The 2011 Seersucker Social: Giving credit where it’s due.

Saturday June 4, 2011, marked a remarkable day in Washington D.C. The 2nd annual Seersucker Social encouraged over 500 well-dressed bicyclists to pedal through Washington Neighborhoods and over 900 folks to enjoy a beautiful spring day at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. When so many choose to join Dandies & Quaintrelles in an impressive display of style, refinement and taste, we are obliged to reward them by doing our part to contribute to an experience that will long be remembered. Dandies & Quaintrelles is but a mere role player in orchestrating such a pleasurable occasion. We cast ourselves as humble carpenters tasked with the duty of designing a stage worthy of attracting the finest and most extraordinary company in town: yours. I’ll say more of this in a moment but first, please allow me to address proclamations of D&Q sprezzatura  that have come from many who witnessed the event.

I’ve heard some wonderful feedback from people during and after the event, and it is very much appreciated. These events absolutely would not continue without your enthusiastic participation and congratulatory remarks. Those who have joined us for these outings since the beginning can attest to the improvements we’ve made along the way. Refined touches to this years Seersucker Social must be credited to the responsible parties and it is my great pleasure to provide it where it is due.

The Ride

Mother Nature: A well-placed reservation for the ideal weather was a key component to the success of the day, however we could make no guarantees. Mother Nature choose to bless us with just the right conditions for our excursion and decidedly leisurely endeavors. If choosing to ride our bicycles as a display of environmentally-friendly activities has anything at all to do with these kind blessings, we must begin to plan more rides as a show of commitment.

EarthCycle Tours: Good friend Sheba Farrin and owner of EarthCycle tours dedicated her passion, expertise, and time to this year’s ride.  A cyclist for over 20 years and a professional bicycle tour guide operator for 5 of them, Sheba was the perfect person to enlist.  Sheba helped to plan the long route and understood exactly how to allow larger groups of bicycle riders to travel together and follow the route with less confusion. She organized on-site registration, enlisted bicycle co-op personnel from Velocity Bike Co-op for light pre-ride bike prep assistance and recruited her good friends with experience as ride leaders to help us navigate some of DC’s busiest intersections. She and her husband James Kern, friend Keith Jackson and Velocity Bicycle Co-op made it possible for users of the Capital Bike Share program to have their bikes delivered to the nearest user stations at the end of the ride. Thanks to Sheba and her team of friendly tour guides.

BicycleSPACE: Erik Kugler and Jordan Mittleman of BicycleSPACE were happy to contribute to last years Tweed Ride Experience by providing bike prep support at the beginning of the ride and by enabling the raffling off of a Linus Bicycle. They wanted to be a part of the Seersucker Social this year an they wanted a larger role in crafting the experience. They designed the “Petworth & the Park” portion of the ride. They designed that delightful part of the ride that took us through tree-lined, shaded side streets, up gentle climbs and through one of my favorite sections of Rock Creek Park. The well-placed rest stop at Sherman Circle which included water and lemonade was organized by Jordan and staffed by his wonderfully pleasant friends. They also raffled off a beautiful Linus Bicycle from their own inventory this year! Thanks guys!

Velocity Co-op: Velocity Co-op is a do-it-yourself bicycle workshop and educational space in Alexandria, VA. If you don’t know how to ride a bicycle, these people can help you. They teach courses for adults on select weekends. If you want to learn how to maintain your own bicycle, visit their space. They’ve been around for just a year and are dedicated to bringing people into the bicycling community. These folks are far from intimidating and completely unpretentious. They want to help you spend more time on a bike. They want to talk about bikes with you. They were happy to lend their support to our spring ride this year and they did with with style. They were there for you at the beginning of the ride; during the ride providing support for bike adjustments; and at the end of the ride transporting BikeShare bicycles to the nearest stations. A huge thanks goes out to these fine people!

The Lawn Party

Holly Bass Performance Projects: A quick history — Holly Bass approached me near the end of the celebration of the first DC Tweed Ride with excitement about a summer lawn party concept. Like minds happened to be thinking alike: I had also been dreaming of a throwback spring/summer event and agreed that it should occur. Holly then mentioned one word, “Seersucker” and this led to an on-the-spot agreement to set our minds toward creating the vision. As spring followed the winter of 2010, Holly and shared thoughts on a spring event. Questions about follow up spring ride were streaming into the D&Q mailbox.  A second ride was a must, and combining it with a lawn party was a natural consideration. As we considered venues, Holly suggested Hillwood Estate. I immediately visited their website, grinned, Holly set up an appoint with Adult Events Coordinator, Erin Lourie… and the rest as they say is history. For this year’s Seersucker Social, Holly made it her mission to bring the right food and beverage options to the event, securing the BBQ truck, POPchips, Smartwater, and other sponsors. Holly also coordinated  volunteers to help great guests, assist with on-site registration and the lovely Hillwood brides.

Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens: Simply put, the Seersucker Social would not be the same if were set at any other venue in the city. Hillwood, they say, is where fabulous lives and I happen to agree. Any vintage style enthusiast who pedaled a bike up the steep hills leading to the estate could tell you that the reward was well worth the effort. The extraordinary gardens, mansion areas and lawn spaces provide the perfect setting for a classic summer lawn party, however, it’s the attention to logistical details and volunteer recruitment efforts on behalf of Hillwood staff Erin Lourie and Audra Kelley that ensured the service matched the setting.

Lawn Party Volunteers: Devoted Hillwood volunteers and the team of volunteers coordinated by Holly Bass, helped everyone enter the event with ease, acquire drink tickets, get their faces painted and more.

Mie N Yu: Mike Cherner has eagerly contributed his skills, service and expertise to one Tweed Ride Party and two Seersucker Socials. With gin supplied by Hendricks, Mike has helped to create and deliver the divine kinds of cocktails that dandies have come to expect at post ride celebrations. If you find yourself in Georgetown longing for delicious drink which is sure to satisfy, stop by Mie N Yu in Georgetown and have a seat the the bar.

Hendrick’s Gin: The Scottish based gin company has provided us with essential spirits that set the speakeasy inspired standard over the course of three D&Q events. Hendrick’s Gin and what it represents has been a perfect element to the festivities that follow each of our bicycle rides. It’s been such a pleasure to work with the folks behind the brand. Show your support and ask for it by name when ever you order a gin based cocktail.

VitaminWater/Smartwater: 20 cases of bottled hydration goodness counts for a lot. Ice cold refreshments awaited each and every Bicycling socialite as they made the final climb to Hillwood.

Daniel Fazal: Wet plate portraits taken on site at Hillwood provided us with yet another way to partake in leisurely pastime activities. Sure, there were plenty of cameras clicking and photographers scouting the scene for images at the event but there’s nothing like sitting for photograph that will come from a 5X7 glass negative. Daniel, thanks for bringing your camera and retro-photographic process to the event. In the very near future I’ll be posting information about Daniel and the available scans from the images.

The Participants

Dandies & Quaintrelles: I identify you — the participants of the Seersucker Social — as fellow dandies and quaintrelles and the large reason for what separates our events from anything else in the city. It is due to the passion and effort that you put into representing yourselves that D&Q the DC Tweed Ride and the Seersucker Social have been established as occasions with unparalleled distinction. The videos and photos that capture you bicycling throughout the city and celebrating the day in all your natty, kempt, splendor are the hallmark of the Dandies & Quaintrelles brand. Without your display of class and style, we would be but unrequited dreamers for a reality beyond our reach. You are our honored contemporaries and it is our pleasure to curate a course of moments that justify your company! As always, we thank you for appearance and participation.

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  1. [...] an event like this in the District (of Columbia). Sometimes billed as a “hipster” event The Seersucker Social is creative and simple [...]