Date(s): September 16, 17, 18, 2005. Album by Jon Sharratt. Photos by Jon Sharratt and Ron Grogg. 87 - 101 of 101 Total. 35738 Visits.
|The 2005 All British Cycling Event and Gentleman's Tour|
By Jon Sharratt, Shirt-Tail Organizer.
The 2005 ABCE was a 3 day success! The Friday evening reception was modest with only 5 attendees enjoying dinner and ale at Barley John's. What we lacked in attendance that evening was regained the next day at the Cycle Jumble; several English enthusiasts with cycles and parts made it a huge success. Many interesting bits exchanged hands including a Claud Butler tandem frame, Raleigh DL-1, a Hercules Royal Prince, no less than 2 Robin Hoods plus many others. Good parts were in abundance; Brooks saddles, Dynohubs, cotter presses and more.
Soon we packed up and pushed off for the longer Gentleman's Tour. There were a few raised eyebrows when the 20-mile ride (as stated on the web page) turns into 40 miles. No complaints were heard as the good-natured bunch pressed on regardless. The riders quickly arrived at the starting line for the Gravity Race; the line was drawn and the competition was on! Tim McNamara took top honors by a good margin with honorable mention going to Dave Brierley with the best distance among the hub geared machines.
The group moved on and soon arrived at the first of many scenic overlooks; a great view of the Minneapolis skyline. The next stop was the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge across the Mississippi in downtown Minneapolis. We crossed from West Bank to East Bank on the University of Minnesota campus and started the long journey downstream. The wind was starting to pick up and we were hoping for lunch soon but once we entered Hidden Falls Park we would have to wait. We made quick work of the Crosby Farm trails and enjoyed the tailwind into downtown St. Paul. Our planned stop was the Wabasha Deli but they were closed; apparently unaware of the arrival of the Riders of the Realm. A suitable substitute was found with the Boca Chica taco shop. Eagar to move onto the second half of the tour we rode through the ghost town of Sunfish Lake and under the beautiful sandstone cliffs along the Mississippi through Mendota, the birthplace of Minnesota. Turning north across the old Mendota bridge we had great views of Pike Island and Fort Snelling State Park below. We had a time for a couple of photos at historic Fort Snelling and then it was on to the Minnehaha depot for another stop and more photos. ¼ mile later Minnehaha Falls was the next stop with more photo opportunities and odd looks from the tourists wondering why anyone would ride such odd machines. Light rain placed a sense of urgency on completing the route and before long we were back at Barley John’s enjoying post-slog ale. We soon packed up and gathered at the Red Dragon for a great and plentiful buffet dinner.
The Sunday 10 am Social Hour was underway well before the actual start time; eager Nutters had been mulling about since 9 am and thanks to Becky Street we had English potato pie for all.
The Hetchins Toss was highly anticipated and many doubted we would be throwing an actual Hetchins. The answer was hidden inside a well-padded box suitable for a disgruntled baggage handler. All the curious took a turn at throwing the box with some being reluctant just in case it was a real Hetchins inside. Denny Schwartz took top honors with a throw of 26’ 6”. The moment of truth was upon us as I opened the box to reveal a genuine pre-war Hetchins Brilliant with curly stays, fresh paint and chrome.
The Gentleman’s tour was soon underway through New Brighton; always great scenery and chit-chat as we wind our way though the route.
The news of the day was presented by Dave Brierley, our Keeper of the Cask. The pin of Silver Knight ale was opened and Declared Good as well as the rest of the taps declared open. Pizza was ordered and the Riders of the Realm settled in to enjoy the presentations, awards and stories both true and otherwise.
Thanks to all the Riders of the Realm who proved this royal event Worthy in the name of the Queen.
Jon Sharratt, Shirt-Tail Organiser