Friday, November 6, 2009

Yes Indeedy, Let's All Go Tweedy

Washington, DC gets its first Tweed Ride on November 15th. That's only 9 days from now. No time to waste to get the roadster ready and find which of my tweedy clothes still fit me. What's a Tweed Ride? It's a deliberately old-fashioned event in which the participants, dressed in tweeds and other non-lycra, pre-modern cycling attire, ride old bikes, preferably of the English roadster or sports 3-speed persuasion. Tweed rides are intended to be fun, relaxed, and recreate the spirit of cycling of an earlier generation. Over the past year or two I have noticed a number of activities based on the English upright bicycle and its relatives and descendants. Notable among these are the Lake Pepin Three-Speed Tour in Minnesota, and various tweed rides in Boston, New York and elsewhere. Many are included in the links in the right-hand column of this blog. One thing all of them had in common is that they were happening somewhere other than where I was. At last, we have one here in our nation's capital. Let's get a lot of riders out for this. I've put it on my calendar and I plan to be there, suitably attired and riding my Raleigh Roadster. I have not ridden an upright bike since my accident in June, other than to stand over one and confirm that my arm still wasn't up to it. However, my arm is improving rapidly. The recumbent trike seems to provide a very good therapy for my arm without overstraining it. Accurate steering requires some muscle (trikes tend to wander side to side), but I don't have to support any weight on my arms. I've been anticipating when I might try riding a bike again. The Roadster is probably the easiest one to start with; with its great stability and very low balance speed, it's probably the safest thing on two wheels. If my test ride shows I can do it, I'll bring it along. If not, at least my trike is from Britain, (Cornwall, to be exact). So far as I can tell, the tadpole trike was a British invention. Plus, it's easy to ride in whatever clothes you like.

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