Bike in Tweed Stockholm, 2019

Saturday the 21´st of September, it was time for a new tweed event to participate in. Early in the morning, I packed the old bicycle bags with my lunch package. Sandwiches with cheese, boiled potatoes, pickled herrings and tomatoes. A simple version of the classic SOS “smör, ost och sill” (butter, cheese and herring, it is an small smörgåsbord for one person). I also packed some bottles of beer, water, gin, tonic, a small bottle of Jaloviina and a bottle of Champis (a carbonated soda that has been available in shops since 1918, that goes well with Jaloviina). After all it is important to stay hydrated.


All packed and ready to join Bike in Tweed 2019

The weather was perfect, the sun was shining, it was not to hot or cold. A crisp autumn morning, fresh air and blue skies. I started my journey towards the city and Evert Taubes terrass in the centre of Stockholm, the start location for the event. That has been the same start location as the last two years, a great place with a nice view of the city. While I was peddling along the empty streets, the only sounds that could be heard, was the old Nordstjärnans tires running along the tarmac and the fluttering of the small pennant, an vintage Swedish flag pennant that I had tied to the handlebars as they did back then. It was really a lovely morning ride.

When getting closer to the start, I noticed several other tweed riders heading the same way. A tip of the hat, a wave and a smile – good morning, what a lovely weather today!

At the start, the organizers had already started welcoming the riders. This year the start area was really well planned. Upon arrival we were guided via an red and white tape to the registration desk. There checklists where checked, starting number were handed out along with food tickets for those who had signed up and paid for the the after-ride dinner.  Later on I learned that there was cookies and crisps handed out to the participants along the registrations line. Sadly I did not get any, I must have arrived in a gap.


Standing in line for registration


Interview, some story behind the bicycle and cloths.


Lovely weather, a great autumn day

After registration, we followed the tape to be interviewed about our bicycles and our selection of clothes. All judged in front of the jury. That was a new and fun segment, I mentioned that my bicycle was made in Stockholm and the pennant was the Swedish flag and had the text Stockholm and an image of the city hall printed on it. I got praise for the way I had mounted the pennant, correctly mounted with an wire going from the bicycle bell on the handlebar down to the nut on the front wheel, as it should be.

After the interview we followed the tape to the photo session. It is tradition at Bike in Tweed to have a photo taken of you and your bicycle. This year they used two photographers, it was a fast and well organized process. There are so many other great looking people with wonderful bicycles, a quick pose with your bicycle and follow the instructions from the photographer, “click”. It is an great memory to keep.


More tweedians arrived and parked at the square after being photographed

After the photo session we were guided along the tape to the main square where we could park our bicycles and begin to mingle and talk with new and old familiar faces. It was nice to meet all tweedians again, it was a year since the last time we met.

Walking around in the sunshine watching all those vintage, new, rat-rods, beaters, everyday riders, penny farthings and regular bicycles of all kinds. Not forgetting all beautiful dresses, handsome suits, vintage military uniforms and everyone that had dressed up. All those hats, beards and accessories really made it a great gathering of tweedians on a beautiful day.


1930´s style nurse with a lovely smile

It was time to start the ride. The route was heading north towards the busy Tegelbacken and then passing the city hall, I guess my bicycle and pennant was feeling at home at that moment. We rode along the seafront of Norr Mälarstrand heading to the picnic at Rålambshov park. This year it was decided to have a shorter route, also have the picnic 30 minutes after the start.


Gathering for the start…


…and away we go


Crossing the bridge from Riddarholmen to Tegelbacken


Heading down to Norr Mälarstrand on our way to Rålambshov

The ride was in a nice tempo and everything went just fine until we arrived at Rålambshov and the amphitheatre, were we used to have our picnic. The entire place was occupied by an athlete event! They had blocked the stairs where we use to sit so the runners could run up and down. Large stations where people was standing and shouting pep talks to the runners.

It was some sort of endurance competition for runners, modern music was blasting out all over the park. Our organizer talked to the people in charge, after all we had permit from the police to be there. I do not know what happened, but they stopped the music. It all was confused and improvised. Our traditional group photo was taken against an small slope of grass. After that we were supposed to have a picnic, somewhere.


Time for the group photo where the athletes event had blocked the stairs in the background


But there was a group photo taken finally, sadly I have no copy of it yet

The resourceful Lucie took command over a few tweedians and said that we were going to sit on the seats of the theatre as usual anyway. We headed over the marked tracks, dodging the runners, and headed up on the stairs. It was fun to sit there, watching the runners going up and down the stairs. While we were having a picnic. I was drinking beer, gin and tonic and having pickled herring, potatoes, sandwiches with cheese and dessert. Sometimes we shouted “come one, keep the steps light, looking good, that’s the spirit”. The runners did not look happy.

To be honest, I prefer riding an old bicycle with one gear, dressed in tweed, than running up and down stairs looking totally worn out. An gentleman does not run or exercise.


We all spread out for the picnic while athletes was running all over the place


Pickled herring, potatoes, tomatoes and sandwiches with cheese. All served on a enamel plate from 1940´s with cutlery from the same year

After the picnic we headed along the route again. Starting by working our way up and across Västerbron (West bridge). That bridge really sorts out the soft weekends bicyclists from the hardcore bicycle fanatics. Riders that are used to ride vintage bicycles that weighs as an old hospital bed. Besides, a real gentleman do not stand up while peddling, neither does an gentleman dismount the bicycle and walk. Also, gears are simply not cricket, so that is out.

What is left, is to harden out the uphill. With an steady pace, determination and firm grip on the handlebar, the uphill will be defeated! As you understand by now, I am grasping for excuses for my idiotic peddling up the bridge when I easily could have dismounted and walked instead.


An penny farthing heading towards the bridge


Going down hill after crossing Västerbron towards Södermalm


Cargo bicycle with lots of cargo and handsome riders waiting for the car to move


The old cargo train tracks down by the Hammarby canal

After crossing Västerbron we headed down to Södermalm, a part of Stockholm with large appartment buildings from 1910-1940’s. We saw some really nice parts of the city along our route that we usually never visit. The route continued down to the Hammarby canal, then we turned and went uphill again. Finding our way among the back alleys of Södermalm until it was time for the most chaotick part of the route. We were going to cross the total mayham of Slussen.

Slussen is an part of Stockholm city that are undergoing an complete rebuild. The old constructions were made in the 1930´s and is now in desperate need of renovation. Today almost everything is torn down and the area is a construction site today. There are temporary roads going all over the place. Cars, buses, pedestrians, taxis, kids, bicycles, skateboards, tourists and 190 tweedians on bicycles was trying to get along at the same time. It was a challenge.


We are leaving the chaos of Slussen behind us…


… the roads opened up a bit. It was time for some romance while riding bicycles

The ride continued along the sea side of Skeppsbron, the part of the city that has been a port since medieval times. Passing the royal castle, across the bridge to Kungsträdgården and over to Nybroplan while avoiding pedestrians all the way. The route continued along Strandvägen the “posh” street, crossing Djurgårdsbron trying to avoid running over people. The bicycle lane on the bridge is narrow, but it all went well. After that we all headed out on Djurgården. The finish line at Hasselbacken was in reach.

You might think that it was many streets and places I mentioned in the last part. But I mentioned them because those areas are the most tourist crowded places in Stockholm, all year around. There we were, about 190 vintage cyclists among all tourists. It was an sight to see. All cameras was turned away from the royal castle and all the other sights. Only to take photos of us dressed in tweeds, riding old bicycles.


Hendricks gin are on the way to Hasselbacken

Shortly after the ride on Djurgården we all arrived at Hasselbacken restaurant as previous years. Upon our arrival, Erik Tengholm Trio was playing live music for us. We parked our bicycles and gathered in front of the stage to enjoy the music. The sponsor Hendricks gin was handing out gin and tonics to us thirsty riders. It was really nice, listening to live music while sipping on an cold and tasty gin and tonic.

Later on the price ceremony started, the always impressive Vintagemannen presented the winners and handed out the prices for best dressed man, best dressed lady and best looking bicycle. Sadly I did not notice the prices they received. Later on Hendricks handed out their price. The “most unusual award” was handed out. Congratulations to all winners, they were all looking absolutely wonderful!


Erik Tengholm Trio playing jazz


Vintagemannen was in charge of the price ceremony


Hendricks gin handed out an special price, the “most unusual award”


My bicycle with the pennant with Stockholm’s city hall parked at the restaurants garden

After the price ceremony it was time for dinner. As always, it was great to sit and have dinner together with all tweedians. Having conversations about the day and how it all went. More drinks, laughs and conversations.

But as all fun things, everything comes to an end. The sun had set, people were leaving, riding their bicycles into the dark and cold autumn night. Before we started our way home, we decided to attend Bike in Tweed next year to, after all it is Bike in Tweed´s 10th anniversary next year.

Thank you for Bike in Tweed 2019, see you all soon.


The ride home after a great day

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1 Comment

  1. Nordic Tweed 2019, part 1 | schneebremse

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