I tweed, therefore I am…

According to wikipedia –

tweed is a rough, coarse, unfinished woollen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven.  It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern.  Subdued, interesting color effects (heather mixtures) are obtained by twisting together differently coloured woolen strands in a two- or three-ply yarn.

There’s more, but you get the picture.  Well, here’s the picture:

So, what does tweed have to do with riding a bicycle?  We return to wikipedia:

Tweeds are desirable for informal outwear, being moisture-resistant and durable.  Once worn in, tweeds are commonly worn for outdoor activities such as shooting and hunting, in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Long before the invention of the so-called “miracle” synthetic fibers, tweeds and other woolen fabric were perfect for bike riding in cooler weather.  Old photographs from the Victorian era to the 1930s show riders in tweed norfolk jackets and woolen knickers.  

The whole notion of a tweed ride is more than just a nostalgic form of cosplay.   The tweed ride movement evokes a desire to return to a more civilised time, in behaviour, attitude and dress.   That means obeyance to all vehicular laws, rules, ordinances, and regulations.   Tweed riders are courteous, polite, gallant even.  Plus, as we witnessed during our trip to the Interbike trade show, there seems to be a return to natural fibers in cycling apparel; see “smartwool.”

As an aside, even though the title of our event refers to the variation of tweed made in Shannon, Ireland rather than Miss November of 1981 and Gene Simmons’ significant other, one wonders why a porn star would adopt a name meaning “rough, coarse, unfinished…”  I mean, wouldn’t something like “velvet” be more appropriate?  Just wonderin’…

Happy Christmas to all… and have a good Boxing Day tomorrow.

Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  

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