The green bicycle, Husqvarna 1948

As always, it all started with one project to many.

A fellow tweedian mentioned to me one day that he was searching for a special type of bicycle. One that he could modify to be his daily commuter ride. His criteria were; a silver coloured semi racer with derailleur gear and luggage racks, both in front and in the rear of the bicycle.

It so happened, that I had my fathers old 1980’s Meteor racer bicycle standing in my basement. My fellow tweedian was intrigued by the bicycle, it was a good foundation for his project. Was it for sale?

I knew that among all bicycle projects he has in his basement, there was a old 1940’s green Husqvarna bicycle. It would be perfect for all the spare parts I have collected over the years. Parts that never fitted any of my earlier projects, instead ended up in boxes marked “might come in handy”.

Especially the Versol derailleur from 1940’s, that never fitted any of my projects. It only fits frames with rear dropouts with their opening forwards. All my bicycle projects so far has their rear dropouts with their openings backwards. I knew that the green Husqvarna have rear dropouts facing forwards. That would be perfect for my Versol derailleur.

I suggested perhaps a trade would benefit us both, my fathers old bicycle for his green project. It ended up with me coming home with yet one more project. I think it is the third time I said it was the last time for projects. But here we are again.


Fellow tweedian working on the Husqvarna 1948 project.

Back home I checked out the bicycle more. It is a Husqvarna made in 1948. I realised that many parts on the bicycle actually were original parts and in very good condition. Parts like the front chain wheel, the nut that holds the front fork in place and the front light holder. The mudguards were not original but they looks great together with the frame, both have the same nice green tone. But most important my Versol derailleur fitted like a charm.


Handlebars that fits the bicycle. This can be a great project.


Versol derailleur…


…and gear leaver

Right away I started to look in my boxes for other parts to complete the bicycle. Handlebar, grips, a front light. I had two wheels with stainless steel rims standing in the corner, they fitted perfectly. I traded some other parts I had laying around for a fitting stem. The handlebars with grips was mounted on the stem along with an original Husqvarna bell. It all started to look like a cool bicycle. Green, black and silver.

I decided to make the front light battery powered. Because I wanted to use one more odd part that never found any usage. An old east German made bicycle bell, “Radlaufglocke” or “Sturmklingel” that they are called in German. The bell is activated by pulling a cord so the flywheel of the bell is pressing against the tire and starts to spin. Then the bell will ring as long as the cord is pulled or as long the wheel is spinning.

All the bell needs is a dynamo bracket mounted in a way that the bell can pivot onto the tire to make in spin. I mounted the Sure enough, it worked like a charm. It´s steel housing and red flywheel fits the look of the bicycle just perfect. For activation cord to the bell, I used an chain from an old Swedish dog tag.

That is one cool bicycle bell, it sounds like a old tram on the run when used. It will most definitely get attention when used. I still had the old Berko battery box which I removed from the 1928 Crescent. I took some old electrical cord and make the front lamp work.

Only to make the bicycle somewhat legal to ride in the night.


Berko battery box with a cloth wound electrical cord along the frame to the front light


Bicycle bell that will ring as long the cord is pulled and the wheel is spinning


I also added an old id-tag. That type of tag was patented in 1942, so it is really a 1940’s bicycle


The bearings was in desperate need of grease

Now it was time to mount everything together, I bought new a bunch of old stock screws (shiny screws are needed for a shiny bicycle) and got to work. Mudguards, double kick stand, headlamp with visor, cleaning, oiling and greasing up old bearings. It all worked well and in some way, it seemed like the parts, although they were different brands, were meant to fit together from the start.


I tried to keep all the parts it in the same era as the bicycle frame, mid to late 1940’s.

Then we have the issue with the, by now infamous, Versol derailleur. It was a slight pain to adjust and to make sure it worked, or at least almost working as it should.

First of all, there are no fixed positions for the gear leaver. Changing gear is made by feel and listening on the chain travelling across the cogs. 3st gear, no problem. 2nd gear, well it is there somewhere keep trying. 1st gear? Well, now we are getting a bit optimistic aren’t we? Let us stay on 2nd gear for a while instead.

Then there is the ever so slight issue of being able to bring the bicycle to a stop. Since the derailleur are used on a coaster hub with a built in brake, it means that the chain will slack considerably when peddling backwards to brake. With a standard hub you only need to peddle backwards slightly to engage the brake. The Versols attitude towards braking, is that small and quick peddling are for wimps. There is more of effort to peddle at least half a turn while the chain might derail at any moment if the rider are being careless. So with the Versol derailleur system, braking is like stopping a boat forging ahead. You really need to think in advance and plan your stops well in advance.


Fitchel and Sachs chain guide makes use as a spring bracket. Yes I know, it is all wrong.

Correctly adjusted it is not such a big deal. But having to slack the chain in a way that there is need for a guide to make sure that the chain stays in place and not derails. Well, that is not what I would call a optimal riding experinace. But still, Versol derailleur system derailleur was the most popular derailleur/gear system in Sweden during 1940’s and 1950’s. Perhaps because there were no others? Or, the alternatives where so complicated, impossible to adjust or perhaps just weird? Who knows?

My grandfather had an old Rex bicycle from the 1940’s with an Versol derailleur system mounted. Completely, utterly and totally insane. Not to forget the minor detail of it being really a really dangerous bicycle. I still remember my grandfather riding along the streets with his bicycle that had no front brake at all, only relying on the rear hub brake. While riding his bicycle wearing clogs at the age of  75. Could he ride his bicycle like that, so can I!


Headlight visor adds to the look


Modern Brooks B66 saddle, but it fit the colour theme of the bicycle, green, silver and black.

The green bicycle, dangerous and almost original. If I can’t brake, at least I will be able to use the tram bell so there will be a heads up before the crash.

But still, it is really good looking bicycle.

Uppsala Vintage Biking, (Punschrundan 2020)

On Sunday 7th of June 2020, Uppsala Vintage Biking arranged their summer event called “Punschrundan” (the punsch route). Due to the current virus situation in the world and also following recommendations from the government, the Organizer decided to allow only 20 participants in this event and using a booking system on Facebook. The slots filled up quickly and soon all 20 slots were booked.

On the day of the event I took my trusty old Hermes bicycle to the local commuter train, bought a ticket and went on to the platform. The last time I went to Uppsala for a vintage tweed event, there were other tweedians onboard the same train that I entered. This time I looked around onboard the train, perhaps I was not alone? Sadly, I did not see anyone else wearing tweed, standing by a vintage bicycle on the train. Never mind, I had my phone and headset with me, the journey to Uppsala railway station went quickly by while I was listening to my own “smoke rings” Spotify playlist with 30 hours swing, jazz and dance music from 1930’s and 1940’s. A perfect tweed ride playlist to set the mood.


Taking the bicycle on the train is really a great thing to do. Sadly there are not many operators in Sweden that allows bicycles onboard trains.

The weather was perfect for a tweed ride. Not to sunny, hot or cold. It was “lagom” as we say in Swedish. That is what I understand a very unique word that only exists in the Swedish language. It roughly means “enough”, but in a pleased way. The weather was lagom warm, it was just about right. Or, perfect for the situation. The Eskimos has one hundred words for snow, swedes has one word for one hundred different moods. All depending on how you pronounce it.

When upon arriving at Uppsala railway station and disembarking the train, there were still no other tweedians in sight, oh well. Since it was a few years ago I had been to central Uppsala I thought I knew my way to the meeting point at Fyristorg, an classic square, perhaps most known for being mentioned in one of the earliest Swedish rock and roll songs. Hot dog boogie, a song about a hot dog sales man who was standing on that square being sad.

After a short ride, a feeling of going the wrong way emerged. I decided to check the directions in my phone. Of course, I had turned right at the crossroads earlier instead of turning left. A simple and easy mistake to make. Right? No left. I should had turned left instead of right, right? No, left. What?

When arriving at Fyristorg there were other tweedians already there. There were the gang that I knew from other events. Hello, how charming to meet you again! It turned out that we had arrived with the same train, but I had never seen them.


Arriving at Fyristorg


Inspecting and admiring bicycles

The Organizer came along and greeted everyone. The route for the day was riding along Fyrisån, the stream that flows in the middle of Uppsala. The ride was following the stream south, in to the city park and further down to a bird sanctuary and lovely nature. Along the way we were guided and told interesting and funny anecdotes about the areas we stopped by.


The riders at the first stop of the route


Heading along while listening to the birds chirping and the peaceful sound of tires rolling against gravel

At the first stop, a lady had some problems with her saddle. I helped her, the seat had come loose. But in my toolbox I had a bicycle tool that sorted the issue in a jiffy. Then we headed onwards on narrow paths in the woods.

Suddenly there was an mishap. The lady that had problems with the bicycle seat had a flat tire. I decided to try to act as a amateur bicycle repair man, but quickly noticed that the tire valve on the front wheel were faulty, when removing the valve I noticed that the original rubber seal from the 1940’s had totally disintegrated. Did anyone have an spare valve? I had left my spare tube at home, so I was helpless.

Sadly, the lady left the ride and had to walk back home. Just as I did in Helsinki last summer when my pedal broke. I really felt sorry for her.

Again we headed onwards and reached the new Flottsunds bridge crossing the Fyrisån. There we crossed the bridge and turned back towards Uppsala, along the winding roads, passing small cottages and pastures with cows and horses. It was a nature experience in every way. What a nice route!


Across the bridge and on the road heading to the picnic


Idyllic in every way. When riding a bicycle you got time to see things and smell the nature. It is an experience for all senses.


Happy tweedians riding the open road

We reached our destination for the picnic, it was an old house were Carl von Linne once lived from time to time. There were benches and tables in the garden under the trees, where we had our sandwiches and drinks. Some of us had even brought Punsch to drink, after all it was the Punsch route.

There are two ways you can drink Punsch in Sweden. One is with ice, as the used to drink in high society back in the 1850’s. The other way is to drink it slightly hot, along with pea soup. But then there is the rule of only eating pea soup on Thursday. Why? Nobody knows, but that is how it is supposed to be. It is as sure as the sun sets at night.

So, since the event was held on a Sunday, there were no pea soup for me. Also, riding for a few hours without any cooling bag for the ice I had to drink the punsch straight. Truly a horrible and strange experience. But when in Rome… as they say.

At the picnic we also had the pleasure of meeting Mr Daniels who showed us his really unique bicycle, that he had found in a shed at his parental house. The bicycle was a British made Hillman Herbert Cooper from 1892. The bicycle was believed to be one of the first bicycles in the village where they lived. Amazingly, the bicycle still works today! Now, how about that for quality?


Some of our bicycles parked along the picnic area


German beer in a English mug with Swedish punsch in a glass from Finland. International!


Our guide held a speech about the history, how Carl von Linne was living at the location


Mr Daniels and his 1892 Hillman Herbert Cooper


The garden where we had the picnic, a small oasis far from everyday life.


Lovely dressed lady, no need to wear tweed for a tweed event. On in this case, vintage event.

After the picnic we started on the last leg of the route, following the bicycle paths leading back towards Uppsala city centre and the starting point at Fyristorg.

After arriving at Fyristorg and thanking the organizer for a great day, a small group of us were heading back to the train station. We decided to have a small drink and something to eat before entering the train and heading home again.


Gathering at the finish line


Crescent 1937, I believe it was. Quite a difference in condition comparing with mine 1934 Crescent


Heading towards the train station after a great day

The Uppsala Vintage Biking event “Punschrundan 2020”, was really a relaxed and pleasant event. It was fun to meet familiar and new tweedians while riding along the surroundings of Uppsala. A big thank you to the organizer for his impressive knowledge about the local area and all the guiding he made.

Until next time. Ride carefully and be safe.

Enskede Tweed, (Vårrullen 2020)

Care for a spring roll? Not the eating kind am I afraid, although they are tasty and nice. But what I am referring to, is the 4th Enskede Tweed society event, called the Spring roll, “vårrullen” in Swedish.

The explanation is rather simple. The name came up during the dinner party at the Enskede Tweed society event Höstrusket last autumn. “Let us call it the spring roll”, one of the participants said. After all, it makes total sense! We will roll on our bicycles in the spring, the spring roll. Brilliant! It was decided right there and then.


Last minute preparation, the rear hub needed desperate attention.

9th of May 2020 was set for the 4th Enskede Tweed society event. Our events are just for fun, a good opportunity to meet others tweedians, dress up in nice clothes and use our old bicycles for a slow and calm ride around the parts of Stockholm where we live. It is a tweed event, right in our back yard.

Also, riding bicycles are good, both for the environment and yourself. After all, with all the current virus tragedy going on with isolation and quarantines. It is only good to get out and about, to have a bit of fresh air ventilate the old tweed. Spiffing good show, I say!


On the way to Stockholmsvägen and the meeting point

The weather forecast for the day mentioned heavy overcast and about 10 degrees Celsius. In other words, perfect weather for a ride in tweed. The bicycles were serviced, picnic hampers and bags were packed, tweeds were brushed. We were ready!

The event should started at 1300, but due to some mishaps, the entire staff of Enskede Tweed Society was delayed for a bit.

The issue of an exploding rear tire, made for some last minute changes in the bicycle department. An stand in bicycle was quickly made ready for duty, a simple matter of making sure the tires had good pressure, adjust the seats and off we went. Arriving only 10 minutes late to the meeting at the start. Rather hot after a brisk ride, the staff arrived at Stockholmsvägen, the usual meeting point for members in Enskede Tweed Society.


Fellow tweedians joining up


Well packed picnicks hampers and blankets to sit on during the picnic


Having a chat while enjoying tea and cake in the sunshine

The chairman of Enskede Tweed society offered hot tea and home made cake, just as the last event. It really got a British touch to it with tea and cake. Perhaps next time, we should tell everyone to bring along real cups and saucers for an afternoon tea instead of an picnic?


Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to start the ride

After finishing the tea and cake, and after talking about other things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax. Of cabbages and kings. It was time to start the ride. We started our route by taking the back streets along the old parts of Enskede. Watching all the gardens with their spring flowers in blossom and all the bright green leaves on bushes and trees. The weather forecast was wrong, it was not overcast. In fact, it was sunny and warm, a perfect spring day.


Riding along the cycle paths


A short break before entering the Forrest cemetery


Photo opportunity


Along the roads at Forrest cemetery

We took the route in to Skogskyrkogården (Forrest cemetery) as usual. The calm and tranquillity you experience there are really soothing for everyone. There are no cars racing around, blasting their horns. Just to ride along and enjoy the smell of forest while listening to birds singing is very peaceful.

Shortly after we exited the Forrest cemetery we stopped by the Olympia park in Tallkrogen and set up our picnic on the large meadow. We parked our bicycles and put out blankets on the grass and unpacked our picnic hampers. Sandwiches, cakes, tea, beer and gin and tonic. Music and laughs all around, we had a really great time.


Our bicycles needed a rest…


…as did we


Lovely weather at Olympia park

After about 1.5 hours it was time for us to head on again. The last stretch of the route took us along the streets of 1930-50s houses and areas. Along the route there were people waving and smiling at us. It seems that tweed and bicycles brings out happiness in both riders and bystanders. It is a rather harmless and fun thing to do, ride along on a vintage bicycles while being well dressed, not necessarily in tweed.


Group photo at the usual site

After the group photo, we headed on our way to the finish line at Enskede Gård. Sadly, we never took a photo at the mansions stairs like we use to. There was a man standing right above the stairs fixing his car. It would have been a strange photo, a modern car all torn down in pieces in the photo, while we were standing there with our bicycles. A slight clash of styles one might say.


At the finish line, when will next event take place?

The organizers thanked everyone that had joined the Spring roll, the first official unofficial Enskede Tweed society event of this year. Some riders left the group, the rest of us headed down to Enskede värdshus for a cool refreshing drink. The weather was so nice, that we ended up in the garden of the inn to relax before it was time for us to leave.

Next event is planed to take place in October. What the name will be for that event? Who knows, but I guess it will be something autumn related, in some way.

Until next time.


Riding back home in the sunset

Solo Tweed Ride, 2020

After attending different tweed rides in Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Denmark and Iceland. I thought it would be interesting to attend a tweed event in a new country. In my research I found that many towns in Germany have their own tweed rides. For example Stuttgart, Hildesheim and Oldenburg just to name a few. Attending a tweed ride in Germany would be a fun and new experience for me. Besides, it is not far from Sweden either so travelling there would be easy.

While browsing the internet one day, I found an page on Facebook. Tweed Ride Berlin in Germany, a tweed event with focus on clothes in a 1900 to 1950´s style, with a vintage picnic at the end. The date of the event was set to Sunday the 26th of April. To me that sounded really interesting!

It is possible to check in with the bicycle on a plane and fly to Berlin for a weekend. The thought of riding my bicycle on the streets of Berlin, along with other tweed riders and have a picnic in a park sounded really great. I signed up to join the Berlin Tweed Ride event right there on the spot. Berlin here we come!


The bags are packed, it is time to hit the road.

Then that nasty virus struck the world. Pandemic, many countries locking down and applying quarantines on cities with restrictions on gatherings of people. With the virus, everyday life took a turn for the worst for many, peoples life changed in all possible ways. In times like these, a bicycle tweed event is of insignificant importance. Health and well-being is more important.

The organizers of Tweed Ride Berlin understandably cancelled the event due to the current situation and regulations. For many of us tweed riders, a tweed event is something that we all are looking forward to. It is something to plan outfits for, servicing the old bicycles so they will work without breaking down. When the day of the tweed event arrives, we pack our picnic baskets and meet other tweedians for a great day with lots of fun. But I am sure, that we all understand and respects that events are being cancelled, as the Berlin event was.


Vintage bicycle and tweed

But some days after the organizers of Berlin Tweed Ride had cancelled their event, there was a new post on their page with an interesting message:
” Let’s do a ride together! Individually! On Sunday 26 April 2020 would have been our popular Berlin Tweed Ride. Due to Corona it can’t take place in it’s classic form. Our idea is to ride anyway! Solo or with one partner. Let’s share the experience and post your pictures marded with the hashtag #SoloTweedRide”.

Now that is truly a wonderful idea! Making sure that there is a tweed event, while adjusting to current situation. Still having an event, but remake it an individual event. So all could still make the ride, but on their own terms, simply post an photo or two later on social media to show that we still dressed up and had a great day. Not together in real life, but as a community. For me it meant that I did not have to travel to Berlin, but could make the day from home. A fun and safe event.

I lift my hat for the Berlin Tweed Ride organizers for this initiative.


An fairly new Skeppshult bicycle along a rather old Crescent.


A beautiful spring morning along the roads of Forrest cemetery in south of Stockholm


Picnic, traditional sandwiches, tea and beer.


Two riders

We were two riders from Enskede in Stockholm that attended the event, the condition of the #solotweedride was one or two riders. Far from Berlin, riding our bicycles and having a vintage picnic, at the same time as other did the same in Germany, and other parts of the world did the same. I did some traditional sandwiches for my self, they were tasty. But not as good as an currywurst in Berlin. Next time perhaps?

An virtual retro-event that everyone can attend at their own terms. I must say that it was a wonderful idea, simple and fun. Let us do this again!

Stay safe and take care.

Winter Tweed Run Helsinki 2020

Last year when I attended Winter Tweed Run Helsinki 2019,  I made two bad decisions. The first mistake was to think that it would be easier to carry the bicycle in a bag onboard the cruise ship from Sweden to Finland. The second mistake was that I did not plan to stay for the party.

That is why I decided to ride my bicycle onboard the cruise ship this time. Also to stay at an hotel in Helsinki so I could attend the Winter Tweed Run Helsinki 2020 party and not feel any pressure to leave the event early.


Instead of carrying the bicycle, why not just ride the bicycle onboard?

When arriving in Helsinki on the morning of the event it was a perfect bicycle weather, a tiny bit snow in the air mixed with sunshine and around 0 degrees Celsius. Well, it was not perfect weather for the event. After all it is Winter Tweed Run. It could have been way colder, about -15 degrees and 50 centimetre of snow would have been nice. Extreme sport in tweed!

I went to the start at Senaatintori in the centre of Helsinki. The event started 1300, even if I was a bit early, there were other tweed riders already there. It was really nice to meet many familiar faces and have fun discussions about everything and nothing. After a few minutes the organisers joined us, as they walked around and greeted everyone welcome, they handed out a sticker as a souvenir to each rider. In the end we turned out to be about 50 tweed riders that joined up on the square for Winter Tweed Run Helsinki’s tenth year anniversary .


Arriving tweed participants


Bicycles and tweed


All sorts of bicycles in among the riders

After a while it was announced that it was time for the group photo. We climbed the stairs to Helsinki Cathedral with our bicycles and got in position. While standing on the stairs I noticed a photographer I recognised taking photos of us. I dashed down the stairs and asked if he could use my camera to take some photos of the group. He was happy to help out, sadly I never got his name. If he reads this, thank you very much for the help and all the great photos.


About 50 riders joined on Senaatintori

After having our photos taken and shouting the ceremonial thee cheers (in Finnish), we got some news about the ride. We would take the same route as last time. But not stopping by at Cafe Regatta this year. Instead we would have our break at cafe and museum Villa Hagasund, located in the heart of Helsinki. That would mark the end of the first part of the event. Later on the ride would continue to a new place where there would be tea and dance in the evening.

Also, it was important when riding our bicycles to keep the distance between the riders close. If we were crossing streets and the traffic lights would turn red. We should keep going. Since we are an parade, or unit, we have the law on our side, also a tight formation is a good thing if anything happens. Things like a bicycle breaking down or someone having an accident.


Time to line up for the start


Checking bicycles

We formed a line on the square and the familiar honking from the old ball horn gave us the signal that we were on our way. Along the streets where both tourists and local Helsinki residents were looking baffled and amazed by the odd sight of us riding our vintage bicycles while dressed in tweed. Winter Tweed Run Helsinki 2020 had officially started.

Sadly just after the start one of the two tandem crews that had a flat tire. One of the organisers had a cargo bicycle with tools and spare parts with him. But I think that the tandem bicycle had a special dimension of the tires so they had to visit a bicycle shop for some emergency service. They later joined us further down the route.

The ride went along the seafront towards Kompassitori in south of Helsinki. The sun was shining when we stopped for a small break where we waited for, as I understood it, another bicycle that had a flat tire earlier. After having a chat with the other riders for a short while, it was time to get on our way again.


On our way…


…along the seaside


At Kompassitori


Two girls on their tandem bicycle at the shore of Lapinlahti

We were riding along the streets and bicycle paths of Helsinki, dodging trams and pedestrians before arriving at Villa Hagasund. There they had set up a drink station with hot juice and cider along with gingerbread. It was a really nice treat for us, something sweet and tasty after the ride. The organiser stepped up on some stairs and thanked us for visiting their event. After the speech there was gentleman dressed in tweed with impressive handlebar moustache that held a long speech. Sadly I had no idea what he was saying. But we listened to him and cheered again at the end of his speech.


Speeches and cheers at Villa Hagasund


Lovely dress


The service bicycle


It was a really nice day in Helsinki

After the break, some riders said goodbye and went home. While the remaining riders started the last stretch of the ride towards the tea and dance party later that evening. We went down to the main railway station in centre of Helsinki and headed east, towards where the old Arabia porcelain factory once were located and our final destination, Kaffila Bokvillan.

At the finish line we parked our bicycles and went in for the party. Of course there was the traditional pea soup with bread and a drink waiting for us. I really like pea soup, but this soup is something special. Amazing!

After the dinner a dance teacher learned us swing dance, a skill that was needed later when the magnificent Maestro Ruscello and his group Gruppo Velocitá, entertained us with their lovely music. Now, it was time to relax and enjoy the tea and dance party until very late in the evening.


The finish line at Kaffila Bokvillan


Promotion for the event and the sticker we got as a souvenir


Maestro Ruscello e Gruppo Velocitá


Tea and dance party kept on the whole night!

Every participant I talked with, said the same thing. Winter Tweed Run Helsinki 2020, the tenth year anniversary was a warm, fun and happy event. It was a wonderful event in every way!

I even dare to say, if everything goes well, we’ll meet next year again… and I will ride my bicycle onboard the cruise ship, never carrying it again.