Video by Vincent Gallegos. Photos by Tracy Clayton. Much thanks to ReadysetDC for the crosspost!
Well over 300 cyclists had met in an alley behind the corner of 8th and H Street NE by noon. All dressed in their finest retro attire, it was a truly surreal scene. Three properties were in use in this alley, one for bike mechanics, one for registration/check-in and one for breakfast and portraits. As the crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk pre-ride, you could see people stopping and staring to see just what in the world was going on.
At about noon, cyclists took to the streets in smaller groups. We headed south on 8th Street NE towards Eastern Market. A large crowd at the market cheered, yelled and stared. The route included a scenic stretch on Constitution Ave, riding past the Capitol, up 7th Street through Penn Quarter and Chinatown, and a stop in front of the White House. There we were greeted by tourists, joggers and protestors, the general White House crowd. Conversations of those walking past us included “What’s this for?” and “Yeah so it’s that’s the first Tweed Ride in DC…” Rumor is that the First Lady greeted a few riders, however that is unconfirmed.
Then it was up 17th and Connecticut Ave, where everyone gathered and rode about three or four laps around Dupont Circle. Looking across the Circle, the perimeter was completely lined with dandies and quaintrelles. Then it was east on P Street, through Logan with a turn on 14th Street toward U Street. As we traveled 14th, people spilled out of shops, restaurants and cafes to watch, take pictures, clap and cheer. Smiles were everywhere. Groups descended in waves at Marvin, where there were temporary bike racks provided by WABA.
The party went on for hours on Marvin’s roof deck, where people were chatting, drinking, dancing and laughing. Taking the time to look back at the day, it was the most interesting time I have seen in recent memory. I have not been to a Tweed Ride before, but the feeling I felt was that this is truly something great that DC may become known for in the near future. This will be a semi-annual happening, so the next one is planned for April. This was an overwhelming success for the first ride. I suspect that the next one will be much bigger.
We will have a feature video soon with footage from start to finish!