No Lycra in sight on genteel outing
IT was all very genteel, but rather a lot of fun as well, when 100 cyclists all dressed in vintage attire hopped astride their bicycles and went for a jaunt along the Exe Estuary Cycle Trail.
The riders, dressed in an assortment of striking outfits befitting of the 1920s through to the 1980s, were taking part in Velo Vintage organised by Seaton cyclist Alistair Cope and sponsored by Cycle West.
Starting and finishing at the Strand in Exmouth, the riders pedalled up to the Bridge Inn in Topsham and then back for afternoon tea to the sound of a ukulele played by Blitz and Peaces and songs by Glenn Miller, which resonated from a gramophone taking the town back to bygone days.
The event, which had the tag line "time to cycle, converse, take tea and dress with style", attracted cyclists from as far afield as Derbyshire and London.
BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC 1.0 ECOBOOST FOR ONLY £7685*View details
DRIVE AWAY A BRAND NEW FORD B-MAX ZETEC FOR ONLY £7685.
1.0 100PS Manual
Electric Windows & Mirrors
Quickclear Heated Windscreen
15" Alloy Wheels
Bluetooth with Ford Sync
*Drive away from only £7685 and then pay nothing for 24 months!
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Exmouth cycle shop Bikelands sponsored the event and judged the Best Decorated Bicycles competition.
The prize for Best Dressed Gentleman went to Mark Fairhurst and to Emma Howard for Best Dressed Lady. The competition was sponsored by A Hume of Kelso in the Scottish Borders, who sell country clothing. Alistair, a former financial adviser and director of adventure cycle tour company Velo Ventures, also organised the recent Wiggle Jurassic Classic.
He said: "There's a real surge of interest in the vintage movement and appeal to return to the ethos of vintage cycling which was very social. We had a great, great day. It was a very intimate affair. Locally, the vintage movement is very strong and there is tremendous energy behind cycling at the moment.
"So this combination is wonderful and gets people back into cycling who may have had a break, or are new to it, in a relaxed way that isn't all about wearing Lycra."
Alistair is planning three similar events next year, including a large scale outing near Exeter which he hopes will attract around 300 riders.
"The people who came to the event from outside the area all said how great it was to be down here and how beautiful it is," continued Alistair. "So tourism-wise it's meant a real boost.
"I've always had a passion for the more genteel side of cycling, and I love cream teas, so combining the two together was always going to be a winner."