San Diego took a step back in time on Sunday, December 9, as over 125 people of all ages donned vintage clothing and rode old-school bikes in the fourth annual San Diego Tweed Ride. It was a jolly good time, indeed, which turned into much more than a typical get-together.
The event began with the group meeting up at Ward Canyon Park on Adams Avenue, where musician Greg Watson was playing ragtime music on a grand piano. Everyone sipped on spiced tea, took countless pictures, and admired each other’s smart-looking clothes and stylish bicycles. There were plenty of Victorian costumes, 1920s flapper-girl dresses, carnival outfits, top hats, fedoras, and tweed as far as the eye could see.
Most people rode English-style bikes, but there were also vintage cruisers, modern cruisers, and even a few penny farthings (bicycles with a large front wheel and much smaller rear wheel)!
When the group took to the streets, it was almost like a parade, as people stopped whatever they were doing and watched everyone roll by. Kids waved and greeted the group, which replied with a melodic chorus of bells and horns. A couple of riders even had ragtime music playing on bike-mounted stereos, which gave the ride a nostalgic feel.
There were some perturbed drivers who had to wait while the huge group passed, but most drivers honked their horns and cheered the riders on. The group rode through North Park over to Park Boulevard and eventually made it to the water fountain at Balboa Park. This stop took longer than expected because tourists and Balboa Park visitors wanted to speak with the riders and take pictures. Some people even took pictures of their children sitting on penny farthings!
The ride back to Ward Park was just as fun as the ride to Balboa Park, and everyone lined up for a group picture when they arrived. Afterward, people dispersed into smaller groups for a leisurely picnic as children frolicked in the park and adults made new friends.
Food was provided by Dang Brother Pizza, which was a fire truck that was converted into a pizza truck, complete with a built-in wood-fired oven.
Ragtime music resumed on the grand piano and a raffle was held with various bike-related prizes, including a beautiful new bike. Three cheers go out to Johan Wangbichler for organizing this great event.