Yowza! Yowza! Yowza! Better words cannot be found to describe the absolute delight of a day that was the Victoria Tweed Ride. Blue skies and a bright spring sun smiled down on a dapper crowd gathered on the lawn of the stately Empress Hotel, a group drawn together by an affinity for the classy suits and frocks of yesteryear and a deep love for that new fangled contraption, the bicycle.
I must confess, although quite immodest of me, that I believed our party to simply be one of the handsomest groups present. After all, our ranks included the elegant Lady Caprice, a respected Professor and, of course, Dingus the loveable scamp.
However, I would be truly remiss to exclude the other wonderfully dressed participants of the Tweed Ride. Three piece suits, elegant hats, fitted coats, beautifully draped frocks, smart handbags, sharp socks and dashing shoes could be seen everywhere one looked! And not to forget the accessories, both practical and decorative in nature, that adorned the bicycles, from wonderfully weathered leather cases to a flapping proud and noble British flag (God save the Queen!). One bicycle even pulled a wicker trunk, from which emitted the jazziest of music to encourage the Tweed Riders along their journey through the streets of Victoria.
The highlight of the Tweed Ride was undoubtedly the tea party held beneath the watchful gaze of stately Craigdarroch Castle, built in the latter years of the 1800s. Riders, flushed from their trip through Victoria’s charming downtown centre and the leafy neighbourhood of Fairfield, spread out blankets to sip Tula Teas and nibble on candied salmon and pickled cucumber sandwiches (crust removed) from Red Fish Blue Fish.
Finally, after a much needed respite in the shade of the oaks surrounding the Castle, the Ride Master’s cry of “Yowza! Yowza! Yowza!” drew us back to our bicycles and we flew back into the city, weaving through James Bay, until we reached the door of the Bard & Banker pub. The Tweed Ride drew to a close over pints and to the good conversation of fine friends, both old and new. A huge huzzah to all of the organizers and supporters! Until next year!