Saturday April 3 sees Greytown's inaugural National Tweed Ride, in which participants are invited to don their finest tweed, grab their vintage velocipedes, and set out on a cycle through the town and its surrounding cycle pathways.
The event is in the spirit of London's fabulous annual Tweed Run, a sell-out event that sees around 1000 tweed-clad cyclists speed through the historic heart of London. Running since 2009, the Tweed Run is so popular that tickets are issued under a ballot system.
Greytown's event is being hosted by Blackwell & Sons, an independent store that specialises in British bicycle gear - Pashleys, Brooks saddles, sit-up-and-begs, and the like - and the town is the perfect backdrop for the event, with its historic high street crammed with heritage buildings and unique boutique stores.
Tweed is a hardy fabric, made from closely woven wool. While you may think it would be less than suitable in the temperate climes of South Wairarapa, tweed is known as a sporting fabric, being warm but breathable, and water-repelling, so is perfectly suited for light cycling in all kinds of weather. Proper attire is expected, so do make an effort.
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Whatever your tweed flavour - Harris or Donegal, twill or herringbone - participants are invited to don their most dapper and dashing tweeds, and gather under the trees at Soldiers' Memorial Park on Kuratawhiti St to register from 11am. The ride will begin at 1pm sharp, heading south to the Greytown Cycle Trail, out to Woodside train station and along the Tauherenikau River. The event finishes in the grounds of the Cobblestones Museum and Early Settlers Village, where there will be cocktails, jazz and a tea dance.
It's a cheerful reminder that cycling is a pleasure sport, and a perfect way to see a part of New Zealand that is crammed with quiet country roads, and dotted with vineyards. Perfect, really.
So grab your plus fours, your cravat and your brogues, and join the anti-lycra brigade for the ride. Any type of bike is welcome to take part, but no doubt you'll look sweet upon the seat of an old-fashioned bicycle built for two.
Buy your tickets at blackwellandsons.nz