What is Velocipede & Tweed – Indeed! The Kansas City Tweed Ride?
In the spirit of “The Golden Age of Bicycles” from 1880 to 1910, the Groody Bros. Bicycle Restoration Project hosts the second annual Kansas City Tweed Ride – Velocipede & Tweed Indeed! On Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at Cliff Drive, Kessler Park in Kansas City, MO cyclists of all ages will enjoy an afternoon of sophisticated social revelry upon the most marvelous machines ever devised by man. This bicycle ride focuses on style over speed, elegance over exertion.
But I don’t have an antique bicycle… Ownership of an antique bicycle is not a prerequisite for this event. All that we require is that you arrive with a bicycle, preferably in good working order, and that you have the required knowledge of proper operation of said machine. The truth is that there will only be a smattering of truly vintage bicycles at hand, and most of our participants will be riding on fairly modern equipment. Whatever the case, beg, borrow, or buy (tsk, tsk if you thought anything else) a bicycle and join our merry band!
I don’t have any tweed clothing… This is an easily remedied dilemma. There are in great number, scattered about our fair city, retail outlets operated by charitable organizations. Commonly referred to as “Thrift Stores,” these businesses thrive on sales of gently-used, often out-of-fashion clothing in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. For a mere pittance, one can obtain an outfit suitable for the occasion while at the same time contributing to the less fortunate of the community. This also allows one to take an active part in the current trend towards recycling. For the ultimate “warm & fuzzy” experience one should purchase wool clothing and then donate the garments back to the same facility after the event (you’ll also save on cleaning expenses!).
Will there be food? Well, yes, there will be food. But if you want food for yourself you will have to bring it along. This is a grand picnic to be held on the grass of a park. Come prepared! (Think blanket – there are only a limited number of tables.) We encourage you to fashion some sort of contraption to affix to your vehicle for the portage of your meal, as a prize will be awarded to the most creative or clever device.
I don’t like riding in the street… This is an understandable concern for the cyclist. Fortunately our route is in a very serene and gentle neighborhood. A full half of our journey will be in a park where the infernal internal combustion machines have been banned. The remaining portions are along residential streets with relatively low traffic volume. One may see the exact route here: “The Route”
How long will this take? Our timetable is calculated as follows. We will gather at The Colonnade at 10 a.m. for socializing, photos and perhaps a few contests. During this time, our participants will scrutinize each other’s outfits and make mental notes of what to wear (or not to wear) to next year’s event. We shall make our departure at approximately 11 a.m. but not be in any apparent haste. There will be several regrouping stops along the way to observe the many points of interest, collection of stragglers, et cetera, et cetera, and et cetera. As the length of the route is short and our pace casual, it can be presumed we should reach Corinthian Hall easily by noon. We have been afforded approximately 30 minutes at the front of the museum for the purpose of a group photo. That task completed, we shall retire to the park for our midday repast. When all is said and done our group should expect to return to our point of departure around 1:30 in the afternoon. At this time we will present any awards, say our farewells, and be on our way home.
Is it suitable for the children? Absolutely! What child wouldn’t enjoy playing “dress-up,” going to a park, having a picnic, riding a bike, seeing two castles and a mansion—the list goes on and on. As the route is only a trifle beyond 5 miles and the course largely flat, a child of suitable age and abilities* should have little difficulty. This is the stuff that memories are made of!
Will we be able to tour the museum? Well, yes and no. The Visitor Center and StoryTarium are open. The Kansas City Museum is currently in the middle of a major renovation of Corinthian Hall, the structure is closed to the public at large. However… There is available a “Hard Hat Tour,” limited to a maximum of 25 guests, after our event at approximately 1:00 p.m. This is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and some restrictions apply. If you are interested in taking a tour please R.S.V.P. at email@example.com
Is parking available? There are several locations to park your automobiles very near our gathering spot. There is parking at The Colonnade itself or on the streets to the south; just be mindful of the signage should there be any restricted areas. If you prefer not to transport your picnic lunch while you ride, we suggest that you park adjacent to the Kansas City Museum. The park just across the street to the west is our planned destination. The museum is only a few short blocks from The Colonnade, south & west along Gladstone Boulevard.
Do I need to register in advance and what is the cost? Advance registration is not required but we do ask that you be kind enough to drop us an R.S.V.P using the tab at the top of the page. There is no fee for the event but all riders are required to complete and sign a Release of Liability Waiver when you arrive. This form is your entry ticket for the prize drawings. We will also have available to each rider a lithographic print of the painting by Kevin Nierman which was raffled off at last years event, provided that they have signed the waiver. We ask that each rider make a $5.00 donation to BikeWalkKC, the new regional advocacy organization, who will be running the registration table.
What if it rains? Since the vast majority of the group will be wearing wool, I suspect we’ll all smell a bit like a flock of wet sheep. There are currently no plans for a rain date.
*Parents: The day may be warm, so bring plenty of water. Please use sound judgment when determining your child’s ability to ride in a large group.