The second annual Albany Tweed Ride will take participants on a bicycle tour of historic districts and homes on Saturday afternoon.
Businessman Oscar Hult, who helped organize the event, is a history buff, but he’s also excited about its fashion possibilities.
“I’m a clotheshorse. I like to dress up,” explained Hult, the owner of The Natty Dresser, a menswear shop in downtown Albany.
The Tweed Ride is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, and riders are encouraged to wear tweed or other historic clothing.
The 5-mile tour starts at The Natty Dresser, 425 First Ave. W. and ends at Deluxe Brewing Co., 635 Water Ave. NE, which is holding its fifth annual Vintage Bicycle Show & Swap Meet from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hult described tweed as the “first camouflage” from the United Kingdom.
“They would dye the wool with local plants and minerals, and then they would weave their different tartans,” Hult said. Tweed jackets were fashionable to wear while hunting, fishing or doing other activities outdoors.
“That’s why it’s called a sport coat. It’s for sporting,” Hult added.
While antique bikes and vintage clothing are encouraged, they are not mandatory. Residents riding recumbent bicycles and wearing spandex are welcome to participate in the Albany Tweed Ride and learn about history, as well.
Hult’s bike, for example, is a modern but classic-looking cruiser but he’s added retro styling, such as a crate basket with leather saddlebags on the back.
He said that when the weather’s nice, he likes riding around town, whether that’s commuting to work or just getting fresh air, seeing the birds and trees and enlivening a mostly sedate life.
Both the Tweed Ride and the Vintage Bicycle Show & Swamp Meet are both free to attend and are part of the local efforts to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month.
Jamie Howard, co-founder of Deluxe Brewing, said that the Vintage Bicycle Show got a jolt of energy when the tweed riders arrived last year.
“It’s fun to see them come riding in,” she added.
The bike show gets between 75 to 100 bicycles each year. “A lot of the same people are coming back year to year, but they bring back new bikes,” Howard added. “We get bikes from the early 1900s all the way to the cutoff of 1989.”
The cost to enter a bicycle in the bike show is $5 and residents can get a swap meet space for $10. All ages are welcome in the main brewery area during the event.
RSVPs for the Albany Tweed Ride aren’t required, but those will help with planning. To RSVP, call The Natty Dresser at 541-248-3561. For more information, go to the Facebook page for the event.
For more information on the Albany Vintage Bicycle Show & Swap Meet, go to www.deluxebrewing.com.
For a full calendar of Albany events for National Historic Preservation Month, go to https://albanyvisitors.com/2018/04/17/celebrate-national-historic-preservation-month/.
The Corvallis Tweed Ride 2018 is scheduled for May 19. For more information, go to the event’s Facebook page.