“Are you all Dutch?” – Brum’s Big Vintage Cycle ride pedals confusion

141 retro-fashionistas took to two wheels yesterday last Sunday in Birmingham’s 3rd annual Big Vintage Ride.


Birmingham's Big Vintage Ride. Photo: Jonathan Melhuish

Birmingham’s Big Vintage Ride. Photo: Jonathan Melhuish

Looking dapper in full 1920s vintage attire, they celebrated the long-standing appeal of the bicycle as a sustainable and enjoyable means of transport.

The day began with an informal picnic in St Paul’s Square in the jewellery quarter, before riding off around the city centre to the bemusement of onlookers, one of whom enquired “Are you all Dutch?”  On arrival at Eastside City Park, the crowd cheered in support of the brave competitors participating in an umbrella jousting tournament.  Cycling in opposite directions, the two competitors attempt to touch the other with an umbrella, while avoiding being touched by their opponent… or falling off.

Richard Betson, who participated in the ride, said:  “It was a really fun day.  For me, it was a great way to celebrate the joy of cycling, very light-hearted.  I guess it shows how a lot of sustainable inventions have been around for ages.  We don’t have to wait for hydrogen cars to get around Birmingham in a low-carbon way, just hop on your bike!”

The ride ended in the Spotted Dog pub in Digbeth, where punters were entertained by live music from the Mellow Peaches and the electro-swing tunes of Dj Evan (aka DeSadness).

Behind the scenes is a loose collective of cycling enthusiasts, communicating via the “The Big Vintage Ride, Birmingham” facebook page.  After such a grand success, they’re already looking forward to an even bigger ride next year and hope that these events will inspire more people to cycle in Birmingham – tweed or no tweed.