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Portlanders have a lot of tweed. Maybe it’s the secret desire to be English professors that we harbor deep down, or maybe it’s just our style, but there’s a lot of tweed out there. And there’s no better way to show it off than by dressing up and riding a bike!

The first Tweed Ride was last year, and while Jesse raved about it, I didn’t get to go. So we were both excited when it rolled around this year. We suited up, threw a suitcase full of snacks on the bike, and headed out.

The ride started at Union Station downtown, where we gathered in full view of people arriving by train to Portland. “Welcome to Portland: here are some crazy people dressed up to ride bikes.” There was a lot of admiring going on: bikes, outfits, hats, brooches, saddle bags, and shoes.

We headed out at a leisurely slow pace through downtown while people waved and honked at us, pointing, smiling, taking pictures. The day was perfect for tweed: cloudy but no rain, about 50 degrees. At our first stop people broke out the flasks, the wine bottles, cigars, and even teacups and saucers while others played croquet and lawn darts.

 

Then we meandered on. The pace was slow enough to enjoy your surroundings, admire outfits and give compliments, and introduce yourself to your fellow “tweeders.” It’s amazing how friendly people are when can all acknowledge that we’re doing something ridiculous just for the fun of it! We talked about bikes, travel, cigars, tweed, thrift stores, music, and more.

The last stop was at Steven Smith Teamaker in NW Portland, who opened on Saturday especially for our group. We tried their small-batch, delicious teas like bergamot, green, iced, and more, and enjoyed it all in their beautiful brick building. So Victorian with all that ivy!

We had a great ride and even ended up meeting a lovely gentleman named Jeff, who lives near us. The three of us rode home together to continue our tweed experience. 

For even better pictures check out bikeportland.org’s Flickr page— it’s easy to spot Jesse by his bright orange cardigan, but this one’s my favorite.  He sported the best mustache there, by far.

If you’re in Portland and you missed it, don’t despair: there’s another ride on April 2nd!  Details here.  This ride was the “Virtue” version, ending at a teahouse. Next time it’s “Vice”… wonder where that one will end? And if you’re not in Portland…well, grab your tweed and come visit!

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