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.

Lady blue

I just realized that I have never presented the bicycle I call Lady blue. Perhaps now is a good time as any.

Some years ago I was asked about an old bicycle, it was standing unused in a basement for many years. The owners said that they wound never ride a bicycle again, so it was time to pass it on. Since they knew that I was looking for a vintage bicycle, they thought that it best to ask me. I was told that the bicycle was given to the present owners from a friend of theirs. The original owner, a elderly lady from south of Sweden, had received the bicycle as a birthday gift when she was 8 years old back in mid 1930’s.


Hella, made in Kalmar in about 1935 as I got it

It was a nice story behind the bicycle, I headed home and started to think how I would restore it in the best way. Restore it to how it once looked, adding accessories from the period. The bicycle it self had a headbadge with the name “Hella” and the text “made in Kalmar” written on it. The rear wheel Torpedo hub was stamped with 31, so it was made around those years. That was completely in line with the story about the young girl receiving the bicycle as a present around 1935.

Since it was my first vintage bicycle restoring after I had sold my old grey Panther, I felt like doing a good job, or at least as good as I could. All with the knowledge, tools and parts I had in my possession to renovate and restore the bicycle. The first thing I did was to completely disassembly the entire bicycle in to small parts. All bearings, screws, and parts were inspected and cleaned. Some parts were in very good condition, but others like the handlebars and wooden grips were in a really bad shape and needed replacement.


New tires and tubes to be mounted on the newly cleaned rims


The frame is clean from parts, I have just mounted brackets and wheels to see how it looks

It was during the cleaning I found the serial number on the frame. Of the number I learned that the frame was made in the town of Gävle, far from Kalmar.

Back then Gefle Velocipedfabrik manufactured bicycle frames and sold them to local bicycle shops that created their own style of bicycles from parts and named them after their own shop. There are may examples of that practice around Sweden in from the start up to about the 1950’s. There are numerous small branded bicycles, many are built with parts from one of the few large bicycle parts manufactures at the time. But they have all sorts of brands, often the name comes from the shop owners own name, a Greek god, perhaps a town and so on.


Torpedo stamped with 31, the hub is made in 1931.

I found new old handlebars on an auction site, there I found an old bicycle bell, chain guard and other parts that I needed. After cleaning all parts, polishing the chrome, the fun of mounting everything together started. This time I took my time to get the bicycle done. I did not want to rush the process, it was my therapy and I wanted to show the old lady the result.

During the restoration I tried to keep the parts I got as replacements in a 1930s range. The vintage crochet skirt guard, 30’s style Swedish made ASEA headlight and dynamo. The saddle turned out to be a bit difficult, vintage 1930’s cushioned saddles are rare to find after all usage during the years. Instead I used an old vintage Brooks saddle as a substitute.

One day it was finished, and it looked really great. In fact I used it as a prop when doing a photo shoot.


1930’s ASEA bicycle lamp…


… withan ASEA brass dynamo.

A few years later, I took a look at my first rebuilding project. I quickly realized that I never completed the job, the wheels were missing spokes, the saddle were still the worn Brooks and the tires were a bit to wide to fit the mudguards. It was at that moment after learning new information about old bicycles that the bicycle was remade in the early 1950’s.

Since the bicycle was made in mid 1930’s it was supposed to be painted with a special kind of finish and pin striping. As it looks now it is clearly an late 1940’s, early 1950’s style. The chain wheel is changed, the reflector and other parts where changed. Back then it was common to take your old bicycle to your local bicycle shop, turn it in for a complete overhaul. The shop would change the bad parts, repaint and refurbish the entire bicycle. It was cheaper, you got a new bicycle for less money of the price for a brand new one. Back then bicycles were expensive and when you had a bicycle it was supposed to be taken care of, and used for a long time. It was an investment.


The chain guard and chromed crank. Clearly changed at some time during the years


Brook saddle and some vintage tools and a repair kit


It turned out really great, I only need a better saddle

It is not original 1931, but it looks really great. The circle became complete when I sent a photo of the bicycle to the owners I got the bicycle from, they showed the photo of the bicycle to the old lady. She was very happy to see that her old bicycle still were going and having a new life. Sadly the old lady passed away some months after that. But I did manage to fix her old bicycle so she could see it, it felt great.

If I fix the small issues, Lady blue has many years left of riding along the roads on sunny summer days. Or why not attend a tweed event?


Lady blue

Enskede Tweed, (Höstrusket 2019)

Saturday 26th of October. It was time for the third Enskede Tweed event, Höstrusket 2019.

The information about the event mentioned that the ride would be held despite weather, sun, rain or even snow. The Höstrusket event was happening. After all, tweed, is a fabric made for rugged weather. Tweed jacket, woollen scarf, wellingtons and knitted socks will keep you warm and dry all day long. Unless it is way to cold, but then it is only a matter of adding layers.

The rain poured down on the morning of the event, but the weather services indicated that the rain would stop around noon. Amazingly the rain stopped as predicted, but the grey skies were still threatening to deliver more rain during the day while we headed off to the start.

As the last time, the start was located at Triangelparken in Enskede. New for this time was that hot tea and freshly baked cake awaited the brave riders. The hot and tasty tea along with the cake made it feel a bit British among all the yellow leaves on the ground.

After finishing our tea and home baked cakes the organizers explained the route and encouraged the riders to remember the traffic rules. After all, we were going to ride along the streets together with others. Shortly thereafter, it was time to get the ride started.


The organizers offered tea and cake to the participants at the start at Triangelparken


Vintage bicycles from different makers and years, from 1930’s to 1960’s.

Following the back roads around Gamla Enskede (the old part of Enskede from 1910’s), we headed our way towards the “The Woodland Cemetery” with short stops along the way for some guidance and history about the areas. At the cemetery we stopped and visited the actress Greta Garbo’s grave before heading along the route.

It was a peaceful route on the cemetery, seeing places you normally do not visit. The Woodland Cemetery is a very large and beautiful place in Stockholm, it was a nice ride there. When exiting the cemetery we headed down to some of the oldest houses in Enskede, built around 1790. It was nice to see those old hoses, a memory from the time before 1930’s, when Stockholm city council decided to buy old farm mansions land to build complete new areas for the ever expanding population in Stockholm.


A quick break before entering the Woodland Cemetery


Parked bicycles at the location of actress Greta Garbo’s grave


On our way again

Enskede is an area built in different stages during the years. The first stage of development was back in 17th century, old mansions with huge land areas with large farms managed by smaller cottages and mansions located here and there. But in the early 1900, the large expansion started. Stockholm grew and needed new areas to build hoses and living areas. 1909 was when the “garden town” of Enskede was founded, a modern part of the city. Houses with gardens to grow flowers and vegetables.

Later on in the 1930’s large areas was built with cheep and simple wooden hoses that offered the working class their own homes. In fact the agency controlled by the city was called “Own homes agency”. That boom of houses had a second wave in the 50´s. While we were riding along with the Enskede tweed event, we saw all the different areas and the different architectures of the eras was clearly noticeable.

Our ride continued to the “own homes” areas of Tallkrongen and Svedmyra, areas that got their names from old farm houses that once was located on large mansions properties. As mentioned in an earlier article, Höstrusket 2018

We later headed down to Enskede fältet and the finish location at Enskede mansion as always. There it was time for the traditional group photo before the organizers thanked everyone and said that there will be a ride next year to.


The group photo at Enskede gård


Riding a bicycle with style

After chatting for a while and taking photos of bicycles and the riders, few of the riders decided to leave after a great day. The rest of us went to Enskede Värdshus for supper and drinks. After all, the ride in light drizzle and fairly rugged weather, we all looked forward to have some hot food.

The evening continued with many laughs and odd stories. It was a great eventing in every way. One of the topic were that the Höstrusket event is really nice, just because then there is a reason to get out and attend a tweed event one last time before the winter. After all, why sitting at home watching TV. When you can ride a bicycle, dressed in tweed instead?

Or as they say, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes”. With tweed, there is no excuses. Or very few ones at least.

Until next time, ride safely.