Exploring the History of Fashion through Bicycling

Tweed Run Helps Support A Thriving Community of Cyclists

Local bike ride modeled after rides across the pond, bring placemaking to the streets while raising funds and learning through the lens of history!

Typically, bicycling attire for a modern American involves flexible athletic clothing and sneakers. But at the beginning of cycling history, during the early 19th century, cyclists wore their typical, everyday clothing even when using bicycles for transport. In fact, women’s fashion of the time was a hindrance to their ability to ride, and this was a catalyst for change in women’s style of dress and in the design of the bicycle as manufactures began marketing towards women. 

Early English cycling attire was similarly refined, which is the inspiration behind the local community event, Tweed Run. This event started in London in 2009. Attendees were invited for a casual bike ride dressed in traditional tweed attire, preferably on vintage bicycles. Families in western Massachusetts are encouraged to do the same at the 2nd Annual Spring Tweed Ride in Northampton on Saturday May 14, 2016. The ride will begin at 2pm in the plaza behind Thorne’s Market, and culminate in Look Park for an afternoon tea with light refreshments.

This is a fun opportunity to dress up in vintage attire (if you wish) and get some exercise with your family. It is also an opportunity to discuss the history of bicycling and the history of fashion in England and the United States.

This local event will benefit the Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways, an organization which supports the use, development, and care of local bike trails. Participants can register online for sliding scale amounts starting at $15. Kids ride free! Northampton residents are lucky to live in an area which encourages and supports cycling, through convenient bike trails and bike lanes. Northampton even boasts a bicycle-run, trash and recycling service, Peddle People. All of these community efforts and the life choices of frequent cyclists help support sustainability through a lowered dependency on fossil fuels. Participating in the Tweed Run is your chance to give back to your community and show your support for cycling! Northampton, MA. ($ – $$$)

Follow your interests in textiles, history and bicycling with these related archived posts:

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[Photo credit: (cc) Don O’Brien]

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