(belated) Harris Tweed Ride Roundup
The Harris Tweed Ride took place in Glasgow over a month ago now, so this follow up is now fairly belated. However, in the weeks that followed this true tweed treat of a bicycle ride I was so amused by reading everyone else’s blogposts , flicking through their photos and seeing different aspects of the ride that I never got around to writing my own account. So now I think this day of social cycling deserves a wee roundup:
The Harris Tweed Ride took place on a typically Scottish* Sunday afternoon in August, We got up early and were kind of wishing that the dreary skies would drastically transform within the hour or so it took us to get prepared for the day. However, although we managed to transform ourselves from slightly weary soles into dashing tweed ladies and gents, (outfits were donned, energy bacon butties were promptly eaten and bikes were given a quick check over**), the Glasgow skies remained somewhat grey all day. Amazingly this didn’t really seem to dampen anyones spirits and we still managed to appreciate the tropical treats that were provided. In fact, I happily tucked into an ice cream float from Stravaigan at one of my dampest moments – my bonnet was literally dripping with rain into my frothed, ice cream filled Irn Bru! It was still delightful. (click here to continue reading)
But ice cream and Irn bru were not the only tasty treats. During the day we cycled on tweed mass on a 12 mile route around Glasgow that seemed to be carefully planned around the best havens for yummy food (whiskey laced porridge from Where the Monkey Sleeps, home made tiffin, cream scones at Browns, black pudding sausages at Cafe Gandolfi, Oysters at the Crabshakk) and delightful drinks (West’s finest St Mungos, The Ben Nevis Finnieston whiskey cocktail and the Blytheswood Hotel’s delicious warm gin cocktail). These fine stops were a key part of our cycling tour and it truly made for a great day out and lots of opportunities to chat with our fellow tweed riders.
There is so many stories that arose from this delightful day of fun (and evening of madness ). So I am glad that I went along and made the effort to get into the tweed mood. As I think the tweed is a good excuse and it looks great, but generally it was the mindset that accompanied this ride that was really nice. It was about being relaxed, having fun, taking time to chat and not just racing along. Not to say that the opposite is a bad thing – in fact it can often be good, but it was also just nice to balance the day out and make it accessible for riders and non riders. As there was a mix of people there, some whom were more accustomed to bikes than others, but it didn’t seem to matter and we all managed to stay together or at least catch up with each other at the fairly regular stops.
One of my favourite stories from the day was from a chap who had read about the event and had been unable to buy a ticket, so he decided just to get out his janutiest bike ( a 3 wheeler!), don his tweed and just turn up to see if he could buy a ticket… he could and he promptly joined in the fun and ended up winning the best bike award (great!).
People also recorded the event in so many wonderful ways and here is a few of my favourite examples: Rosie’s impressively detailed blog posts, the fantastic flickr sets by Sister Phonetica and Carol Anne Peacock, The West Roundup or simply all the fun posts, comments and likes that appeared on the HT Facebook page and of course the Vimeo video featured in the top of the post. I am rather happy with this photo that got taken of me and the subsequent sketch that followed.
So yes, I hope they do it again next year and I hope that I manage to make it along. Thanks again to all of the organisers, they did a great job and managed to just about keep us all together on the ride around town.
*The Scottish weather is variable at the best of times, but inevitably it will blast beautiful sunshine out in the days leading up to and following fun events, but will be sure to know to rain on the actual happening of these things just to make sure that people’s true Scottish, ‘we don’t mind the rain’ mentality breaks out.
**Unfortunately, my fairly substantial prepping didn’t stop me getting a puncture on the pot holed Glasgow roads on the ride over to the event startline. However, I managed to quickly swap the inner tube (without tarnishing my blouse) and had it all up and running again before the main tweed cavalry arrived.
Video via Jamie Vincent Gillespie
Filed under: Bike Rides, Cycling, fashion, Tweed Rides | 4 Comments
Tags: 2011, Bikes, cities, Cycling, fashion, Glasgow, harris tweed ride, people, scotland, style, Tweed, tweed ride, uk, velo