Tweed Ride Philadelphia 2012

The Bicycle-Chef and new friend, Gary, resplendent in our Riding Caps!
 5thAnnual Tweed Ride - Philadelphia: Saturday, November 17, 2012.  Finally! After 4 years, I was able to participate in the annual Tweed Ride of Philadelphia. Between the birth of our son, Nate, and then family obligations, birthdays or other events not allowing me the time to join in on this ride, I've missed the four previous years. The Tweed Ride is a fashionable, olde-thymey ride, where the riders don themselves in their gayest tweediest vintage period apparel, riding velocipede
 and bicycles as modern or truly vintage looking as possible. Tweed Rides are organized throughout the USA, and the biggest, best and most infamously attired ride, is one held in the UK, sponsored by Brompton Bicycles.   The Philadelphia Tweed Ride was loosely organized but well thought out and sponsored by many vintage or vintage-inspired businesses in Philadelphia.

We met at the Waterworks, behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at 11 am on Saturday, November 17th.  We pedaled off shortly after noon, riding through the Schuylkill River Trail, down Pine Street, and through Olde City to Penn Treaty Park.  At the park, along the banks of the Delaware River, we picnicked, played an authentic game of 1800's baseball, and showed off our fashions, picnic spreads and bicycles.  After our leisurely gambit at the park, we mounted our wheeled steeds and pedaled our way up Spring Garden Street to Rembrandts' Restaurant, where we imbibed in fine spirits and one anothers' fine companionship, awaiting the announcements of the winners of the day's contests: Most stylish lad and lass; finest millinery;  most authentic period bicycle; most lavish picnic; best moustache.  It was a lively, rowdy day, filled with much merriment and laughter.  It was also one of the more memorable group rides in which I participated in years. The spectacle we made, riding through the streets of Philadelphia must have been a fashionable and joy-filled sight for all who saw us.

These are my top photos from several hundred that I took through out the day.  For a full view of my photos, check out my Flickr feed here.  There is also a lovely set of photos on another Flickr Photographer's feed, Amanda Jaffe's set of Tweed Ride '12 photos.

Father and daughter
 I tried to snap a photo of the whole family, mom, daughter and dad, but this was the one that was the best shot of the day of them.  Nevertheless, it still captures what I was aiming for.
Ross and his lavish picnic spread - winner of the days best picnic
Hard to compete with a man who brings a tweed/plaid blanket and a chess board along for his picnic
Jude and Michael - 2 very stylish and lovely people I met on the ride
 They came all the way up from Washington and Baltimore for the ride! And, from what I hear, Baltimore has an even more impressive Tweed Ride than the Philly Ride.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but Jude's hat was tres chic, as were her silver lame stockings.  Michael was riding a vintage-inspired Panama Jack beach cruiser. I've spied one in town and would love to add it to my collection.
Have goggles and aviator's cap, will travel!
Yes, I did enhance this photo a tad, to make it appear more vintage.  It didn't take much though; the lighting was pretty low-key here and the background cold be from several decades ago.
The Pugilist.
When I saw this fellow, I told him he should be drinking a Yard's Brawler Ale, that he reminded me of a boxer.  He happily struck a pose for me to show me he had all the right moves even if he had a different ale in his hands.
Hats and spirits
I love the way the light is coming though this shot and the shadows that were cast.
Showing off his boulangerie messenger bag.

A dapper don with a bicycle pocket square
 Another one of the New Yorkers.  He won the door prize raffle.  Some people, or groups of people have all the luck!
Fair Fellow.  
 He looks as though he could truly be a character out of Brides Head Revisited or any Merchant-Ivory period piece.  I'm sure his lips were enhanced for maximum sultry pouting.  He was as adorable in person as he looks in his photo.
The Bicycle-Chef's ride.  Resplendent in my Autumnal decor and picnic basket
Yogi Bear - stay away from my picnic basket!  My bike was definitely festive but not quite so vintage. This heavy, steel-frame, modern Schwinn Coffee Cruiser was a heavy bike to haul from Collingswood, NJ to Philly, even if I was saving 5 miles of riding by taking the train to the City.  I could barely swing my legs over the frame since the back basket took up so much room.  I wound up with a sore back (still sore as a matter of fact!) for days afterwards.  It was worth some of my discomfort though.  I'd rather have ridden this bicycle for the day than to take my hybrid and non-vintage looking bike to the event.

The Bicycle-Chef's picnic; Cheese, pate, bread, chocolate, fruit and nuts and a good Pumpkin Ale.
All packed into my vintage picnic hamper, and enjoyed on real plates, silver, and stem ware.  Some influences from Diner en Blanc prevailed here!
 I had many compliments and votes for my picnic spread.  I was so pleased to have people notice me, let alone "Like" my helmet, bike and meal. I would have loved to have won a prize for the day's offerings, but I was more delighted to have been able to partake in the day's events - that was prize enough for me! I brought enough food and drink to share with several people.  While I met dozens of people throughout the day, I rode and picnicked with one woman, Marty, who rode her bright Yellow and Kelly Green Brompton Bicycle, that I believe she has named, Basil.  Marty and I hit it off very well, and found despite our generation difference, we had much in commmon.  Bicycles, Tweed, photography and blogging.  Check out her blog and her version of our picnic and ride at
A captivating couple astride a tandem
A vintage-inspired bike owned by Felix.  His Trek 300 was full of quirky 1930's details and memorabilia,
complete with a Teddy Roosevelt Bear and King and Queen of England stickers.


The Director and Photographer

Coy Couple
This woman's eyes and whole personna so fit the spirit of the day. She was utterly captivating.
High Fashion
 I feel as though this photo truly captures the types of fashion and personalities of the day.  We spanned the looks from the late 1800's though to the 1940's.
He's a dashing lad

Hands on a Hercules Bike with Brooks Saddle

New York Doll
She won for snappiest lass of the day.  She, and her friends, about 5 people in all, won in over 3 categories for the day.  The group hailed from New York. 
Argyles and Saddle Shoes

Allentown 1941 Bicycle

Happy Lad
Of the many photos I took, this one was quite accidental. I snapped it early in the day, not knowing how it would turn out, nor did I realize he'd be so agreeable to the pose.  I like all the photos I took and kept, but I love this one best.
Mr. Dan's Magical Toulson and Son Advertisement Bicycle

Felix's magical Moustache Bicycle


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