Bike in Tweed 2022

Fancy a bicycle ride on the streets of Stockholm along with about 200 others riders, all dressed in a 1930-40’s style and riding vintage bicycles? If that is something you would like to experience, then Bike in Tweed is something for you.

The 24th of September 2022 marked the 10th anniversary for Bike in Tweed here in Stockholm. The last official event in Stockholm was held in 2019, there were many of us who had been longing for the upcoming 10th anniversary event. After two years with the pandemic and cancelled events, it was time to once again meet old and new friends whilst riding our bicycles in a autumn coloured Stockholm.

Preparations for the event started a few weeks earlier, washing, polishing and servicing our old clothes and ironing and brushing the old bicycles. Or perhaps it was the other way around? In any case, we all wanted to look our best for the event. I was going to use my everyday ride, the old, rusty but trusty Rex bicycle from 1943. That advantage with that bicycle do not need any polishing, only a wash was needed.

A fellow tweedian heading in to Stockholm city

On the day of the event I packed my bicycle bags with the usual sandwiches and a thermos of hot tea. The weather forecast a few days earlier was looking rather grim, lots of rain and heavy overcast. The weather did not matter, I was going to join the event in any way. After all, I am used to ride my bicycle all sorts of weather all year around anyway.

It is only a matter of packing an mackintosh in case of rain. Togheter with a thermos of hot tea to keep the cold away, everything was going to be fun and I would have a great time regardless of the weather.

Other than the picnic and a mackintosh I also packed a small repair kit, containing a spare tube, tools to remove a tire, spare valves of different sorts, bicycle pump, a screwdriver and some fixed spanners. If you do not bring the repair kit with you, you will sure need it. Better bring the kit along than to leave it at home, better safe than sorry so to speak.

On my way to the event I met up with other tweedians, everyone going to Evert Taubes terrass on Riddarholmen. That is an island in the central part of Stockholm and have been the starting ground for Bike in Tweed for quite a while now. It is a very nice location, a bit secluded from the city by bridges, it also got grand view of Stockholm and the city hall. It is a perfect location for a meet up before a tweed ride.

Tweedians on Götgatan early in the morning

Upon arriving at Evert Taubes terrass we met plenty of other riders that had arrived earlier. After quick greetings and chatting it was time to register, since I already had collected my start number a few days earlier, I simply had to stand in line for the individual photo session right away. There were two photographers working together taking our photos. It was like a tweed dressed conveyor belt, quick and effective.

Take your bicycle, stand in line, wait for your turn, walk up with you bicycle to a designated mark on the ground, stand behind you bicycle with Stockholm in the background, can we have a smile please – click. Smooth and effective.

A tweedian meet and greet, the city hall and the statue of troubadour Evert Taubes in the background
Lovely clothes and bicycles
Last minute repairs and adjustments

After the individual photos were taken we went back down to join up with the other tweedians. It was nice to meet old friends and checking in on what we all have been up to since the last Bike in Tweed event. It was also great fun to meet many new tweedians, both young and old had joined for the first time. Many were curious about their first tweed event and liked the idea what it was all about.

About a year ago I got the impression that the general interest for tweed events like this had drastically decreased since the pandemic, but I was wrong. On this day it was obvious that people really wanted to meet others, dressed in a similar way simply to ride a vintage bicycle and dress up like the olden days.

Vintage bicycles

After a while of chatting, taking photos and listening to lovely music, a sudden honking could be heard in the crowd. It was the organizer honking a old ball horn to get our attention. The time had come to line up for the start, every rider had to move their bicycles up from the terrass up on to the street facing north to be ready for the start. We all took our bicycles and got ready.

Soon the honking started again and the organizer asked by shouting if we were ready for Bike in Tweed 2022? All the riders shouted loudly yes, as an reply. But that was not enough. We where asked if we were at the royal library, because he could not hear us.

Once again – are the riders ready?! This time about 180 tweed riders loudly shouted, YES. The roar must have been heard along all over Stockholm.

Bike in Tweed 2022 had officially started, bicycle bells were chiming, people cheering and music was playing. Even the sun had decided come out from behind the clouds and treat us with a lovely autumn day, not to hot, not to cold. Simply a lovely crisp autumns day in Stockholm.

Crossing the bridge from Riddarholmen to Tegelbacken with a grand view of city hall

The first leg of our ride took us along the waterfront beside the city hall and further on by Norrmälarstrand to Rålambshov park. There were a good reason for that route since Västerbron, the west bridge, that we usually use when riding from Södermalm to Rålambshov park, is now under renovation. Having a large group of riders along that route was not an option at this time, so instead of riding on Södermalm, the 19 kilometer route was planed in a different way than usual.

Arriving at the Rålambshov park, we started to climb the stairs of the amphitheatre for the group photo. A tweed event is not only a ride, it is an endurance event to. Carrying bicycles up and down stairs, like a alpine mountaineer, with a bicycle. Quickly the entire section was filled with riders and their bicycles.

Move here, move there, you go up, those goes down, change the direction of the bicycle. It is complicated to take a group photo, but with firm directions and always being reminded to put the “good” side of the bicycle facing the camera. The good side meaning the chain guard facing the camera, since the chain guards often have decorations. In the end it all went well. There we were, standing and having the traditional group photo taken. Everyone say tweeeeeeed – click.

Just after the photo, time to mingle and have a picnic
Parked bicycles on the steps of the amphitheatre
Dashing looking tweedians
Looking up things on internet might not be a tweed thing, but sometimes necessary

After the photo was taken it was time for the picnic. The riders spread out across the theatre, some took blankets and sat on the grass, enjoying the last bit of sun. Whilst others sat down on the stairs of the theatre and packed up tea and sandwiches. The sponsor Hendricks gin was there and served ice cold and delicious lemonade. It was really nice to have a glass of lemonade to our sandwiches.

After a while the organizer honked the ball horn. The picnic was officially over and it was time to be on our way. We all packed our belongings, carried down the bicycles to the plain and got ready for departure. After a short while we all started to peddling towards the city again. We walked up some steep streets and rode down others on our way to Karlberg castle.

Going around and up on the walkway over Norrmälarstrad
Riding in the city
A short break
More city riding, shame about the modern cars

On the large gravel plains in front of Karlbergs castle we had a small gathering as usual. There we had more time for chatting and taking photos. Just a small note about Karlberg castle. It has been the location for the Swedish military academy since 1792 and when we arrived this time they had their annual officers ball. Among us tweedian were officers in full dress uniforms and their partners, some of them looked a bit puzzled by seeing us there. But it was fun, they had their event and we had ours.

As we were standing there the music were playing loudly. Of course, the music was some old Swedish military mobilization songs from the 1940’s. Songs like “Min soldat” (my soldier) and “Det ska vara en fänrik i år” (it should be an ensign this year) played right beside the military academy, all in good fun.

The lovely representative from Hendricks Gin

After the stop we headed further in to the maze of streets that is central Stockholm. Not by the regular main roads, but more along exciting places that you never usually visit. All the suddenly we were at Karlaplan, the location for our next stop.

The organizers realized that we were a bit ahead in our schedule. To correct that and if it was fine with us, we could take an extra ride out on island of Djurgården. It was a good idea because the finish was held at Hasselbacken as previous events and is located on Djurgården. Instead of riding straight from the city. We could take the back roads and enjoying the fantastic autumn weather a bit more.

It turned out to be a really great route, riding in a calm tempo along gravel paths being surrounded by forests. It was a great ride in every way containing a bit of everything in Stockholm. From busy streets in the city to calm and peaceful forest ride along the waters.

City streets
Look at all the lovely details, bags and baskets, dresses and bicycles
On our way to Karlaplan, observe the penny farthing rider. More about him later
Heading out on Djurgården
Peaceful nature
Kaknästornet, a famous Stockholm siluett

When we arrived at the finish line an Hasselbacken we learned that our starting numbers that we received earlier was also our drink tickets for a Hendricks gin and tonic. So after parking our bicycles, removing the starting numbers, we all place in a line for a cold gin and tonic. That was really tasty and refreshing after the long ride. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Bike in Tweed the organizers had made a lapel pin. After collecting a gin and tonic you received a pin. It looked splendid on the lapel and is a nice memory of the event.

With our glasses in our hands it was time to socialize and listen to the music. There were a jazzband playing lovely tunes for us, sadly I did not catch their name.

A Swedish auxiliary medical helper uniform about 1940 and a nurse from the same era, great outfits
Bike in Tweed Sponsor, Hendricks Gin. Thank you so much for a great time
The Hedricksmobile, complete with a cucumber on the roof rack. Now that is a Jaguar I would love to own
The great jazz band

After even more gin and tonics, the time had come for the price ceremony. But before the ceremony there were interviews with the previous chairman of Cykelhistoriska föreningen (Vintage bicycle association) and an short interview with a fellow who had visited and joined way to many tweed events. In short, they wanted to interviews me. Oh dear…

After my nervous attempt to speak in front of 200 tweedians, it was time for the jury to present the winners. There were prizes for best dressed gentleman, best dressed gentleman lady. The best bicycle and best ensemble. The winners was celebrated with a price ribbon, a medal and lots of applauds.

Last but by no means least. It was time for the special prize. The prize was given to a gentleman from Dalarna county. With his unike and mostly home made penny farthing, build with parts found in a barn and put together in his garage only a few days before the event. He told us a story that was even more extraordinary than the penny farthing it self, with its wooden pedals and iron enforced wheels.

He told us that when we were leaving Karlberg castle, his left crank broke and fell off. At the same time or shortly after, when grabbing the handlebars to get more power one going up a hill, one of the handlebar grips came off. Resulting in him falling straight back off the bicycle, getting caught with his trousers on the seat, ripping his trousers on his way down.

But coming from the woods of Dalarna, a broken bicycle and ripped trousers, was nothing to worry about. With his trousers totally ripped to shreds, with a dented top hat, torn shirt and with only one crank he soldiered on by peddling with one foot and keeping the other foot as a counter weight (as seen on the photo earlier). In that way he rode all the way to the finish line at Hasselbacken. What an amazing endeavour. He got well deserved applauds and cheers from us all and we will remember him and his efforts for a long time!

After the prize ceremony Bike in Tweed 2022 event was officially over, we thanked the organizers who had made an excellent job arranging and planing the event in every way. The music started again, this time some brave jazz lovers took to the stage and danced in to the night.

In the sunset, after the prize ceremony
Bike in Tweed 10th anniversary pin
Going back home, filled with happy memories

It was a perfect day, a nice route. Good tempo and just about right amount resting pauses. There were no accidents what I knew of, only that there were two riders who had leave the group early during the ride. I really hope they are fine.

It is something special with an tweed and bicycle event. We are just happy to ride along, waving and chatting with people. This year it was surprisingly many onlookers that came up to us and asked what we were doing. Children smiling and waving, pedestrians taking photos and car drivers honking. It was a fun day. Thank you so much for this time, until next time.

As always, happy tweed

Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2022

Once again we boarded the train travelling from Malmö in south of Sweden to Copenhagen in Denmark. We had such a good time last year that we simply decided to return once again to experience a great day, complete with Danish smørrebrøds, tasty beer and a impressive ride around Copenhagen.

This time we were better prepared than last time. Firstly, we actually had packed our bags with some lunch to eat at the picnic later on. There is an offer for lunch boxes when registrering to participate in Copenhagen Tweed Ride, along with possibility to order dinner later on in the evening. We were thinking about that offer, but decided that we would bring our own lunch instead.

After watching the weather forecast some days before, we learned that it was going to rain on the day of the event. Fully packed with food, drinks and dressed in tweed with a spare mackintosh in the backpack, we were ready for everything.

The second preparation I made was that I brought along a small bag with tools, a spare tube and other small parts that might come in handy along the ride if any of our bicycles have an accident. Lessons learned for previous experiences with nuts and bolts falling off along the way. Better safe than sorry you know. Onwards to the train!

I had along with me my old 1927 Crescent racer as usual. It is a good bicycle to travel with, it is easy to remove the wheels with their quick release nuts and since there are no luggage rack or mudguards that can act as an obstruction when loading the bicycle into the boot of a car. It makes a compact and easy bicycle to handle.

Registration at A touch of Vintage

But my fellow tweedian had decided instead to use his Brompton folding bicycle. Now that is cheating, what is the sport of folding a bicycle into a small parcel when traveling? Simply carrying it around everywhere, that is simply not a challenge.

No, a real bicycle that weighs just about the same as an medieval iron gate and takes up the same space as an small aircraft carrier. That at the same time have the tendency to roll away in any direction if not fastened properly. Now that is a bicycle that demands attention when traveling, not a folding bicycle that looks like a suitcase. Well, to be honest. I was just a tad jealous of the handling properties of the Brompton. It seemed so handy and easy to get around with.

After disembarking the train at Copenhagen central station, we started our ride towards the Tweed Ride registration office at Badstuestræde 12. That is the adress of A touch of Vintage shop and where we meet up with the organizers to receive our number badges.

Parking our bicycles by the side walk outside the shop we went inside. There we were greeted as warmly and lovingly as always by the organizers. It was so nice to see them, dressed up and looking dashing as ever.

After checking the register we received our number badges, food ticket and drink tickets. After the registration we went down the stairs to the basement of the shop, where they handed out tote bags for each participant.

A tote bag with gifts when participating in Copenhagen Tweed
Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2022

In the bag we found a bottle of still water, a small bottle of gin from Hendricks Gin with a accompanying bottle with tonic water and a fresh cucumber (travel size gin and tonic, indeed). There were also a issue of “Tidens Tweed” their own magazine with news and stories all about tweed, a small bag of tea, a lovely Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2022 pin and the tote bag it self with Copenhagen Tweed Ride printed on it to carry everything. That is a very impressive gift in every way and truly unike treat for Copenhagen Tweed Ride! Thank you so very much.

Reading Tidens Tweed at Nytorv
More riders joined
Hendricks Gin
Fixing a flat tire at the last minute

Me and my fellow tweedian decided to ride over to Nytorv, where the start and group photos were held as tradition. There we were a breakfast with bread rolls and coffee or tea. That is a lovely way for the organizers to take care of us riders in the morning.

Whilst we were eating tasty and freshly made breads roll other riders started to join up. As more and more riders joined us, we were suddenly approached by some curious tourists. They asked what we were doing, if there was a movie set or something like that due to why we were dressed like we were.

We explained that this event is called Copenhagen Tweed Ride event and is held once a year. We are meeting up here dressed in tweed cloths and are gong to ride our bicycles around the city during the day. The tourists were impressed about the event and our outfits, they even asked if they could take some photos of us – of course that is no problem at all. They wished us good luck and a safe ride before they headed on their way to discover more about Copenhagen.

Old bicycles and tweed have that effect on people, smiling, talking and asking questions. It is a fun experience and completely harmless, you make new friends everywhere.

We receive information about the ride
Dashing gentlemen
… and ladies at Nytorv

As we were standing there chatting and having tea, it was time to gather for the group photo and information from the organizers.

We learned that the event had permission from the police to make a proper ride this year. That ment we were allowed to ride on the streets instead of overcrowding the bicycle lanes. Motorcycle marshals would make sure that we did not have to stop for any red lights along the way. The only rules were that we had to stay out of bus lanes and obey the directions from the marshals.

The entire speech was in Danish, so I did not quite understand all of it. But as we were heading to our bicycles there were some other participants who kindly translated the most important parts to me.

Time to start a 19 kilometer ride in Copenhagen

Ladies and gentlemen, mount your bicycles. The ride started, with chiming bells and cheers from bystanders we headed out on the road. Now, that is a great feeling. To use the road while riding in a bicycle event, there is lots of room to manoeuvre and just to happily cruise along.

The route was a bit different this year since previous year, for example we did not take the “maximum 3 turns” at the royal castle Amalienborg or a ride along Nyhavn. Instead we rode along new roads and places and that is one of the really nice things with a bicycle event. You can discover and see so much more of a city when riding a bicycle.

There were no major incidents during the ride. Except a young lady who had to stopp along the ride, to me it looked as if she was over heating. Since many of the riders had dressed for the rain, many of us were simply overdressed. Instead of rain, it was a sunny and warm day. So the heat became a slight problem for some of us.

I really hope the girl was alright in the end, perhaps after drinking some water and having a bit of rest she could join us again.

Colour matching
Riding in style

The picnic was held at Fælledparken and is a very nice location in the centre of Copenhagen. We set up our blankets on the grass and packed up our lunches. The sun was shining, the skies was blue. Simply a perfect weather to sit on a blanket in a park, enjoying the day and a drink.

At the registration we received a drink tickets for a Hendricks Gin and Tonic at the picnic. Hendricks Gin was as usual riding along with us all the ride, but at the park there were also a lovely stand where we could trade in our tickets for a cold Hendricks gin and tonic. Ice cold and refreshing, what a treat!

The girls working the stand poured tonic and gin and scoped ice at a steady pace. It is wonderful that Hendricks Gin are a part of Copenhagen Tweed Ride, and as I understand, the tweed organizers have several events during the year where Hendricks are a part of. A good collaboration in every way.

Gin and tonics were served with a lovely smile
Simple and tasty picnic food
Lovely dresses
Now that is a picnic setup
Stylish in every way

After a long and relaxing picnic, filled with odd games and fun competitions. For example, how about tossing a small bag in to holes, playing croquet, or riding penny farthing bicycles? Next year perhaps tossing a sandwich or umbrella jousting will be on the program? All in the spirit of fun, tweed and chap olypiads of course. The organizers informed ut that it was time to pack up and soon to be on our way again.

Danish chap olympiads? Ride a penny farthing against another rider, looks like great fun

The ride continued along the streets of Copenhagen, in what I would describe as just a bit to high tempo. The marshals made sure that we just had to keep on riding. Efficient in every way, but just a tad to quick.

Suddenly, I recognised where we were. Next stop Bjaelkehuset and the ride was almost at an end. Had it really been 19 kilometers already?

This event had been a fun riding experience. When you think about it, all the things you can experience from the handlebars of an bicycle when riding in a new city are simply amazing. As a tourist, you seldom see the backstreets of the city where you are at, but during a tweed ride you can really experience the city in a different way.

Upon arriving at Bjaelkehuset we parked our bicycles and found a place to sit. Soon the entire place was filled with tweedians, laughing and having a great time. I decided to go to the bar and collect my second drink coupon, this time for a beer, a glas of wine or a sparkling water. A cold beer after a long ride is just the bees knees. I say.

At Bjaelkehuset, everyone gathering for the price cermony
All the prices for the lucky winners

While I was tasting the beer, the annual prize ceremony started. There were so many impressive prices on display for best dressed ladys, gentleman, best looking hat, beard and bicycle. We cheered and applauded when the winners was announced. Congratulations to all!

After the price ceremony, Mr Tom Carradine entertained us with his marvellous sing-a-long. Now that was a special thing to experience. 100 tweedians singing along to Danish classics as Mandalay and the special written celebration song for Copenhagen Tweed last year, that was something amazing. It all was really fun and impressive, Mr Carradine even learned us to shout “have a banana” now and then in the songs.

There we were, sitting at an old inn in Copenhagen shouting “have a banana”, so loudly that the residents a bit further down the road must been wondering – who is having a banana at this time of the day, and why?

After some singing it was time for dinner, smørrebrøds, beer and lot of conversations. The evening continued with even more sing-a-longs and fun.

Winners are announced
Having a wonderful time in the late summer evening
Tasty smørrebrød
Emilie, one of the organizers. Always so kind and nice. Thank you for the photo
All good things must come to an end, it is time to leave Copenhagen Tweed Ride
Riding the streets of Copenhagen in the night

But as sadly, the time had come for us to start our ride back to the train, heading back to Sweden and Malmö. But we had one more thing to do in Copenhagen before making our way across Öresundsbron.

We had to stop by at Maven, a restaurant located in old St:Nikolai church in the central part of Copenhagen. It have become tradition for us to sit there for a while, having a beer or two before heading back home again and returning to our everyday routine.

A night cap before heading home
The last leg of Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2022

The main reason why I enjoy Copenhagen Tweed Ride so much, is that they really emphasises on the Danish word “hygge”. What does hygge mean? Well, it is a bit hard to describe, but it is something typical Danish meaning the spirit of having a good, cosy, nice and fun time.

Or as I would like to say. The best way to experience hygge, is to visit Denmark and Copenhagen and simply have a relaxing and great time. That is hygge, I am sure that you will not be disappointed.

Happy tweed, tally-ho and – have a banana.

Uppsala Vintage Biking 2022

Once again it was time for me to take my bicycle on to a train heading to Uppsala for the 2022 version of Uppsala Vintage Biking. As an oddly dressed rider together with my vintage bicycle among the other morning commuters, I feel sometimes a bit misplaced. Many of the other commuters have seen it all, and often keeps on scrolling on their phones without giving other commuters a second glance, or even a first glance for that matter.

At the station, waiting for the Uppsala train

The best thing with going by train to Uppsala for a vintage bicycle event is that other “tweedians”, as I like to call us, embark the train and are just as misplaced as me. Suddenly the phone scrolling commuters find themself surrounded by well dressed happy people that talks with each others. It must be a surprise for the phone scrolling commuter, what is going on?

On the other side, children laughs, smiles and waves. Some people makes nice comments on our outfits or comments our bicycles. It truly is generous mix of reactions when travelling to and from a tweed event by train.

A penny farthing, an 1961 Crescent and an 1935 Hermes, not the regular commuters on a train

Upon arriving at Uppsala centralstation we were a small groups of riders that exited the station and turned our bicycles towards the meeting point at the old Nymans factory. This time the meet up was held at the courtyard next-door to the usual location, only because some construction work. But that did not cause any problems at all. There were a large sign outside at the street showing us that we were at Uppsala Vintage Biking. We followed the sign and found ourselves at the right adress.

We were deliberate a bit early at the meet up, to have a cup of tea and a biscuit before everyone arrived. But the organizers were already on location and gave us a hearty welcome. After we registered and got our number plates for our bicycles other tweedians joined up and the courtyard was soon buzzing with people, old and new friends meeting up, chatting and having a good time.

The weather did try to stop us from having a great time. Light drizzle of rain showered us as we were having a great time. That was no problem, umbrellas, macintoshes, and a sturdy tweed can take some rain, no need for the good mood to stop.

Photo time
Time to start the ride, is every one ready?

After a while the organizer reached for the megaphone and announced it was time to start the 2022 version of the event – let us all meet out on the street, heading to the central station. Everyone went out on the street and formed a line. Then we were off for a ride.

First of all we crossed Fyrisån and headed into the Uppsala city garden, a park located beside the stream. Onwards and upwards, toward the famous old mental hospital, there we had a stop and was guided about some history about the hospital and its suroundings. This is a very nice touch with Uppsala Vintage Biking, the riders is treated with local history and information on different sites by the organizers. Here we learned about some famous persons that both had been treated at the hospital, and some that had worked there. It was interesting and also learning listening to the stories told by our cicerone.

On the banks of Fyrisån
You have a great view from a penny farthing
Lecture about Uppsala old mental hospital and surroundings

Time to get going again, next stop was the picnic at Stabby prästgård (Stabby vicarage). On our way there we rode on lovely small suburb streets and even for a while in the city forest before arriving at Stabby prästgård.

The forest ride was really nice and gave a nice touch to the often city orientated rides. For me the ride becomes more of an experience of peace and calmness when riding on paths surrounded by the forest. The paths were mostly down hill, it was only to enjoy the ride. After arriving at the vicarage we sat down in the garden and enjoyed our tea and sandwiches. During the stay we hade conversations with each others underneath the large trees in the garden. It was also time to admire all the vintage bicycles that were parked in the garden.

A peaceful ride in Uppsala city forest
Picnic at Stabby vicarage
Parked vintage bicycles underneath the old trees
Lovely red colours and an classic birch bark basket

After almost an hour at Stabby prästgård it was time to get going again. We turned back and headed in to central Uppsala again. This time we stopped by at a house where Carl von Linné used to live back in the day. We were treated about the history of the location and buildings on the site. After riding futher we stopped by Uppsala cathedral and had even more interesting history lessons. This time about the surroundings with the different houses and their importance and construction of the cathedral it self.

This is an perfect example that tweed, vintage bicycles, local culture and history together are perfect match. To see the city while riding an bicycle at a slow pace and learn about the locations at the same time. I think that the organizers of Uppsala Vintage Biking have struck gold with the mixture of right amount of riding bicycles together with stops for guiding.

Riding the streets of central Uppsala
Heading towards the cathedral

After the final stop at Uppsala cathedral we took aim for the finish at the botanical garden. When entering the area of the gardens we rode in a slow pace on gravel paths towards the main stairs, where we was going to have our individual photos taken, as well for the traditional group photo.

One of very few things I was thinking about, perhaps it would have been better to take the individual photos at the start, when we all were fresh and feeling rosy. Instead of after riding, when we had becoming a bit, less rosy and more worn perhaps? But I completely understand that the view from the botanical garden towards Uppsala castle is magnificent and a priceless backdrop. Whilst a parking lot in a courtyard behind an 1950’s factory, earlier that morning, perhaps is not as romantic as an garden with an castle as backdrop.

1960’s dress and bicycle
Individual photos with Uppsala castle as backdrop

After the individual photos was taken, the time had come to take the traditional group photo. As we climbed the stairs to position ourselfs the usual “why do I need to stand in the front”, “should I climb all this stairs”, “don´t block me from the camera” and “can you move to a bit to the middle”, could be heard among the riders. What is a group photo without friendly bickering all in good spirit? Firm directions and good guidance makes a nice group photo in the end.

“hold it” – click.

Uppsala Vintage Biking 2022 (photo by UVB)
Announcement for the price ceremony
Riding with style and in a good spirit
Even at the price ceremony there is time to discuss parts and designs on bicycles from 1930’s

The final stage of the day had come, the price ceremony where best dressed lady and man, best looking bicycles and other category’s were premiered. Uppsala Vintage Biking is one of few, if not the only one tweed event that celebrates the winner with a medal. It is a very nice touch and a fun item to have. After all a medal is small and handy instead of a bicycle pump or a palm tree.

The organizers thanked us riders for participating and we the riders thanked them for a lovely day and we all hope to meet again next year, if not sooner.

Time to head back home after a wonderful day
Meatballs and mash, tasty and a nice ending of a lovely day

As tradition we were a group of riders that went back to the station where we stopped by Stationen (the station), located at the central train station, to have dinner before entering the train back home. The food and drinks were tasty and made an great end of an great day. In the end, it was a nice day, it was fun to meet old and new friends.

Every time I join Uppsala Vintage Biking I learn new things about the university city and it’s history. This event has become one of my favourites, but next time I will take a bicycle with gears since there are lots of hills in Uppsala, an heavy geared half racer from 1935 might just be a bit out of place? Perhaps a three speed bicycle would be the ticket?

Ride safely and happy tweed dear readers.

Tweed Run Norway 2022

After a long and hot summer, it is finally time to take the old tweed out of the closet and join some tweed events. September is after all the prime season for Tweed Rides, the weather is not to hot or to cold, not to sunny or to rainy.

It has been nice riding our bicycles during the summer, but it was perhaps just a bit to warm for using a three piece tweed suit in the scorching sun. If there had been a summer tweed event during the summer, it would most likely be “Ride a bicycle in swimwear”. Alas, swimwear made in tweed might not be in fashion for the moment.

Heading in to Stockholm city

September is a more manageable season for dressing up in tweed and riding vintage bicycles regarding the temperatures. The first month of autumn makes it a perfect time for all those different rides around the world to take place. Perhaps there is a tweed event near you right now? There are all sorts of events, ranging from quite large ones with hundreds of participants, complete with sponsors, prizes and dinner parties. Down to the more intimate, small and cosy events with small groups of enthusiasts that just wants to dress up and have a nice day out and about on a bicycle.

A fellow tweedian and I have been visiting Norway Tweed Run in Fredrikstad for the past years. The event is an very friendly and well organized event, filled will small surprises and treats along the ride. Everything from live jazz music while waiting for the ferry to cross the river Glomma and tea at the Kirkeparken. To treat the riders with freshly made fish cakes on the town square of Sellebakk. Every event so far have been slightly different from the others, every time with something new and fun for us riders to experience.

Enskede Tweed enamel mugs and chocolate treats

But this year, due to “reasons”, we had no possibility to attend the Norway Tweed Run. It was truly a shame, since we really wanted to attend since last year. But it was more or less impossible for us to travel to Norway this year. Instead we decided to create a good old fashion #solotweedride right here at home a few days before the event instead.

We met up at Slussen in Stockholm, the usual meeting point on the newly built “Golden bridge”. First of all we headed down to the old city where we conducted a classic “shake test” for the bicycles. It is simply a bad excuse for riding along cobblestone pawed streets. The shaking makes sure that all screws, nuts or bolts on the bicycle is properly fastened. Sometimes even picnic bags that are not tied down keeps flying off the bicycles. Even riders not holding on can find them suddenly on the ground. Ride safely!

Successful stress test in old town
On our way to Djurgården

We managed the improvised shake test with flying colours, nothing fell off – for this time. The ride continued onwards to Kungsträdgården and further on to Strandvägen where we had a short brake with a lovely view of the waterfront, where boats are bobbing along in the water.

After the brake we continued our ride out on Djurgården, cruising between cellphone surfing tourists, zooming electric bicycles and other oddities crossing our path. After a while we arrived at our destination at Café Ektorpet. We have been there many times before and thought it would make an great finish for our #solotweedride.

Our bicycles parked outside Café Ektorpet

For us there were no doubt of what to eat. Café Ektorpet have some lovely open faced sandwiches topped with classic skagenröra and caviar (“Skagen stir” is a classic Swedish creation consisting of mayonnaise, shrimps, caviar and dill as main ingredients).

We parked our old bicycles outside the gate, it looked quite good. An old Rex from 1943 and an Crescent from 1938 parked in surroundings that just might be from that era. We ordered two sandwiches and a few locally brewed beers right away and sat down underneath the trees, enjoying the afternoon. We lifted our glasses and made a toast for Norway Tweed Run.

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Skagen sandwiches and locally brew

Suddenly it started to rain and we had to quickly move from our standard table to a table under a roof to wait out the rain.The rain continued on and off for the rest of the day, but that was no problem when wearing tweed and mackintosh.

After some sun, rain, tasty food and drinks, we said good bye and started our journey back home. To keep the Fredrikstad experience we had to take the ferry.

On the ferry heading back home
Looks like mackintosh weather

In conclusion, if there is problems attending a tweed event far away, well simply make a tweed ride yourself as we did. After all, it is not difficult to create a solo tweed ride.

Simply dress up in any old tweed garment of some sort, dust the cobwebs from the old bicycle that was parked furthest in the storage. Call some friends and pack a picnic bag with sandwiches and something to drink, tea or lemonade. Or find a nice café, or restaurant, anything goes.

Then take a ride and find and just enjoy the day. No need to complicate things. Just having a great time is all that matters.

Until next time, happy tweed!

Hermes Tourist Racer

“Never again” that is a adjustable saying, especially when it comes to bicycles. Since my Versol derailleur did not fit my latest project, I said never again and the Versol ended up collecting dust on a shelf along with other parts odd parts.

Some time later when talking to a fellow tweedian, I mentioned that I was looking for an 1930’s tourist racer so I could mount all parts I had laying around. He revealed that he had a Hermes tourist racer project for sale in his garage. Some parts where missing from the bicycle, but it was almost all the parts I had saved over the years that was in dire need of being used. After all, what is old parts good for if not being used on a bicycle? After some further conversations I bought the bicycle for €50. It was a good deal and I was looking forward to a fun and easy project.

A new project, Hermes tourist racer 1935 with a wheel set from 1960s

The bicycle I just bought was an old Hermes tourist racer, made in Uppsala by Nymans around 1935. The reason why I was searching for a tourist racer was simple. I wanted a frame where the rear dropouts was opened forward. Back in the 1930’s it was almost an exclusive feature only on racer bicycles to have those forward opening rear dropouts here in Sweden. With a front facing dropout my old Versol work rather well, just add a three geared sprocket on the rear wheel and the derailleur to the dropout. Then fasten the shifter leaver to the top frame and there we have it, a three speed racer.

My Versol shifter…
Complete setup derailleur

I took the bicycle to my basement and I examined it more thorough. The bicycle was well used, the finish was heavily sun bleached, somewhat rusty here and there and quite dirty after collecting dust over the years. But the frame it self was solid and the bicycle showed great potential for what I had in mind.

There were no need to repaint or refurbish anything on the bicycle. I wanted to keep the patina, it tells that the bicycle had a busy life going places, seeing things. Dented mudguards and a scratched frame are just memories of a life well lived. There was only need for a good cleaning along with slight polish and a good service to all bearings, adding fresh lubrication. Then the bicycle should be good to go for the next 50 years.

After my inspection I started to try out all parts I had laying around to see if they fitted on the bicycle. Along with the bicycle I bought drop handlebar, also worn and rusty. Then there was parts like the rear reflector, the old ASEA headlight with cracked glass, a set of pedals and other bits and pieces, everything in the same condition as the bicycle. First up was an old worn Brooks B17 saddle I had, it fitted like a glove, both in size and in style. It all started to come together rather well.

Vintage Brooks B17 saddle
Even an old lock fitted perfectly
Hermes head badge that I had laying around and a mudguard mascot
Rear reflector, an original AGA

During the mock up I rather quickly realized that the front caliper brake did not fit the frame. All due to the ornaments on the front fork. It was exactly the same problem I had encountered every time I tried to fit the caliper brakes to any of my earlier projects. I mounted the derailleur anyway. It was a three geared dangerous derailleur racer, not a slow and safe bicycle. My vision was going down the streets like a tweed dressed missile, who needs brakes anyway?

Since the original wheels were missing, a set of 1960’s white rimmed wheels was included in the deal. But another tweedian had a spare set of wheels in almost the same reddish colour as the frame. After some trading and dealing of bicycle parts I was the owner of a wheel set from 1942 with the trusty Torpedo rear hub.

Happy as ever to complete the bicycle, I removed the old sprocket from the Torpedo hub and mounted the three geared sprocket. The Versol derailleur fitted like a glove on the rear dropout. It was all looking rather excellent, until… disaster. The three geared sprocket was rubbing against the frame, it was to way tight to fit properly.

What was going on here? Why does part never fit? I started to check and measure all the parts I had, along with distances on the rear hub and frame. Finally realizing, there were no way that the tree geared sprocket would fit in the frame while mounted on the Torpedo hub.

That was the moment when I had an meltdown, I simply had enough of old parts that never would not fit anything no matter if it is derailleurs or nuts that do not fit axels or even odd sized tires. All my visions and planing went out of the window. The project came to a complete halt.

Once again I talked to the fellow tweedian, the one with the wheels. He mentioned that he had an extra set of wheels equipped with the classical three geared Sturmey Archer hubs with with drum brakes that I could use.

Heavy drum brakes on a fairly nimble racer? In fact the Sturmey Archer wheels had spokes that resembled some sort of iron bars instead of regular spokes. The both wheels complete with tires and tubes weighted almost as much as the bicycle itself, but I mounted the wheels on the Hermes anyway and amazingly they fitted, rather snugly if I may say so, but still. There were minimal clearance between the frame mudguards and wheels. The look was not so bad, in fact it made a very compact and nice look on the bicycle.

Complete with brake leavers and shifter, looking great

Then came the moment of realization when I was taking the bicycle to the car-wash for a good and well deserved cleaning. Let us put it like this, the bicycle was far from being a nimble racer. Perhaps the best description for the bicycle at that moment was that is was more of being a rolling anvil. At the same time, with 52 tooth front sprocket and three gears, the speed and momentum would make it a very fast and unstoppable anvil.

A bicycle that heavy needs good brakes, the old worn drum brakes could be an slight issue. If the brakes are wrongly adjusted, there is no brakes at all. Or if they are to tight, as soon as even thinking of touching the brake leavers would result in the wheels to lock up and transform you, as a rider, to a human javelin, whilst dressed in tweed continuing the ride, head first without a bicycle.

By pure coincidence, going through some old boxes of in search for a bicycle bell I found an old two geared sprocket, most common used on tourist racers. There I was back to square one. Removing the Sturmey Archer wheels, bringing out the old wheels from 1942, quickly changing the three geared sprocket for the newly found two geared sprocket and there we had it. The wheel fitted just perfect away, just like it was made for the bicycle.

In fact, many of the old tourist racers had two geared sprockets mounted back then so in a way it is closer to original than the Sturmey Archer tractor wheels.

What a great looking bicycle
Gravel road and vintage bicycle
From the rear
The two geared sprocket and quick release nuts

There is a technique to use a two geared sprocket without any ability to change the gears while riding. How you change gears on those old tourist racers is simply to stop, dismount the bicycle, loosen the quick release nuts on the rear wheel, move the wheel slightly forward to give the chain enough slack so you could slip the chain over to the preferred gear on the sprocket, then tension the chain again by pulling back the wheel. Fasten the quick release nuts and be on your way.

Easy? Quick? Far from it. But you have two gears and that is 100% better than just having one and there we have it. A rugged, but fairly complete Hermes Tourist Racer from 1935, with lots of spirit and charm.

Out and about

How does it ride after all trials with wheels and sprockets? It rides straight and true, it is a really nice bicycle that is over 80 years old. All details like the mudguard mascot, all ornaments on the frame, the cracked headlight, original handlebar grips and the old worn Brooks saddle, makes the bicycle quite a looker.

Be aware dear readers! Soon it is time for tweed events again, perhaps you will notice the old Hermes roaming around somewhere. Just for the tweed events 2022 I have bought red socks to match the bicycle. After all, style is the key to success, or at least to have a working bicycle.

Happy tweed dear readers and fellow tweedians.