Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2019

Saturday 14 of September was the date for Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2019. I had early on decided to attend the event, for two reasons. Not only to join Copenhagen Tweed Ride, but also to visit Copenhagen and Denmark for the first time. By the way, this was the 20th tweed event I was going to participate in.

Earlier this year when I decided to join the event, I started thinking on how I could bring my bicycle to Copenhagen. After all, travel train was impossible as we learned a while back. No bicycles are allowed on Swedish long distance trains. Perhaps I could take the plane and take the bicycle along as sport luggage? That raise the question of bringing the bicycle to the airport to beguine with (remember the no train policy), it would turn in to an complicated affair.

Copenhagen city hall

The I had the idea of buying an vintage bicycle in Copenhagen and use it on location, but that sounded a bit desperate. How about the option of travelling by car? Since I do not have a car any more, I would have to rent a car from a rental service that allows me to travel abroad with the car, and that fee was way to expensive. The last option was, travel to Copenhagen, the bicycle capitol in Scandinavia and rent a bicycle. Logical there must be a bicycle rental, somewhere. Of course, the hotel I booked had rental bicycles, the problem was solved very easy.

In the morning of the event I went to the lobby and asked if there was an bicycle available for me, there was one and the staff would bring it out for me. Outside on the empty street an fellow came along with an small modern unisex bicycle, painted in white with the hotel logo. An excellent bicycle for shorter tourist trips around the city.

The ride for the day, not the best ride. Far from it

Not the first choice for an tweed event. But what if I kept in the background no one would notice me and my rented bicycle. Never mind. Here we go.

The first meters while riding the bicycle I noticed some major issues. First, it sounded like someone had poured an handful of gravel in the crank bearings. Secondly, the right handle was broken and kept sliding around on the handlebar. Thirdly, the rear wheel was two geared, but the first gear was stuck. It was going to be an interesting day. Never mind, it is not a speed race.

I headed along the streets of Copenhagen in the morning, to the start location at the shop A Touch of Vintage, located at Badstuestræde 1. The registration opened at 9 o´clock in the morning, it is good to be out early. When I turned the bicycle in to the street where A Touch of Vintage is located, I realized the street was empty. I had started way to early, it was still 8 in the morning.

After a while the organizers came and opened up the shop, soon more and more tweedians joined as the clock was getting closer to opening hour. Then it was time, 9 o´clock and the registration had opened. I went in to the shop and was greeted buy the lovely ladies inside. I said my name and received an bag with items for the ride.

Badstuestræde is filling up with tweedians and their bicycles

One, if not the only tandem

An Uppsala registration badge, that was a surprise to see in Copenhagen

A stuffed capercaillie joined us

It is all about the details

The bag had the Copenhagen Tweed Ride logo and contained an magazine about tweed, a small bottle Hendricks Gin, a bottle tonic water, a fresh cucumber, an apple, two postcards and a small pencil. Along with all that I received an wooden badge with my starting number along with a thick paper badge with the number for the bicycle. When I was outside in the street trying to fasten the badges on myself and the bicycle, a lovely dressed lady walked by with large Copenhagen Tweed Ride posters, she gave me one poster to fasten on my bicycle basket, I also got an small flag with the logo.

The bag we received at the registration…

…and posters on the baskets

All those items we received was really thoughtful and nice, but a small question was raised with in me. How should I blend the gin and tonic? There was no glass in the bag. It crossed my mind to do what the “greasers” did back in the day. The trick of open the bottle, pour half of it out and fill it up with spirits. So it seems you are only drinking a bottle of water, but it contains a strong drink instead. But I never did that, it would have been difficult explaining why I was standing on a street forcing down a cucumber in the bottle. After all, Hendricks Gin and tonic without cucumber is just not cricket!

I suddenly meet the mysterious lady that I met at Malmö Tweed Ride last year, if you remember, the lady with the lovely hat. She and her daughter, Inez had joined Copenhagen Tweed Ride this year. She had participated in Copenhagen before so she knew the routines, it was really nice to talk to her and her daughter. The mysterious ladys real name is Lina, here is links to her blog and instagram that are filled with great photos.

The mysterious lady with daughter. Observe the complete original 1930’s outfits, stockings, dresses, coats and shoes.

Just before 10 o´clock we were told to head out to Nytorv (new square/market) nearby for the group photo, by the stairs of Byretten (the court house). After some adjusting and changing places we were all standing as the photographer wanted and we had our photo taken.

It was on the stairs of Byretten I met a friend from my work. He had driven down to Malmö the day before with his bicycle in pieces, he did the final mounting the same morning before taking the local train from Malmö to Copenhagen and arriving at the registration when it was only 5 minutes left. It was really nice to see him and his bicycle.

The group photo (borrowed from Copenhagen Tweed page on facebook)

My friend with his Pedersen bicycle that he put togheter just hours before the ride

After some inforamtion from the organizers about some few simple, but important rules during the ride. For example, there was an motorcycle escort for us. They would stop the traffic at every major crossing so all the tweed riders could keep together and ride in formation, crossing the steets no matter green or red traffic lights. After the information it was time to start the ride, music started playing, many of the organizers and others had speakers mounted on their bicycles luggage racks.

It was a lovely ride around Copenhagen, we saw Nyhavn, Christianborgs castle and the ride went on. I must confess, I had no idea of where we went. What streets we were riding on, or what buildings and sights we went by. The motorcycle escort guided us, we rang our bells, honked horns and waved to all the people that was standing along the way. People wondering what we were doing, there was no angry faces, only friendly, smiling people everywhere, in cars, buses and on the sidewalks. Everyone was amazed of us passing by. The ladies with their lovely dresses fluttering in the wind, gentlemen in suits and the fellow in a kilt while riding a penny farthing. Now that is a new level of courage.

Somewhere in Copenhagen

Somewhere else

A new location

After a while we arrived at ørstedsparken where we all gathered to have a break and picnic. It was now I really understood what Copenhagen Tweed Ride is all about. When I noticed the time schedule for the event earlier there was a very, very long break for picnic along the route. I did not understand why it was such a long break before, but I realized now that the picnic was the main event of the ride. Picnic in the park, setting up picnic tables with crystal glasses, afternoon tea trays filled to the brim with treats of all sorts of food, pies, cakes, vine, beer, spirits, lemonade and everything in-between.

Vintage bicycles, not one younger than 100 years


…in the park

There was afternoon tea like there was no tomorrow, all in the style of vintage and tweed. After a short while representatives from Hendricks Gin set up an stand where they treated our dry throats with cold gin and tonics, of course decorated with locally grown cucumbers. What an treat!

Hednricks Gin and tonic, cool and refreshing


During the picnic we all was handed a voting ballot. This was the first time I had seen such an advanced voting ballot. Several categories and choices, best dressed lady, best hair due, best bicycle, best hat, best beard, best picnic setup. It was a real challenge to cast my votes, I had some candidates that got my votes. When handing in the ballot we all received an drink ticket at the finish line. When the picnic started to end the mystery lady and her daughter left, it had been a long day and it was a long way home. It was really nice to see them again.

After picnic was over, we all joined up outside the park to ride the final route to our destination. Again, I have no idea on where we went or where I was in Copenhagen. It was at this final stretch of the route that my friends bicycle started to fall apart. It turned out that he had forgotten to fasten a screw that holds the left crank in place earlier that morning. Suddenly he could not pedal any more. We left the others and stopped by the side of the road to try and fix the problem temporarily. The temporary fix worked for about 1 kilometre, in an up hill the crank came loose again.

The other riders went along while we were standing beside the road working on the crank again. Suddenly one of the motorcycle escort riders joined us. “it is only 100 meters left to the finish” he said. That was not far, my friend jumped on the bicycle, grabbed my shoulder and I started to work my way up the hill. He was riding his broken bicycle, I was riding on the hotel bicycle with gravel in the cranks. Finally we arrived, limping into the finish at Restaurant Bjælkehuset, located in Søndermark park. I parked my bicycle outside on the street, while we went in to the restaurant and the garden.

The garden of Restaurant Bjælkehuset

The garden of Restaurant Bjælkehuset, 2

Prices for the winners, what an impressive range of items

We found a table where we could sit and fix the bicycle more accurately, it is always better to work during calm conditions instead of standing on a busy street. In some way, we got the crank back in place, so he could ride back to the train later on. Now we deserved an reward, I handed in our drink tickets that we received earlier at the picnic. I must say, sitting in the restaurant garden, large trees surrounding us, following the price ceremony with a cold beer in the hand. That is a real treat!

Later on it was time for the price ceremony. I did not catch everything that they said, but I understood that it was not only one winner in all category. The best three in every category won wonderful prices, hats, gift cards of different kinds, bottles of Hendricks gin and umbrellas. After the price ceremony the food buffet opened for us who had paid for dinner earlier when signing up for the event. The food was classical Danish, tasty and was served while a live band played jazz for us.

Live music

Interviewed by the newspaper

After a few hours it was time to leave. We took our bicycles and headed down to Copenhagen centre. It was a lovely day with many new insights for me, it is always interesting to see how the concept of “tweed ride” is changing depending on where it is held and by who is organizing the event. Thank you all for a lovely day!

Riding back to the railway station, heading home

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1 Comment

  1. Nordic Tweed 2019, part 1 | schneebremse

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