Bicyclists from Chico and all over California showed up on wheels dressed from head to toe in their stylish tweed outfits.
George Knox, one of the founders of Chico Tweed Ride, called a show of hands before the ride to see who came from afar for the Tweed Ride.
“Who is from out of town? Where are you from?” Knox said, while pointing at the audience.
“Sacramento tweed run!” One person said. “Oakland!” another person said. Others raised hands shouting “Butte Meadows” and “Red Bluff.”
More than 100 people showed up to the event on Nov. 21 dressed in all sorts of vintage patterns: plaid shirts, woolly socks, argyle sweaters, and of course tweed-everything.
“This is a very large showing today. This is not a race, you know. Just take your time, enjoy the day. We couldn’t ask for better weather,” Knox said.
After the plan and safety announcements, bikers traveled through Chico’s Five Mile Recreation Area and spent time picnicking together across the fields.
The Chico Tweed Ride organizers have been hosting bike rides for 9 years and just like most events in 2020, was canceled that year. This year, the audience had ecstatic energy — smiling at each other and complimenting their outfits and unique bikes.
“I’ve got tweed, obviously,” said participant Maria Cyr. “Grandma’s earrings, an amazon basket.”
“We were here the year before the ol’ Coronavirus shutdown, that was actually one of our first years here and we had a great time,” participant Samantha Shaner said.
Dax Downey, owner of Greenline Bikes and one of the founders of The Chico Tweed said he and three of his friends started with the idea in 2012 and was inspired by the London Tweed Ride which began in 2009. They put an invite on Facebook and more than 175 people attended that year, according to Downey.
“The tweed ride was so successful the first time people were like “We should do this every month!”
That’s when Downey and his group created the seersucker ride, another fashion-themed bike ride event that also happens in Chico during the springtime.
“We created that entirely, now there are seersucker [rides] all over the world.”