Tweed-clad cyclists showed off their bells and whistles as they rode through the Beltline area during the city’s second Tweed Bike Ride.
The nearly 60 dapper cyclists rode bicycles and Penny-farthings of varying hues and heights through downtown Calgary in an effort to raise awareness of the city’s cycling culture. Event organizer and Bikebike Bike Shop Calgary owner Sean Carter described the event as a fun, nostalgic way to bring Calgary’s biking enthusiasts together while raising awareness of the city’s bicycle-friendly status.
“Trying to get people together, riding together more – that’s the point of this ride,” he said. “There is a real strong bike culture in Calgary – it’s just nobody pays attention, but it’s here and there’s lot of us.”
Nostalgic riders of all ages donned tweed and plaid British-inspired fashions that harkened back to times of yore as they embarked on an hour-long ride from Tompkins Park on 17 Avenue S.W. to an evening of high tea and campfires at Edworthy Park, on Spruce Drive S.W.
Put on by Bikebike Bike Shop Calgary, the event was the second tweed-themed bike ride to be held in the city, four months after the inaugural event in May. According to Carter, the idea for tweed rides began in 2009 in London, England, and has been gaining momentum in Toronto over the past year.
Joshua Crough, the event’s social media promoter, previously organized the premier event in the spring, and intends to turn the rides into annual events. According to Crough, a Tweed Bike Ride has been tentatively slated for next May, though Bikebike holds monthly full moon rides that are free of charge and open to all. This, he said, helps to bring the city’s cyclists together for a common cause.
“People still aren’t used to bikes on the road. This is a good way to promote biking and biking safety on the road,” he said. “Events like these get the word out and get people interested in what we do.”
Crough suggested that those interested in exploring and getting involved in Calgary’s growing cyclist population check out Bikebike’s regularly scheduled events, as well as Cyclepalooza – a cycling-centric event that will take place next summer from June 23—July 2.