The organizers, however, are keen to inform us that London will always be the landmark location. In addition to fundraising (the proceeds are donated, among other initiatives, to the recycling of bicycles to be sent to young Africans), the Tweed Run also has the strong cultural purpose of reviving British identity, and there is nothing more English than stopping to park your bike, adjusting your tweed jacket and enjoying a cup of tea in the streets of Central London, extraordinarily closed. “It doesn’t matter whether you take it with milk or lemon”, Bourne & Hollingsworth tells us. “The most important thing is not to rush, afternoon tea is one of the greatest pleasures in life”. So no one will mind should moustaches (for which there is the special Best Moustache Prize – open to men and women) get temporarily disarrayed or, worse still, dirty.
Ultimately, if there is a constant in the colourful opinions of the journalists and enthusiasts who proudly become tweed riders each year, there is the distinct feeling that London is far more friendly the day of the race: tourists fall peaceful, children are astonished, drivers become disciplined. Even those who puncture a tyre do not lose their smile. The great strength of the Tweed Run, and the shared reason for its success, is mentioned in the mission of The London Cycling Campaign, one of the event’s main partners: to transform London into a healthier, cleaner and happier place to live, where getting around the by bike is a convenient and safe choice for all Londoners.