D.C. Cyclists Turn Out In Tweed Cyclists in Washington took part in the city's first "Tweed Ride," an event in which bicyclists put on their most dapper attire and toured the city. Participants were encouraged to wear Victorian-era fineries and ride vintage bicycles. The practice began earlier this year in London and since there have been rides in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.

D.C. Cyclists Turn Out In Tweed

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/120470684/120478038" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


And we turn now from multicolored Mohawks, leather jackets and skin-tight black jeans to tweed vests, knickers and knee-high socks. The dandies were out in full force yesterday here in Washington, D.C. touring the city on bicycles. It was the district's first Tweed Ride, a jointy mix of Edwardian and Victorian fashion and 21st century bike culture.

NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji went along for the ride.

Mr. ERIC BREWER (Founder, DC Tweed Ride): You got a registration number, right? Okay, yeah.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI: Eric Brewer is frantically trying to organize the hundreds of riders that turned out for his event. It's part fashion show, part celebration of the bicycle. He was inspired by a similar ride that took place a few months ago across the pond.

Mr. BREWER: It started in London in the beginning of the year, swept across the world. D.C. has not had one yet. Due to the grace of God, good weather and volunteers, we're launching.

MERAJI: Brewer wants the world to understand that you don't have to wear spandex to enjoy an autumn ride through town and that's evident by the sheer number of people who have gathered in northeast Washington, D.C., resplendent in flat caps, cashmere ties and high-waisted skirts.

Ms. REBECCA BANKS(ph): Hi, I'm wearing a tweed skirt with a sweater vest and a jauntily tied scarf around my neck and Oxford heels because a lady never wears flats.

MERAJI: Rebecca Banks stands next to her friend Laura Casarelli(ph), who's riding what she calls an accidental vintage bike. It's something from the late 1970s she bought on Craigslist because, as she puts it, she's cheap. Eddie Meno(ph), on the other hand, brought out two of his finest old-timey steeds.

Mr. EDDIE MENO: I love vintage bikes. This is a 1957 Schwinn and this is a '62 Schwinn, just single speed, very heavy, probably not the best choice for this long ride, but´┐Ż

(Soundbite of laughter)

MERAJI: Participants were encouraged to ride vintage bikes, but no one really cared if you were riding a high-tech mountain bike or straddling a Victorian penny farthing, whether your handlebar moustache was real or it looked like you made it out of cardboard and cat fur.

(Soundbite of bell)

Unidentified Man: Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the ride.

MERAJI: Shereen Marisol Meraji, NPR News, Washington.

(Soundbite of applause)

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: And you can see photos from the Tweed Ride at our blog, the Two-Way, at NPR.org.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.