“Riders Wanted. For memorable journey. No cost, moderate weather, many miles of scenic views, constant conversation, safe return ensured. Honour and recognition upon completion.”
The 2010 All British Cycling Event would have been welcomed by Shackleton and his crew. No pack ice, no winter winds, no Antarctic darkness. In fact, pleasant weather was abundant as we gathered Friday for the reception and Claiming Ceremony at Barley John’s in New Brighton. Hands were shaken, old friendships were renewed and all the hearty souls reveled in anticipation of the coming journey.
Saturday dawned a bit cool and rainy but the musty oiled canvas capes were left under wraps as we set out to navigate the new route of the 35 mile Gentleman’s Tour. Scenic vistas were the order of the day as we left downtown Minneapolis on the Minnehaha Trail and traveled past car-free Milwaukee avenue. The Sabo Bridge connected us with the Greenway and soon we were having elevenses at the Freewheel shop and store located just inches from the trail.
Suitably fortified, we were off to the Peace Garden for another rest and lookabout. The next stop was lunch at 48th and Chicago; plenty of restaurants to choose from. Minnehaha falls was next on the epic journey and from there we paralleled the Mississippi River all the way to High Tea at Marlis’.
No finer setting could be imagined as the tea flowed and treats were consumed by the hearty Explorers. Many photos were taken as we rested and revived in the hidden garden. We hated to leave that idyllic spot but, as explorers must, we shoved off for more adventure and vistas through St Paul and the University of Minnesota campus. Soon we found ourselves at the Falls of St. Anthony on the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge. Alas, time was running short and we departed for dinner at the Great Dragon.
Sunday provided another cool start but it soon cleared and warmed. The cycle jumble was a great success as many parts and cycles exchanged hands. Excitement was building, however, as it was soon time to depart for the 5 mile Gentleman’s Tour. New this year was the incorporation of the Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust. Off we went!
Soon we were at the top of the grade and an impressive bit of grade it was as the competitors flew downhill with caps turned to the backside. “Distance via dignified coasting” was the goal and it was provided in spades as Nutter after Nutter rolled out to the “Blue Fence of Victory”. Craig Holmlund was the victor; bettering all by a considerable margin and setting a new ABCE distance record.
Back to Barley John’s we went and immediately the taps were declared open by our Keeper of the Cask. Silver Knight Ale was a refreshing treat indeed and it was welcomed by all the thirsty Explorers. Pizza and “stories both true and otherwise” were next on the schedule; many were told and some were believed and some were rebutted.
After awards and prizes, Barley John’s was returned to the colonials and we were both saddened and revived by the closing of our journey. Our ship of choice, of course, is the venerable English bicycle and whether we make South Georgia Island or tea in the garden makes no matter; it’s still high adventure indeed, and our humble Steed shall take us there.
Date(s): September 17-19, 2010. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 111 of 111 Total. 10847 Visits.
105 Ian (3rd) Craig (1st) and Peter (2nd)Edit Add Description "Sir Ian believes he was 2nd.....was ..." "I stand corrected; Ian was indeed 2n..." "I must admit to a bit of an advantag..." View Comments...