The eve of Thanksgiving saw the Inaugural Windsor Tweed Run, a city cycle ride beginning in Walkerville.
About 33 people showed up for the the Inaugural Windsor Tweed Run which is a riverfront cycle ride starting in Walkerville and ending in Sandwich town and finally returning to Walkerville. Participants wore outfits as if it were the turn of the 20th century in Britain. All types of bikes were allowed but classic bikes were encouraged.
The event was created over pints at the Kildare House by Windsor residents Stephen Hargreaves and Chris Holt. It was Inspired by the London Tweed Run which started in 2009 as a bike across the city which now boasts 400 participants a year.
Holt, a Ford Trades-person, is currently opening up a bike shop in Walkerville next to Jones & Co. The event began behind the site of his future shop after the original location of Jubilee Park around the corner was closed for maintenance.
“It’s a way to get together and celebrate city riding,” said Holt “the gentile aspect of cycling that has sort of been lost. What a better way than to pull out your tweeds and 50 year old bikes?”
The event was the day before Thanksgiving, Holt said he expected there to be a lower turn out because of the timing but the date was chosen at random and flyers had already been printed by the time he and Hargreaves found out it was Thanksgiving weekend.
The ride made four stops along the way, the Manchester Pub, where participants had drinks, the foot of Dieppe gardens for a group photo, the Dominion House Tavern for food and more drinks and finally it ended at the Walkerville Brewery for even more drinks and pretzels. The event which began at noon had a table at the start site with a coffee and scone spread provided by Thyme To Go catering.
Stephen Pitman, St. Clair College Student Representative Council member and Architecture student was at the event after receiving an invitation on Facebook. Pitman’s main mode of transportation is by bike.
“I think there are a lot of misconceptions as to how bike-able Windsor is.” said Pitman “It’s certainly not always walkable, but I only have a handful of problems every a year.”
Pitman also mention at e-bikes are sign most people drive alone so there’s no point in having a car that seats four.
Carly Nikita, a Windsor resident, who also took part in the Tweed Run had an interesting take on the electric bikes competition, the gas conversion bike.
“When Stephan [Hargreaves] and I lived a hop skip and a jump away from the Beer Store, we could see what I call DUI bikes, you can hear them coming blocks away. Not to stereotype but it’s always a gentleman between the ages of 35 and 52 on it with a case of beer strapped to the back of it.” said Nikita.
Currently the cost of an e-bike is around $2,000 but the cost of putting a motor on an existing bicycle is only about $200.
According to bike advocacy group Road Guardian there were 8 reported cycling incidents last year in Windsor. Three were close calls without contact. More incidents may be happening but aren’t being reported.
“There are irresponsible drivers and there are irresponsible cyclists and we’re always using the worst of each classification each to grade all these problems we have.” said Nikita
General problems aside Holt said the day was a great success far exceeding he and Hargreaves expectations. There is not currently a date set for an event next year but Holt jested that he might need to put together a committee that meets once a month over drinks to plan the next event.