A cyclist in from of Metro Hall circa 1890. (Courtesy UL Photographic Archives; Montage by Broken Sidewalk)
A cyclist in from of Metro Hall circa 1890. (Courtesy UL Photographic Archives; Montage by Broken Sidewalk)
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Start picking out your most stylish 19th century garb for Louisville’s Tartan & Tweed Ride, taking place Saturday, March 14, 2015. The ride begins at 11:00a.m. in Central Park, where your traditional tailoring will look right at home against Old Louisville‘s Victorian mansions. From there, riders will pedal through historic parts of Louisville until joining up with and riding in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Highlands.

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A man with his bike near the University of Louisville in 1904. (Courtesy UL Photographic Archives – Reference)

According to the event’s organizer, John Paul, who curates the Louisville Cycle Chic blog:

Fashionably dressed cyclists will meet in Central Park, in Old Louisville, before heading out on a leisurely ride, stopping for a photo-op with Rodin’s “The Thinker” at U of L, then heading downtown, with a stop at the Free Public Library, and the Frazier History Museum, before crossing the Big Four Bridge.

The Jeffersonville riverfront gathering will celebrate the Ohio River crossing. Bring a picnic and a blanket and sit on the terrace while taking in the river view. Beer and food specials will be available from Flat 12 Bierwerks across the street.

Afterward, back across the bridge, willing participants will meet at Eastern Cemetery on Baxter to queue up for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Highlands, which we will be riding in, before thousands of spectators, as bicyclists, for the first time in the parade’s history. ($1 per rider parade fee goes to the Ancient Order of Hibernians)

After the parade, the celebration continues at The Barret Bar & Grill. A total of 14 miles in roughly six hours, obviously, this will be a very leisurely, social ride. No adult will be left behind.

In addition to the ride, organizers will be awarding prizes to Louisville’s best dressed cyclists. Categories include Most Dapper Chap, Most Dashing Dame, Best Vintage Bicycle, Best Mustache, and more.

The event is free (or one dollar if you want to ride in the parade), but organizers are asking riders to bring a cash donation that will go to Falls City Community BikeWorks, a community-based volunteer bike shop partnered with Bicycling for Louisville. And of course, it’s proper etiquette to don appropriate vintage attire—the event stipulates “No Lycra, Spandex, or Hi-viz cycle-wear, please.” Stay up to date with the latest about the Tartan & Tweed Ride on its Facebook page or on its website.

[Top photo: Courtesy UL Photographic Archives – Reference.]

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