Tweed Run Norway, 2019

On Saturday august 31st it was time for Tweed Run Norway 2019. We were so pleased by the event last year that we decided to join the event again. As last time my friend decided to go by car so he could bring his bicycle, he also transported my old Hermes bicycle for me while I was taking a plane. To be honest, I would love to travel by train with my bicycle, but the reality is that it is more or less totally impossible to bring your bicycle on a inter city train in Sweden.

There is only few local train companies that allows bicycles onboard their trains, all of them are only local trains. I could use my bicycle bag while travelling from Stockholm to Fredrikstad in Norway. But the thought of carrying an 1950’s bicycle as luggage one more time is just impossible. My back still hurts when I am thinking of my idiotic Helsinki adventure.


We are going to the meet up at Quality Hotel Fredrikstad after getting our bicycles out of the car boot

On the morning of the event we headed to the start, located at Quality Hotel Fredrikstad. We were one of the first ones tweed riders on location, but soon more riders joined us. It was nice to see more and more tweedians arrive, some on vintage bicycles, many dressed in impressive tweed outfits. A bit later the organizers arrived and set up an table where we would register and receive our participant numbers, just outside the hotel entrance. We were hearty welcomed by all the organizers when we registered and received our armbands and number signs for our bicycles.


The always dashing Mona @badhairgoodshoes


“but first, let´s take a selfie” the three girls had a fun photo session, even I helped out


The organizers and Mr B the gentleman rhymer standing at the registration desk

Soon the hotel opened up the doors for the riders that had pre-booked the hotel brunch that was offered us participants in the tweed event. We tasted all the fresh and tasty foods that were served, while there was a small jazz trio featuring drums, guitar and a fellow on double bass that also sang. They played old jazz tunes, a perfect match for the tweed event.

When it was about 30 minutes until the start, we left the restaurant and headed out to the small street outside. By now the former empty street had transformed to an crowded street filled with bicycles and tweedians of all ages, families trying to get the registrations armbands to fasten on their arms, couples having tea, others having drinks. It was an mix of happiness and everyone was looking forward for an great day riding around Fredrikstad. Even the weather, that was supposed to be grey and rainy, turned in to be sunny and warm, one of the last real summer days of the year.


More and more riders and fellow tweedians of all ages joined

At one a´clock the ride started. We all headed down the streets, towards a bridge that leads over to the island of Kråkeröy for a ride along the sea shore. It was on that route where I noticed a strange sound from the bicycle in front of me. It was a lady riding an bicycle where something was rubbing against the mudguard. She must heard it to, because she was starting to look down on the bicycle, trying to locate the source of the strange sound. After looking at her bicycle and tires for a few seconds I noticed that there was something seriously wrong with her front tire. I asked her to stop and went down to take a look at the front tire.

It turned out that the steel cord that makes the tire stay on the rim had of some reason climbed over the rim and the inflated tube was poking out in the gap. It was merely seconds from a complete blowout that most likely had stopped the front wheel shut. The lady said that she always could walk to the finish line since the tire was damaged.

I quickly got an idea, why not empty the tube of all air, push the tire back on the rim and inflate the tube again, but this time with less air pressure. I asked her if I was allowed to try that idea, of course, she replied. Removing the valve, I felt a large push of air, almost so hard that the valve flew out of my hand I guess it was over inflated. After the tube was deflated I put back the valve and started to inflate the tube again.

I told the lady that I would not fill the tire so much, because it was best to be careful with the tire. At that moment, the repair man came along, I explained the situation to him and after he started to work on the bicycle I headed along to join the other riders.


The shore line of Kråkeröy with Fredrikstad in the distance

After riding along on Kråkeröy we headed back to Fredrikstad for some more riding in the town, towards the park where we had an tea break last year. This year there was an new band playing jazzy music. It was local musicians,who invited us to visit the Kammerfest in Ostfold later on, an local music happening in the area. It was really great music played by very talented musicians at the tea break. Music while having a cup of Earl Grey, an perfect setting to have a chat with other tweedians, admire bicycles and talk tweed.


It´s tea time at the park in Fredrikstad


An old Norwegian made Diamant bicycle from Oslo…


…with an impressive luggage bag


The group photo was take at the tea break.


Time to get moving, riders get ready

The ride continued along the Glomma river, we were riding in the forest along the shore line on gravel paths to reach the ferry over to the small village of Sellebakk on the other side of Glomma. At the ferry station, the Kammerfest i Ostfoldband was playing music again. We were all standing by our bicycles waiting for our turn to board the small ferry, while we were waiting many of us took out refreshments from our baskets and hip flasks. It is impotent to stay hydrated when being active.

Suddenly I heard the band playing music by one my favourite artists, the Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson. That was really a surprise for me, standing there listening to fantastic music, feeling the breeze from the waters and the sun heating my tweed suite. It was a great day!


The Fredrikstads bridge over Glomma


At the ferry crossing I had the opportunity to have a toast with Pennyheartbleed


Live music during the our waiting for the ferry


We were about 200 riders waiting to cross the river on the ferry…


…we all were in a good mood and was having a great time


Look at those details on those Norwegian vintage bicycles, simply amazing


The small ferry across the river Glomma

Across the river we all joined up again and headed up to the old village Sellebakk, where we could buy refreshments, warm locally fish cakes and locally made soda. That was really thoughtful and a wonderful idea of the organizers to have an small refreshment station along the route. After all, the tweed event is not an speed event. We are supposed to ride for a while, talk, socialize and have a great time! Standing with a soda an warm fish cake talking bicycles, that is what I call socialize.


Locally made tasty soft drink, great refreshment for us sun-baked, tweed wearing riders…


…served in genuine fish (shrimp?) cooling boxes filled with ice


Streets of Sellbakk, only a few details tells us it is an modern photo and not a photo from the 30´s

After the break we were on out way again. Going south, in to the forests leading towards Gammelbyn and the finish line. It was on that stretch of the route, next bicycle incident happened for me. I was riding behind a rider that had a small trailer behind his bicycle.

At this event there were many riders that had small trailers hooked up behind their bicycles where small children were seated. Suddenly the rider in front of me took a narrow turn over the curb, the left wheel on the trailer was lifted up, the trailer toppled over and was dragged along the gravel. Because I was right behind the trailer, I saw the trailer topple over.

I noticed things was falling out of the trailer, just in front of me. I quickly pedalled backwards to apply the break while tried to avoid hitting anything that fallen out. Quickly I dismounted my bicycle to see if anyone was hurt. Luckily there was only luggage in the trailer, no children. It scared me quite a bit. But in the end all went fine, that is the important thing. After helping the rider with his trailer, we all got up on our bicycles and headed along.


The blue trailer that scared the living daylight out of me


Now that is one way you can use the luggage rack


Soon arriving at Fredrikstads museum and the finish line

After a nice ride around Gammelbyn we arrived at Fredrikstad museum and were able to park our bicycles and join the party. As always it was a lovely party with an bar filled with beer, wine, hot dogs, crisps and gin and tonic (of course).

The organizers had put up two large tents with tables and benches for the people who did not want to sit on picnic blankets in the grass. As last year, Mr B the gentleman rhymer entertained us with his ukulele and witty songs, he recived huge aplauds, laughs and sing-a-longs.

Later in the evening, prices was handed out to some lucky winners. One of the winners was Mona, @badhairgoodshoes she received an price for being the best spokes person for Tweed Run Norway in the Instagram community. Well deserved! Congratulations to all winners!


The peaceful after party in an beautiful garden


We had entertainment by Mr B the gentleman rhymer, chap-hop. I say!


That is one cool bicycle


Other parked bicycles just outside the garden


My old Hermes managed to stay in one piece this time, no broken pedals. The only sad thing during the day was that I lost my bicycle number card, that I use to keep as an souvenir. Oh, well. Never mind.


Tweed Run Norway, truly an bicycle event for the entire family


Vintage bicycles in the sunset

The evening came. It had been an fun and lovely day in every way, we thanked the organizers and said good bye to old and new friends. It was time to head back to the hotel! We were asked to join next year again. It is tempting, perhaps the trains would allow the passengers to bring their bicycles by then? We can only hope.

Thank you all for a wonderful event.

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Wauhtiajot 2019, Helsinki

Wauhtiajot is a bicycle race in the spirit of past heroes of bicycling of yesteryears, that was held in Helsinki / Finland on Saturday August 17th.

There are two tracks in this race, the long track is 100 kilometres and the other, more modest and shorter track, is 25 kilometres. The riders have even a follow car so they could repair bicycles and take care of riders if necessary. There is a picnic in the middle of the ride for both the riders for the long track and the short track. After the picnic all riders can ride together across the finish line in Helsinki and enjoy some dinner, drinks, company of good friends and listen to great music for the rest of the evening


First time making this trip in the summer

Back in February, when I attended the Helsinki Winter Tweed Run, I got an invitation to join the Wauhtiajot event later that summer. It sounded really fun, after all the bicycle riding I have done in Helsinki in the winter time. Why not try riding a bicycle in Helsinki during the summer?

Wauhtiajot is an event mostly for old racer bicycles. Keepin the spirit of the old heroes of bicycling, like the early Italian and French riders that were really men of steel. Riding bicycles on narrow gravel roads all around continental Europe, while drinking wine and beer as refreshments along the way.


The bar at the start/finish line


An old poster


Number 57

I had not used an racing bicycle since I was 16 years old and crashed my silver 10 speed racer. I was going fast along the road when suddenly the front wheel gave up underneath me. The crash caused me to gracefully slide across the asphalt for a bit, transforming my clothes to shreds. But there was no worries this time, the short track of the Wauhtiajot event was easier and slower that the longer one. It sounded perfect for me and my Crescent from 1928.

Sadly it turned out that the old Crescent had some small play in the crank, most likely an issue with the bearings being worn after 90 years. So, as a final decision, I played safe, and choose the reliable old Hermes bicycle from 1955. Single geared and weighing like an old hospital bed. All other riders would fly pass me all the time. But at least, I would attend the event!

The weekend started all wrong. I was slightly ill, feeling a bit under the weather as they say. While mentioning the weather. The forecast said that on the day of the event, it was going to be rainy and cold. But it turned out to be one of the best days of summer so far, at least that how it felt for me since I am not a friend of to hot weather. So there I was, over dressed and feeling a bit down. The day was going to be a challenge for me.


One of two tandems at Wauhtiajot 2019, this one was heading for the short track..


…the captain makes some final adjustments before the start


Line up for the 25 kilometres riders. We all had numbers on our backs. The great thing with the numbers was that we only borrowed them. After the race was over we signed our number tag with our names and the date and handed them back to the organizers.


The route took us along some lovely scenery along the coast line…


…and along paths in the forest


There is no need for racing bicycles. But gears in general are really nice to have among the hills of Helsinki

After the start at 11 o’clock we took some lovely roads around the outskirts of Helsinki, along the sea shore, into the woods, along winding small roads and tracks. The tempo was rather nice. Going up steep hills, going down even steeper hills. After about an hour we had an short break.

Then about at the 10 kilometres mark, while going up an bridge to cross an road I felt the right pedal stopped to turn. Suddenly the pedal just disappeared from underneath my shoe and struck the ground hard with my foot. Parts of the pedal was flying everywhere on the ground behind me.


Disaster, I had tubes for the tires, tools for nuts and bolts. But no spare pedals with me

That was it, after some quick words with the leader of the short track I decided to walk back to the finish line and join them all there. Sadly I missed the picnic and the rest of the fun going across the finish line. A quick look at my smartphone I started to walk. An hours walk with the bicycle across Helsinki, in full blazing sun.

Finally I walked across the finish line and talked to some of the others there. The two lovely ladies that made Italian soup for all riders to eat. The crew on the vintage follow car, it was very nice and welcoming. After an hour they all came along the road, riders from both the short and long track. All smiling, happy. After some speeches and cheering. We all were handed a beer, specially made for Wauhtiajot.


Italian soup made by KahVelo, what a wonderful soup. Tasty, hot and comforting for me.


The heroes crosses the finish line


Now that is what I call a follow car


The special beer for the event

Later that night Maestro Ruscello e Gruppo Velocitá played lovely music and the party was really going. Since I was a bit under the weather and the aftermath from the pedal incident, I decided to retire early in the evening, thanking all the organizers for a wonderful event before saying say good bye and heading back to the hotel for a long rest.

The day after the event it was time to go back to Stockholm with the ferry. Even if the bicycle was broken, I needed to get it onboard the ferry. What an adventure…


Even with a broken pedal you need to get the bicycle back on the boat.
But that is another story

 

 

The black bicycle, part 2

My search for a black bicycle had started after I got my interest back for vintage bicycles. I knew it was impossible to get exactly the one my father once had. But I wanted a similar one.

One day I found an odd bicycle shop located in a cellar in the central parts of Stockholm. In the basement they had a range of bicycles for sale. Many brand new bicycles but also used modern ones. But in the back, behind huge piles of rusty mountain bikes and cheep standard bicycles were some vintage bicycles that caught my eye.

Like a line dancer on a windy day I manage to get closer to the vintage bicycles to find out more about them. They were dusty, rusty and had flat tires. But they all had price tags. Oh dear!

Now that was rather high prices for those old beaten up bicycles. I got out from the cellar and talked with the man behind the counter. He said that vintage bicycles was the greatest thing at the moment. He was selling them like never before. There was a huge demand for them. As we talked for a while, I mentioned my idea for the black bicycle. He got interested and asked me to wait a moment. He went in to the storage and after a short while came back holding a frame. It was a old 1930’s frame without any parts attached, it was only the frame.


The start of my first vintage bicycle

He said that he had an storage on the countryside where he had parts that could fit. If I was interested he could collect the parts needed for me. So I could build my own bicycle. It would be cheaper that way, the man said.

A few weeks later I returned to the shop. Now they had some parts i needed to build a 1930’s bicycle. Frame, mud guards and rims, all parts was painted in a lovely black finish with gold pin-striping. The frame had gold filled ornaments shaped like wings. He also had collected spokes, Torbedo hubs (a demand from me) and a set of original screws to fit the entire bicycle. It all was in the shop for me to buy. He had told me that I should thread the wheels myself then return to him when I was done and he would make them true and tuned up.

Some parts were to damaged in my opinion, like a rusty chain wheel and a crooked luggage rack. I thought that I could get them my self on internet auctions. Piece of cake! I would soon have this bicycle running.

I got home happy as could be.


Frame, mud guards, rims. It was a promising start.

The following weeks I started to collect parts, buying from internet auctions. Handel bars, chain guard, chain wheel, saddle and so on. One day I decided to look at all parts I got more closely. It was then I noticed that the frame had drilled holes on the front post. Holes clearly meant for a badge of some sort. Funny thing was I recognized the pattern from somewhere. After searching in my old “could be usable one day parts” drawer I found an old Hermes bicycle badge. It fitted the pattern of the holes! It was an Uppsala build Hermes frame, I looked up the serial number and found out it was from 1933. That was just great! But could I use the chain wheel I had bought on auction? Now I knew that the frame was a Hermes and the chain wheel I got was a odd 1960’s one. It would never look good.


Chain wheel and handle bar post, I have no idea what brand they are.

Never mind. I thought that I would try on the mud guards, just to see how the look of the bicycle would end up. They mud guards I bought from the odd shop in the city was original 1930’s ones. Never used, shiny black with golden pin-striping with duck tails. The front guard fitted like a glove. But I tried the rear guard, it did not fit! The mud guard was to wide for the frame, I could force it in. But then I would destroy the mud guard.  Beside that the front fork was not original to the frame, it missed the wing ornaments and was painted white. What to do?

I decided to go on. Build the wheels and make at least a working bicycle.

Next episode of the black bicycle, the amazing adventure of the wheels.

Uppsala Vintage Biking 2017

It was time for my 4th Tweed ride this year.

Uppsala Vintage Biking is a brand new event that was held for the first time this year. It was held at the same day as the festival Kulturnatten (Culture night) was held in the university town of Uppsala. I found out about this event early in 2017 and decided to participate juist for fun. In the summer an event was started on Facebook for Uppsala Vintage Biking, I signed up for it and paid a small starting fee.

The day for the event came, I took my lunch box with home made sandwiches and a beer (not home made), packed my bicycle bag and left home early in the morning for a ride to the commuter train station. These days you can take the commuter train all the way to Uppsala from Stockholm. It is just to add an extra fee to the regular travel card, simple and effective. For the first time I was going to take the bicycle on a train, I have never done that before. It was an experience.


Arrival of the commuter train to Uppsala

As soon as I stepped on to the train with my bicycle I bumped in to more bicycles already parked in the vestibule on the train. My first thought was “now this is just great, I can not stand here”. Then I noticed that it was old bicycles, really old bicycles. Vintage ones. Right beside them there was a gang dressed in tweed, just like me. “Hello”, they shouted. We recognized each others and I was invited to sit with them. Then we started to talk about tweed, bicycles and the new event we were going to. One hour later the train was in Uppsala, it was a quick and pleasant ride with nice company.


Exiting the train at Uppsala station, 5 tweed dressed bicyclists started their journey.

We all gathered at the old docking bay at the old Nymans bicycle manufacturing plant, a classical bicycle maker in Uppsala. There the organizers greeted us, they handed out our starting numbers and some information about the route. They also gave us rain capes in case of rain. During the time we registered other tweed riders joined us. We all talked and had fun for a while before it was time to start the ride. The route was planned not only by the streets of Uppsala, but also the rides route was in the nature and wonderful parkways.


Lovely scenery in a old tree alley passage.


A slow ride along green hedges and grass lawns.

There was a break in Botaniska trädgården (Botanical garden) with a group photo of the riders and picnic on the schedule. Now this was a really impressive picnic break. They had arranged two long tables for us to sit by under a big archway. There were a brass band playing old jazz songs when we arrived. We parked our bicycles and sat down at the tables. There we sat and had our food and drinks while listening to old jazz standards played live. It was a lovely and wonderful time! Sadly we needed to get on our way.


Live jazz and picnic, great relaxation


Bicycles parked while we were at the picnic break


A Vintage Rider, with a lovely 1920’s dress and an Uppsala build Hermes bicycle

The ride continued up around the Uppsala castle were we had a small stop. Up there we admire the view and used the time to gather up all the riders. After a few minutes we went down the hills passing Uppsala cathedral and in to the central parts of the town. Because it was the culture night festival the streets were filled with people, stands, children, music and laughs. It was a real festival feeling in all of Uppsala. We got lots of cheers and liking from people when riding the streets and over the bridges with our vintage bicycles and everyone dressed in tweed or vintage dresses.


View from Uppsala castle


Down to Uppsala cathedral

The next stop was when the entire Vintage Biking crew went in to Nymans museum to get a guided tour around the collections of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles and boat engines.

After that guided tour we all went to the central shopping street for the finish and price ceremony. After thanking the organizers and saying good bye and promising to meet next time it was time to go home. I got company to the train by a fellow rider, she showed me the way to the railway station and there the long journey home began.

It was a excellent event! I lift my hat for the organizer! Lovely, fun and heart warming!

Thank you, see you all next year?

Springtime for Tweed

It has been a while since I last wrote here. Well, as usual I have no good excuse for not writing. More that laziness and that the weather has been bad (says the fellow who wrote an article about riding a bicycle in Helsinki in the middle of February).

That is true, but can I say to my defence that I actually had nothing interesting to write about? After all, reading about bicycles and more bicycles can be a bit boring for you. Considering that I once stated that the motto of this blogg was “my view of things around me”. Then the question is, how difficult can it be to write things that are around me? Strangely, not difficult at all.
But, what can I write to still keep the level of my writing style? I can of course write political articles, reviews of things that I tried. I could write endless posts about movies, music, life and so on. But would I like to do that? Strangely, yes and no.


the sticker from Helsinki tweed run is still there

If I started a long time ago and kept it all under one roof, all writings, thoughts and articles collected here under this blogg. Then it would have be a great collection of my views. An time line over what I, as a person, was developing. Different interests and ideas over the years. But after starting this blogg rather recently.  I realized that I wanted to keep it clean, no statements other that “tweed is nice” and “vintage bicycling is the bees knees”, you get the point. An sort of silly, harmless writing about things that offends no one. That is what we really need at this day and age. More harmless silliness about nothing.

So here I am, writing about old bicycles and Tweed hoping that I offend no one.

In fact, now when writing about it. I realize that I never have written anything about tweed it self, the cloth. All my experiences of the cloth with stories from my early teens up to the present. The change in fashion and other ideas all over but how tweed always was important and why a grey herringbone tweed was important for me. Could that be something for you to read?

Or I could write about my ideas for a new bicycle project that I have been thinking of for many years. Once I had an old Swedish military bicycle from the 40’s. Sadly it was in a pretty bad shape and was later even stolen. But today, I would really like to get one again and this time really try to get it in good working order. It would be fun, they are heavy, but reliable!

I can also now officially let you know that I have an vision to participate of 5 different Bicycle Tweed Rides/races/runs this year. That vision brings me to the issue of bicycles in general. After all, I really would love to only have one good vintage bicycle that I could use and participate in different Tweed Rides. But as now, I had different bicycles in every event. There is more articles to write about. In fact, when thinking about it. I have no time to do something else than writing. The questing is how to earn money on writing?

To something completely different. The weather today was an lovely day in the spring with lots of sunshine and chirping birds. In short, it was a perfect day to take the 1956 Hermes bicycle for a ride. I have not moved or looked at it since my return from the Helsinki event, I have not even cleaned it yet. But still the tires had full pressure, nothing on the frame was loose.
I brought my tweed jacket and took a ride. It went smooth as silk. They knew how to make great bicycles back then.


the weather was perfect for an ride with an vintage bicycle, springtime

Happy Tweed!