Bicycling Bonhomie Expected As Tweedy Cyclists Set To Charm London Tomorrow

Even though nearly 1,000 cyclists are set take over the streets of London tomorrow in a rolling road block there’s expected to be no angst. This will be a peloton with panache, and one guaranteed to make even White Van Man smile.

The Tweed Run is a dandy’s delight – Brylcreem and bow ties for some of the gentlemen; capes and cycling skirts for some of the ladies.

Tweed and straw boater at the 2018 event.

Tweed Run

This gloriously eccentric outing matches top-hats with Harris tweeds, and conflates Steampunk romanticism with verifiable vintage. A typical outfit consists of 1890s-style weskit and breeks coupled with a 1920s-era working man’s flat cloth-cap. A typical bicycle is a 1930s-style roadster with “mustache” handlebars.

Now in its 11th year, the Tweed Run is famous for its good natured wending past London landmarks, with no angry shouts from held-up motorists. Instead, it’s safe to predict, all will be raised-hats and tally-ho! tomorrow.

Where’s my bike?

Tweed Run

The sold-out ride is a 12-mile dawdle, but the route, for now, remains a mystery. Only the organizers, Bourne & Hollingsworth, know where the dapper pack will meander. Riders – each of whom has paid £30 to take part – don’t get told where they will be pedalling until the morning of the ride.

Bourne & Hollingsworth is an events management company but started by opening themed bars and restaurants in swanky parts of London.

Owner Mark Holdstock specializes in retro – his Blitz Parties are infamous – and even the company name is a throwback: it’s named for defunct British department store where his mother once sold gloves.

Tweed Run 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine.


300 riders attended the first Tweed Run in 2009. It quickly spawned other Tweed Runs around the world, all of which are licensed by Bourne & Hollingsworth.  There have been Tweed Runs in New York, Tokyo, Florence, St. Petersberg and, it almost goes without saying, San Francisco.

The first Tweed Run was co-organised by PR specialist Jacqui Shannon and designer Ted Young-Ing, who remembered it started “because I had been to Glasgow and bought some lovely tweed plus 4′s which I wanted an excuse to wear.”

Tweed Run 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden


Back in 2009, Young-Ing, now creative director of a Berlin perfume house, had been art director of Brooks England, the 152-year-old maker of fine English bicycle saddles. Calling himself “Lord Teddy of Holdsworth” – a play on a famous English bicycle marque – Young-Ing co-organized the event through, an online forum for London-based fixed gear and single-speed riders.

The “LFGSS Winter Dress Club Run,” not yet given headline billing as the Tweed Run, was a “social ride with a bit of style” where “proper attire will of course be expected.”

Suggested togs? “Woollen plus fours, Harris tweed jackets, flat caps, Fairisle jumpers, Alpaca coats, Merino wool team jerseys, cycling skirts and perhaps a jaunty cape for the ladies, cravats or ties for gentlemen, and of course a hip flask of brandy.”

Shannon, a Canadian, told

When I came to London I came with a dream to create an international event company. Tweed Run became the opportunity to have that so for the first five years I worked to create that vision and we delivered events with some of the most iconic brands in cities around the world.”

Brands associated with the event over the years have included Ralph Lauren, Levis, Hendricks Gin, and Johnny Walker. One of this year’s lead sponsors is country clothing retailer Cording’s, founded in 1839.

The friendly nature of the ride has been present from the very beginning. The “Doff of The Cap award” was given to the “most civilised behaviour on the day.”

While the full route is not known, those in London wishing to see the start of the ride should head, at 10am, to B&H Buildings in Clerkenwell, close to Kings Cross station.

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