30 April 2015

The London Tweed Run 2015...

The 7th annual Tweed Run rolled into London on the 18th of April and after weeks of planning, the day had come for me to bring that poster to life (in more detail than I anticipated), and ride alongside 700 stylish cyclists through the city...

Glorious sunshine was the order of the day as that elusive yellow orb made an appearance in a clear blue sky- result! Before riding off on the Pashley and Colourbolt, me and the dashingly dressed Boy checked off the VCG list of essential Tweed Run requirements...

Outfits: pressed and presentable ü
Bicycles: roadworthy and clean ü
Phones & cameras: charged ü
Picnic: wrapped & packed ü
Appetite: large and roaring ü

We don't usually set off for the event on empty stomachs, but this year was rather different as we cycled to Clerkenwell for the Tweed Run Brunch. Held at the beautiful Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings and hosted by fizzy rascals Pol Roger, the day was kicked off in splendid style with a couple of glasses of chilled champagne and an incredibly hearty menu to follow. Consisting of hot scones, tea and Potato Hash/Poached Eggs with Salted ox cheek, it was a good job we did arrive hungry... this seriously set us up for the day!

Champers quaffed and stomachs full, we took a leisurely ride to Trafalgar Square, the starting point for the ride and traditional official photo call to open the day. I'll never tire of arriving to a sea of beautiful outfits and bicycles in all shapes and sizes, all gathered in one place for the Tweed Run... and how it unfailingly gets an inquisitive and friendly response from onlookers.

A very special person I saw before the tide of tweed swept into London, was the amazing woman who created the Tweed Run poster and essentially designed my outfit for the day... Eliza Southwood! I've a lot to thank Eliza for - it's still a huge honour to have a cycling illustrator as talented & well respected as her base the poster on me. The reaction from fellow riders on the day over the outfit was something I'll never forget and will always treasure - and of course it was an absolute blast getting it made and putting it all together!
The final clicks of shutters on many cameras marked the opening ceremony of the Tweed Run done, as 700 of us set off from the Square for our 12 mile route around London. Taking in the sights and landmarks of the city, it was a wonderful spectacle for residents and tourists of the city to see...

Earlier on I mentioned that the poster came to life a bit beyond the outfit... as The Boy and I pulled up to Red Lion Square for the Tea Stop, we were greeted by Mr Tweed Run himself, Ted, with what I can now call a mischievous sparkle in his eye. We were instructed to park up our bikes and stay right where we were... and off he vanished. A few moments later Seb (one of the lovely Marshals on the ride) appeared... with his Tandem! Of course it had to be done, and with neither of us ever having been on a Tandem before (if you got one of the pictures of us almost coming a cropper on it, please let me know!) you can imagine there was a bit off a "same foot - balance!" issue...
It was a wobbly and rather hilarious experience! We managed a few rotations on it, and then Seb hopped back on, to take me for a spin around the square... 
I'm going to make it my mission to get me and The Boy back on a Tandem again! But for the rest of the day, we stuck with our usual steeds. Riding to St Pancras Gardens for the picnic stop & finally onto Bloomsbury Ballrooms for the closing ceremony, we had a chance for a much longer and leisurely break (the picnic was aided by some chilled wine and amazing home baking by the other half) and to admire all of the ladies, gentlemen and bicycles on show....
The day ended with some rather titillating entertainment with a beautiful Burlesque performance on stage at the Ballrooms, followed by the Tweed Run awards and music from the live band... and a genius photo booth which provided a lot of laughs...


It was a fantastic day & certainly one I will not forget. As always, a huge thank you to Ted Young-Ing for organising another amazing Tweed Run, Eliza Southwood for THAT poster,  all the Marshals for their sterling efforts in getting us around London... and to Ian James (The Boy) for always being my tweed partner in crime (you can see his full set of photos here).

Goodness knows what brilliance next year will bring to top this Tweed Run, but I look forward to the next one already... tally-ho!

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4 comments

Kerena Fussell said...

Always my favourite blog of the year! Great pics Ian. That dress Jools... and the tandem riding. Brilliant!

moo said...

Wow, fabulous photos and fabulous people. Looking forward to a tandem review...

jtb said...

The lincolnshire poacher's get in again

Teresa Stokes said...

I have found you and Ian on YouTube attempting to ride the tandem and almost wobbling off. I hope that if I post the link here it will work. You are at 1:38 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyVYKFpZ1uU

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