The Jakarta Post
Among the sea of cars and motorcycles, dozens of cycling dandies gathered at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Saturday for the city's first ever Tweed Ride.
Dressed in unusual attire for cycling, many wore suits or tweed jackets. Most also sported messenger bags and dress shoes ' without forgetting their helmets, of course.
Various bicycles packed the traffic circle, from fixed-gear and mountain bikes to traditional onthel and folding bicycles.
Present were Norwegian ambassador Stig Traavik, who wore a tweed jacket, white shirt and blue shorts; and newly accredited Danish ambassador Casper Klynge.
The Tweed Ride, an event that began in London, has become a popular activity among cyclists overseas, especially in the US, Canada, Netherlands and Australia, where cycling communities hold such events annually, attracting hundreds.
In Jakarta, the event was organized by various communities, including Bike2Work and the Jakarta fixed-gear community Fixietas.
Fixietas co-founder Karfianda 'Rio' Suryoutoro said that the event was held simultaneously across the archipelago at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
'The Tweed Ride is also being conducted in 10 other cities across Indonesia, including Bandung and Solo [Surakarta],' Rio said.
He added that the cycling community had been looking forward to the Tweed Ride and had prepared their attire carefully beforehand.
'We will definitely hold this event again next year, hopefully on a bigger scale,' he said.
Cyclists travelled from the circle along Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Imam Bonjol before stopping at Taman Suropati in Central Jakarta for a picnic.
Some cyclists brought their own food and beverages to share with friends, while others bought snacks from nearby street vendors.
Traavik, who rode from his official residence in Karet, Central Jakarta, said that he often attended cycling activities with the communities in Jakarta. 'I think more people should bike. It would make people healthier and Jakarta less polluted and congested,' Traavik said.
Another participant, 40-year-old Andre Pranaza, who rode an onthel bicycle from his home in Bekasi, West Java, said that he was excited to meet cyclists from other communities.
'It's always fun to meet people who enjoy the same things,' Andre, founder of the community Onthel Die Oud Batavia, said.
He added that with the ride-in-style concept, motorists would respect cyclists more.
'On the roads, motorists never consider us. They never take us seriously. Hopefully after this they'll see us and be more considerate,' Andre said.
Another participant, 52-year-old Sumarjo, a member of the Batavia Onthel Community, was also enthusiastic.
'The great thing about these communities is that you can find people of all ages and all walks of life. You can learn a lot from these people,' he said.
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