few more emerged from a side street – hooray, I had caught them up! It was a spectacular sight seeing 500 tweed clad ladies and gents astride all manner of cycles.
I spent a while snapping as many of these fantastic eccentrics as possible before moving on down to the Mall where they were having a short break. Here are some of the fabulous people I spotted today….
A selection of some of the suitably dapper ladies and gents
The bikes themselves covered the whole spectrum of pedal powered machinery, from folding bikes to Penny Farthings, all manner of cycles old and new;
At the Mall the ride stopped for a mass photo on the steps of the Duke of York’s Column
The ride moved off again toward Buckingham Palace to continue its route down towards the Houses of Parliament and then onwards towards the finish which I believe was somewhere in Islington. It was certainly a spectacle not to be missed, but I think that sadly a great many people may well have done just that if they followed the Tweed Run’s own published timetable. Still, next year maybe I shall be there taking part!