Tweed Run Norway 2018

When I attended to the London Tweed Run earlier this year, I met the Norwegian delegation. While we were chatting and having a cup of tea they mentioned that they where having an Tweed Run back in Norway. Their next ride was set later in the fall of 2018 for the second year in a row.

Of course I felt right away that I should join that event. After all, I have now been riding my bicycles while dressed in tweed in Sweden, Finland and Great Britain . It was when thinking of joining the Norwegian event that my plans for attending all the Nordic country’s started. If I visited Norway, Denmark and Iceland my tour of tweed bicycling would be complete. I know that Denmark has an tweed event. But how about Iceland? That is a question for the future.

The 1st of September 2018 was set for the Tweed Run Norway event in the town of Fredrikstad that are located in the southern parts of Norway.  In preparation for the event I adjusted and serviced my trusty old 1956 Hermes. A trusty bicycle that have been in several Tweed rides by now, it was the best choice to use it in Norway. I packed the tool box on the luggage rack with some necessary tools. I put a simple tire repair kit in my bag along with my tweed suit and strapped the bag on to the rack. I was ready to go.


My Hermes from 1956 all packed and ready for new adventures

The day before the event a friend and I, started our journey to Fredrikstad. We took our bicycles apart, front wheel, saddles and turned the handlebars sideways so they could fit inside the car with ease. Then we were off, we had many miles to cover.

The journey went well, crossing the border in to Norway for my fourth international tweed event. We arrived at Fredrikstad later that evening. We checked in to our hotels and got some rest after the long journey. We decided to leave our bicycles in the car over the night. It was easier that way.

On the morning of the 1st of September I woke up and noticed the weather first of all. It was sunny and a bit chilly. In short, it was perfect tweed weather. I adjusted my tie in the mirror before meeting my friend in the hotel lobby. We walked to the car that was parked in a garage a bit away from the hotels. It was easy to remounted all parts we removed yesterday. On our way to the car we had bought some food for the picnic later on that we had put in our saddle bags.


Bicycling from the car in the garage heading for the start at Quality Hotel

We were among the first to arrive at Quality Hotel where the Tweed Run Norway check in was located. They had placed a desk outside the hotels entrance for registration and handing out our starting numbers were we was handed our starting numbers. One smaller note to fasten on your person and one larger note with the same number for the bicycle. We added our signs to our bicycles and jackets sleeves before entering the hotel and enjoying for a lovely brunch filled with Norwegian specialities like salmon, warm liver pâté with bacon and different salads.

The organisers of Tweed Run Norway had made a deal with the hotel so those who attended the ride could buy brunch and even a small picnic bag at Quality Hotel for a good price. We had only signed up on the brunch at the hotel, because we wanted to get some special sandwiches and traditional pastries like “Skolebrød” that is a sweet wheat bun with vanilla cream placed in a hole at the top and covered with glaze with small coconut shavings on top of that (sorry but there is no photo of that bun, it disappeared so fast).

While we were sitting in the restaurant we met and said hello to other tweedians who also had their brunch at the hotel restaurant. Champagne corks were popping, people were happy. It was a great start of a great day!


The Tweed Run Norway check in, just outside Quality hotel


Lovely dressed lady at the start

After being full and satisfied from all great food we joined the the crowd outside. Now people had really started to show up. Lovely dresses, handsome suits and lovely bicycles. We talked to other participants and admired the great bicycles when suddenly it was time. In the end we were 200 riders that was participating in the event.


Tweed and dashing chaps


Flat tire repairs just before the start


The street was getting crowded by other tweed riders


Flower braided baskets are always nice


Norwegian flags with the flag of Scotland

At one a clock it was time to start our ride. Bystanders stopped and cheered, children were waving, a symphony of bicycle bells chimed in the town centre. The ride was in a slow and enjoyable pace, the weather was perfect. We rode along the streets, it was a real treat to see all old wooden houses in the town. It was a sight for us all.


Time to start, cheering people and chiming bells


Picturesque surroundings


A very nice route


What to do when you bicycle breaks down? Ride along on the luggage rack

After a while we arrived at an bridge. The route was planned to cross the river on a bridge to the island of Kråkerøy. But sadly the bridge that could open for boats to pass and  had broken just before we arrived at the bridge.

The organizers had a backup plan, a quick decision was made to ride on the shore of the mainland was made. The unforeseen stop was very short and hardly noticeable. Instead of visiting the island we found ourself riding our bicycles along the Bryggepromenaden (board-walk/shore-promenade) of central Fredrikstad, the promenade was filled with strolling people. They all cheered and waved at us while we went by. Even many cars that were stopped to let us pass and later on was waved to drive on stood still. The drivers said that they rather watched us ride our bicycles than to drive away and miss seeing the event.

After more cycling around the town streets we ended up for a tea break at Domkirkeparken (Cathedral park). Lots of chatting and clinking of teacups, also there was time for a group photography before we headed along. We all gathered around the pavilion and got the group photo taken.


Tea break at Domkirkeparken


Plenty of bicycles to admire


Norwegian gentleman with his fantastic bicycle


Really wonderful flower girls, it was not all tweed


The tea was served in really nice cups

After the tea break the ride continued up on the banks of river Glomma up to a ferry crossing where we went over to the small village of Sellebakk and continued the ride southward on the banks of the river. From a fellow rider I learned that this was locations for shipyards saw mills and brickyard’s back in the day. Now it was forests mixed with houses along the shore line.


That was one happy dog


The small ferry, it took about 5 or six turns to get all 200 of us over the river

We went further south to Gamlebyen, the old fortified part of Fredrikstad. There we arrived at the finish for our journey. At the old buildings there was one more photo session, this time individual photos were taken. Perhaps it was a bit unfortunate in my humble opinion. Because we all were a bit out of breath after climbing a small hill earlier. But it was fine anyway, the picnic waited with tasty food and drinks.


Fredrikstad Bridge


Many green areas along the river


Arriving at Commandantgaarden


The beer specially made for the event by a local brewery


A Swedish bicycle of the brand Apollo. It was made in Värnamo in the 50’s, it was also used by a visiting Swede

The picnic was held at the really lovely Commandantgaarden (the commander garden) on the grass under old apple trees. There was a price ceremony for the best riders. Later on Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer entertained us with his tweed-hip-hop-ukulele-style songs. Drinks of all sorts and hot dogs were served at the bar by a really nice crew of people.


Price ceremony, that was followed by…


Mr B, The Gentleman Rhymer who put on a splendid show complete with sing-a-longs

It was an excellent event, a great experience and a wonderful day! We tip our hats and says tally-ho and raises our glasses to thank the organisers.

Cheers and until next tweed event!

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The black bicycle, part 4

Realizing that size matters.

The wheels were made. They were threaded by me and then re-threaded by the shop, that was a minor setback. But there where complete with shiny hubs black rims and brand new spokes and nipples.They were looking just great! I thought that this would be a fun and easy build. During the months I had collected parts that would fit the black bicycle. After all the frame was a 1930’s Hermes, I had found a front badge that fitted the pre drilled holes on the frame. I found an almost unused chain wheel, complete with Fauber crank and bearings.


Hermes chain wheel and a Fauber crank with pedals waiting to be mounted on a bicycle

The black mudguards with their gold piping, a great looking handlebar with black wooden grips, an flat iron rear luggage rack. Then the small details as vintage screws that I had cleaned and polished. The unused reflector from 1930’s for the rear mudguard, a large chromed head light with a fitting brand of dynamo. Everything was ready, the build could start!


Worn saddle, an old Bosch headligt with dynamo. All from about mid 1930’s

I placed all the main parts on the floor in the cellar. The front fork was not original Hermes, it lacked the ornaments on the sides also it was painted white. But you can not win all the time. Beside, I could always paint the fork black, no problem. It would be a easy task of fitting the crank and ball bearings, grease them up and make then fit perfectly.

By some strange reason that I can not explain today. I decided to dry mount the mudguards and wheels first of all. Perhaps only to see if it would look good, or if it all fitted as it should.

Disaster!

When I fitted the front mudguard to the fork, it was a perfect match. But when I tried to fit the rear mudguard on to the rear fork of the frame, it was to wide. I could not get the mudguard to fit into the frame. The frame was to tight, to narrow… For me, bending the original 1940’s mudguard with the price tag still attached to squeeze it into the frame was not an option. My heart sank to the bottom of the nostalgic river.

All this time collecting parts and planning the bicycle was wasted. In a depressed state I put all parts in a box and gave away many of the parts I collected. I kept the wheels, mudguards and the frame. Why? I do not know, perhaps because they were so great looking with the black finish with golden pin striping.

One more reason why gave away many parts was simply that I had no space for all the parts. The cellar was filled with bicycles and strange bicycle parts. I really need a special dedicated space for all bicycle related stuff. Perhaps a warehouse or a shop. Oh, now that would be the dream. An workshop with a showroom to display all the bicycles.

Now I was thinking if I ever would get that black bicycle from my childhood. I saw many bicycles for sale online at different sites that was perfect. But now I have spend so much money on all parts that I could not defend buying a complete bicycle.

So instead of throwing away the parts I placed the wheels and the frame in the back of the storage in the cellar behind some boxes with Christmas decorations.

One day perhaps I will figure out something to do with it all.

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.

Malmö Tweed Ride 2016

Welcome back dear reader! How has your summer been? Way to hot when using tweed I guess. Perhaps even to hot for riding an old bicycle with no gears and wobbly wheels? But now when the weather are cooler and the autumn is around the corner it is time to take the old tweed suit out in the fresh air.

Different unplanned things happened this summer, but other things did not happen as planned. For example my bicycle projects I mentioned earlier did not happen. The Monark racer is still standing in a corner collection dust, the black Hermes frame and all the belonging parts is still in parts. The Pelago Path racer I built a few years back are about to be sold. The reasons for all those things are equally simple and silly.

First is the reason that I feel stressed out due to the lack of space for building and renovating old bicycles. Then there is that racer style bicycles is killing my back when riding them. I can simply not sit leaned forward on a bicycle for a long time. So why have bicycles around that I do not use? Better to sell them and save money to a bicycle that I can use without problem.

But to one thing that happened that was a fun event! Saturday the 3rd of September 2016 the 4th annual “Malmö Tweed Ride” was held. It is like the “Bike in Tweed” event in Stockholm, or like the “Tweed Run” in London. It is a gathering of people that loves old bicycles, tweed clothes and likes to dress up. I was there with my old Hermes from 1956.

We all gathered at Gustav Adolfs torg (square) in central parts of Malmö around noon. I was there and noticed many tweed riders joined from all streets leading up to the square. The weather was perfect for us, cloudy with a bit of sun from time to time.  When the time was 13:00 the announcer greeted us welcome, it was time to register and each rider would receive a pin. It was a pin that shows that you were a participant of the race this year. Well, race is perhaps the wrong word, a run or parade, perhaps even an show and gathering while riding mostly vintage bicycles in a calm speed across the town is more accurate. So we all could enjoy the surroundings and all the lovely bicycles in the parade.

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2016 Malmö Tweed Ride pin on a tweed suit lapel

After receiving our pins, we all formed a starting line and we left Gustav Adolfs torg for a ride along the old city of Malmö. People cheered and waved to us along the streets. Many was happy and asked us what it was all about, old persons talked about how they used to have an bicycle, just like the ones we were riding, when they where young. With a smile and a nostalgic look on their faces they watched us making noises with our bells and horns along the way.

The ride went around Malmö for a while before we had a stop at Västra hamnen (West harbour) where the old mechanical warehouses was located and was nod demolished for new buildings and developments. It was a large place at the water front where the sponsor Hendricks gin served us lemonade and cucumber sandwiches. Tasteful and refreshing in the last of the summer sun rays! There was music during the rest, an gentleman played jazz records on a old gramophone, complete with funnel and crank. It was really nice to sit and listen to old crackling 75 rpm records and drinking lemonade.

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A good selection of music played on a real gramophone

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Time to start again

After the break there was time for the group photo, we all were directed to sit in a group on the board walk. After the photographers was happy we all went for our bicycles again and started the final leg of the run. The path we tool led us down to the sea side and the new land mark in Malmö, the “turning torso” tower, it is an apartment house with 54 floors. Impressive and we where riding just at its base and entrance. Then we took the roads back to the central parts of Malmö where we all ended up in Folkets park “the peoples park”, it is the oldest peoples park in Sweden. It was founded over 120 years ago.

When arriving there we all received a drink ticket from Hendricks gin, non-alcoholic alternative were available to! Then it was mingle and chatting with all the participants. We all sat on the dance floor in old furnitures and listened to Svempas Swinging Trio, an jazz trio that played old standards in a really refreshing way. Lots of energy and joy! There was a small vegetarian buffet that was really nice after the long ride we just finished.

After the food and mingle it was time for the prize ceremony. Best dressed lady, best dressed gentleman and the best looking bicycle. Hendricks gin had also the special prize “the most unusual award”. It was a great evening and an perfect ending to a fun and nice day in Malmö. Friendly people and an great atmosphere an flawless organisation and arrangement! Good briefing of the guidelines and that there was an bicycle repairman in the parade, but most important an medic that was scanning the parade all the time. In short it was a great event!

I lift my cap for you and we will see you all next year!

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Projects and visions

I know I have written about all my bicycles that I have and the ideas that I have for all of them. But is that all? Have I told you everything? No, sadly not. It is worse. Thing is that one bicycle was the gateway to a second. As of now I am at 7 bicycles. This must end, I can not collect more. Well, of course I can. But there is more of an logistic matter. Where to store them? My basement storage is now filled to an such extent that I can not enter or mend the bicycles inside. I have to take the bicycles outside to access my tools and spare parts inside of the storage unit.

More than the project with the black Hermes bicycle from the 1930’s that I am currently saving parts for and that I will build into something that I will use as an homage to my grandfather. But also use at Bike in Tweed 2016. I also have the old Monark bicycle that I was going to turn into a retro racer, the white lightening. The original plan was that I was going to re build it in to a path racer just like the Pelago. But this time using an vintage frame and keeping the original worn and rugged paint. But since I have been using the bicycle I feel that I need to do something special with it, it is a fun bicycle and needs more attention than it have now. I am thinking of an complete repaint because, partly because of all the brackets that are welded onto the frame. The chain guard, luggage rack and side stand brackets are just unnecessary now. Simply grind them off, have the frame completely sanded down and the repainted in a nice colour, perhaps in British racing green? That would make the frame looking just great. The mount it all with the original parts all polished, cleaned and shiny.

The original rear wheel hub is worn and in a messy condition. After all it has been abused since the late 1950’s so I guess it has have all rights to be worn by now. The plan is that I have a old Torpedo hub from the 1950’s in my storage that would fit just great with the Monark’s chromed rims . I will re-spoke the rear wheel, truing it and have new tires mounted. The chromed front fork, the stem and handlebars, add an black Brooks saddle. I have some unused black wooden old grips in a drawer that will be perfect addition to the racer. If it all turns out well, perhaps I will contact the Monark bicycle brand (that still exists) and ask if they got some old vintage sheets of decals for the frame. It will be quite nice looking.

But still, I have no room for all bicycles. That forces me to reconsider my plans. In short, I need to sell some of my bicycles. But how and where? Who wants to but a worn old bicycle where I started a project and never finished it.

It turned out that I know a fellow bicyclist that owns a shop for new bicycles. I will ask him if I can sell my bicycles in his shop. Since the ones I am building are looking quite unique I think that they might act as magnet in his shop. Customers will enter the shop and look around get a look of my old retro bicycles and will be curious. Perhaps even buy something in the shop. I think it is a good idea, perhaps the shop owners will think that to. After all I think it would look nice with both the Pelago path racer and the Monark racer side by side in a shop. New and old, both retro. Ready for riding the streets in the summer, with or without tweed.

Visions are important.

 

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