I have always been a keen cyclist. Never the fastest, never the slowest, I enjoy it for what it is: Self-propelled travelling, time to be social and to see the world around you. Yes, I ventured into the world of Lycra, of bright colours, figure-hugging garments, and feeling like you had landed from outer space when you walked into a pub.
In advancing years and being sartorially minded, I started using natural fibre garments to ride in – and you know what: The riders of yesteryear knew a thing or two about wool, especially tweed. Breathable, it comes in a variety of weights you can match to the season. It looks good too – and can be bought for a song from charity shops if your budget is tight.
Best of all, it doesn’t stink! Unlike Lycra that tends to pong after a season or two, wool and tweed manage to evade the waft of those earthy, stinky odours, something outdoor apparel manufacturers know, of course, as they push Merino wool garments for that very reason.
The tweed movement has caught on with riders of all ages over the years, with organised rides being held globally.
Mainly seen wearing tweed, most ride old bikes, too. Steel predominately, paraded with pride whether they cost two pints of beer (as one of mine did) or are an expensively restored thoroughbred model costing thousands, people of all ages and classes grasp the fun and style of this burgeoning movement. Having ridden in style for some time now, I find people seem more courteous, too.
Mark Fairhurst @MrMarkFairhurst