The St. Pete Tweed Ride

Story & Photography by Becca Barton

We stood at the finish line, cameras pointed towards the lake, waiting for the bikers to arrive. Suddenly, my friend nudged me, pointing in the opposite direction, and there they were. All at once, a sea of tweeded, mustachioed, and magnificently millinery-clad women and men on bikes began dismounting around us.

The amount of post-Industrial Revolution attire at the St. Pete Tweed Ride (an activity organized by the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club) was almost overwhelming—cuffed pants and tailored plaid and tweed jackets for the men, paired with perfectly groomed facial hair of course; full-length wool skirts mixed with cardigans and vests and Mary Janes for the ladies. Wing-tipped brogues abounded, and there was no shortage of bow ties.

The sophisticated evening, which included an awards ceremony, capped off with a blues performance by the local three-piece band Six Volt Rodeo. Their lively music provided enough incentive for a few couples to hit the floor and start dancing—including this author, who just so happened to have attended the event with a seasoned swing and blues dancer.

Although this event is “annual-ish”, those looking to continue the fun on a more regular schedule can join the St. Pete Shuffle for weekly Friday night shuffleboard events, or the ‘Burg Pub Riders for monthly bike ride pub crawls across St. Pete.

The Tweed Ride, if measured on the merits of the fashions worn by its attendees alone, was a success. It conjured nostalgic feelings for a bygone era, if only for a night. Here’s to hoping this piece of the past will be continued in the future.

Rebekah Lazaridis of Eugenia Woods

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