I am so glad I decided not to organise the Tweed Ride this year. But, because my daughter took on the onerous duties and odious administration that organising such a ride entails, I was still able to enjoy just riding.
I envisaged a leisurely ride along the waterfront chatting with other riders while gazing fondly at my grandson who would be riding beside me, eagerly pointing out seagulls, pelicans and interesting bikes. True enough, riding with my grandson was one of the highlights of the day for me. But he now has a newer, bigger bike that goes much faster than his old one and we were soon at the front of the crowd. I did not have much opportunity for photography as I was racing to keep my grandson in sight. This meant that the stately and relaxed ride I had envisaged for myself soon became a sweaty, hectic journey, dodging other riders while trying to keep pace with my young protégé. However, this happily gave me the opportunity to take photos as everyone rode into the park at the end of the ride, where we were to picnic, sip coffee and be entertained.
There were wonderful restorations of old bikes, or “roadkill”, as one veteran tweed rider referred to his restored bike. The winner of the best bicycle restoration had done such a meticulous job on an old Malvern Star he’d found at the dump that it looked like a shiny new bike. He had spent two years restoring it and the Tweed Ride was its maiden voyage! How fabulous is that?
Sanjex demonstrated the possibilities of riding a penny farthing with his enviable riding skills. Far from being just an accomplished rider, he also allowed people rides on his penny farthing, while he either closely supervised them so they didn’t fall, or let them ride independently, judging their needs by the level of skill and confidence of each rider. There was even a mini penny farthing for less adventurous people to try out!
New and talented participants this year included two(!) unicyclists, one a child in a frog costume and oversized tweed coat; the other a fabulous lady in a fur coat, holding a stylish long cigarette holder which she ostentatiously feigned smoking as she rode effortlessly along. One could not help but be impressed by both these riders and naturally they were also prize winners.
Music played along the way and at the start and finish, thanks to innovative set ups that had been devised by some of the riders.
Good coffee is not always easy to find but it was there at Nobbys and much appreciated by me after my sweaty dash.