Sydney Tweed Ride

Tweeders posing 'neath the bridgeSome people ride bikes because they like to go fast. Some people ride bikes because they like to get muddy. And some people ride bikes so they can dress up. London’s tweed run has been transported to the colonies, and 2010 saw the second running of the Sydney Tweed Ride. A piece in the smh alerted me to it, and eventually led to SydneyCyclist.com, which seems to be a great source for all things bike going on in Sydney.

The event itself was just spiffing: ladies and gents dressed in their dapperest attire braved a cold mid-winter morn to gather at Town Hall. A gentle ride around the mostly deserted CBD finished in a picnic in Alexandria and some bike polo. The ride was well organised and managed by people simply doing it for fun, and it couldn’t have been a better advertisement for Sydney cyclists. Drivers honked in appreciation, rather than anger. Pedestrians looked on the tweedy peloton in admiration and amusement, rather than the disgust and disdain usually reserved for lycra-clad weekend riders. Apparently one passerby asked “What are you protesting about?” … Nothing except sartorial inelegance! For me it was a perfect way to rediscover cycling in Sydney, surrounded by friendly fellow riders and being led around some of the quieter streets so I know how to avoid the main roads in future.

At the ride I bumped into an old uni friend, Nick, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. He was in the smh photo for the event: I hadn’t recognised him in print, but in person we recognised each other almost immediately and got to chatting. Turns out he has become quite a serious cyclist – he suggested we meet up for a ride on the weekend… turns out he meant a 200km audax ride! It sounds like something I’d love, but having been out of the saddle for months, it might take a while to be able to handle something like that… we’ll see.

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