Good manners, a bit of rouge for the ladies, a pair of breeks or even a gramophone attached to the handlebars for the gents are what counted when 100 odd cyclists came together for a sociable jaunt through Exmouth today for this year’s winter Velo Vintage.
With the tagline, "time to cycle, converse, take tea and dress with style", the fourth bash attracted enthusiasts from far and wide including Derby, London and Cirencester, as well as plenty closer to home.
On this occasion there was a 1930s to 1950s theme and started with bacon sandwiches and finished with mince pies at the Grapevine pub near the Strand where the cyclists paraded for hundreds of delighted onlookers attending the town’s annual Christmas Cracker event.
The event was sponsored by Ringtons Tea, vintage clothing shops Elegantly Waisted and Hanger 124, and Bikelands bike shop and is organised by East Devon cyclist Alistair Cope - who is also known for completing the Tour of Britain, an epic charity canoe-bike ride from Edinburgh to Exmouth and founding the Jurassic Classic Sportif - and his son Seb.
And there were only two rules, there must be no lycra, but plenty of cake - and perhaps the odd tipple along the way.
This was Adam and Jill Rogers third Velo Vintage. The pair came all the way from Manchester to join the occasion. Adam is a hardened cyclist and can be found completing 100m Sportifs around the country with his twirly moustache, in his tweed breeks, astride his Pashley Guv’nor.
He said he likes this particular jaunt because of how sociable it is. “It’s such an enjoyable event, Exmouth is such a lovely place to visit and there is such a good atmosphere,” he continued.
“We love vintage, everything about it from the manners to dressing-up smartly,” the 47-year-old added, not really wanting to put his hat on for the camera indoors at the stop for tea and cake served in cups and saucers in the All Saints Church village hall.
This is where the prizes for best dressed lady and gent, best dressed lady and gent in military attire, best dressed bicycle and best moustache were awarded.
Laurianne Milton, 31, from Exeter, said: “I absolutely love vintage, it’s so elegant and feminine and this event has such a warm and friendly atmosphere. It was just a beautiful day.”
Alistair added: “It’s been such a splendid day, enjoyed by all, not only the riders but all those who saw us. We saw a real range of incredibly eclectic outfits all mixed together.
“It’s all about taking time to enjoy cycling, to talk and have tea while dressing with style. Seeing the smiles of everyone’s faces makes it even better."