The meeting point was Trafalgar Square and I actually thought I was going to be late as my iPhone pinged a message informing me that the Tweed Run was at 10:00. Thankfully, I wasn't late at all and participants were asked to be there from 10:00 onwards to soak in the atmosphere and get ready for the group photo. Phew!
There were some quite simply stunning outfits and many had really thought long and hard - and probably gone to great expense - about their outfits.
Accessories were obviously chosen with great care and I have never seen so many people smoking pipes. I wonder if they'll be doing so come Monday??
Regular readers will know I have a thing about cameras and there were some stunners on display!! Leica, Hasselblad and even some very expensive medium format numbers from Phase One and Pentax.
One of the great things about the Tweed Run is that isn't age or gender restricted. There seemed to be small children up to pensioners (and most of them were a fit as me I can tell you). It was also great to see so many ladies and they looked elegant in their lovely outfits.
Moustaches were in abundance as were beards. I would grow a beard but fear of being mistaken for a hipster. Sill maybe next year?
The time waiting for the big off seemed to fly by as I people watched with enthusiasm. I loved the outfits and the gorgeous bicycles of every conceivable shape, brand, size and colour. There were a few Brompton bikes and even a few orange ones.
The weather was nothing short of perfect with blue skies, sun and a gentle breeze. The good weather and the sight of several hundred people dressed in the wonderful outfits you can see in the pictures also brought out many tourists who stopped dead in their tracks.
Like a red carpet event the innocent became the frenzied focus of the tourist camera and for one brief moment the ordinary Joe / Josephine was like a film star from a golden era, pursued quite literally in some instances across Trafalgar Square.
The time came for the group photo and I decided that I would take a few photos of the group rather than be in it.
Participants looked fantastic in such large numbers and at the end hats were thrown skyward. Priceless.
With photos done we still had the ride to look forward to and people wasted little time in getting to their bikes.
We headed off down The Mall to the dinging of bells tuned to different notes. They made a wonderful sound and I too enthusiastically dinged my bell along with a big smile across my face.
As we passed Horseguards, the Household Cavalry stood to attention as if to salute the passing of several hundred cyclists in tweed.
The one common bond shared by participants and onlookers alike was to smile, us to be taking part and them to see something you do not see everyday.
On the ride I met a few people who knew of my blog. One gentleman was from Germany and said in addition to reading my blog, I have been responsible for him buying a Brompton. Another lady from America said she and her husband love seeing all my photos to do with London.
We stopped for tea. This provided more opportunity to chat, take photos and compare tweed and bicycles. Once this was done we headed off again.
As on all the Tweed Runs I have been on, for me the ladies really did steal the show as far as outfits went.
We headed down The Mall again towards Buckingham Place and I fancy the Queen would have been mighty amused should she had glanced out of the window.
Cycling through Hyde Park was brilliant and even thought it was all at a very sedate pace I loved it.
Stopping to take photos riders would shout out 'tally ho' or ding their bells. Gentleman took off their caps whiles others waved.
Bob and Roger were on this ride doing important work as marshals. I briefly saw Roger but only heard the voice of Bob telling people that they needed to get going towards the end of the tea stop.
Graham was also on the ride but I didn't see him sadly. I did however see Mr D who was on his Pashley Guvnor. As always Mr D was the personification of style and elegance and looked immaculate.
Sadly, I had to leave the Tweed Run early as I had a dentist appointment. If you have ever seen the film 'The Marathon Man' my dentist makes the character played by the late Sir Lawrence Olivier seem like Doris Day! I therefore was too afeared to cancel the appointment even though I would miss part of the ride.
The Tweed Run was quite simply, brilliant! I absolutely loved every second. It was great fun and extremely well organised. The volunteer Marshals did a great job keeping us safe and the entire event was very slick. Many thank you to the organisers and I hope to attend next year...with eve more tweed!