Friday, April 6, 2012

Outfoxing The Tweedies

It's funny to think that just a year ago (ok, a month ago) I didn't even know what tweed actually is. It isn't just wool or houndstooth-printed vintage-wear, it's a brand. Made in England.

Tweed is also a type of bike ride. They happen in lots of places, not just Portland(ia). I was honored to help plan this year's edition of the Portland Tweed ride. The planning itself was pretty fun - I made friends with a nice group, meeting at different venues and enjoying beer or whiskey. Sick, sick whiskey.

I was also lucky enough to be appointed "ride leader" since I put together the mostly flat 12 mile route. But how do get 100 Portlanders wearing their best duds and riding their fancy old bikes to follow your route?
Why, you dress as a fox of course. In the tradition of the great Great Britain-style fox hunt! That's right, I enjoyed the wide-grinned fantasy-feeling of riding all around town in a fox costume with a mini-mass of "tweedies" following me. It was more parade than ride, and definitely not a race.
We stopped at Peninsula Park for tea. Folks even brought their own tea cups to add to the fanciness. Cucumber sandwiches were shared. Scones. Whiskey. Sick, sick whiskey.
The after-party at Velocult was pure delight. Bike parking everywhere. A photo booth, a cameo portrait-er and a professional photographer were all on hand. Lovely live music. Ninkasi beer. Fabulous prizes for deserving bikes (and people). What a time!

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