No Messerschmitts or Junkers were in the skies over New Brighton for The All British Cycling Event. Indeed, no hostile forces including German bicycles were to be seen anywhere. With air and land superiority, we opened the festivities with a modest reception at Barley John’s on Friday evening. Glasses were raised and we claimed our most familiar spot in the name of the Queen, for all the riders (and fliers) of the Realm.
Saturday morning dawned quite cool and a light mist was noticed but takeoff was soon underway! Across the airspace of Minneapolis we flew and, in time, we found ourselves on Minnehaha Trail and viewing the sights of Milwaukee Avenue, the Sabo bridge and the Greenway. Elevenses were found at Freewheel Bicycle and we were fortified with pudding and tea.
By no means was this a direct flight and so our next stop was the Peace garden at Lake Harriet; we lingered, chatted and took photos.
A refueling stop was secured at 48th and Chicago and the choices (and portions) were generous; no airline food to be found.
Off we flew to the Falls of Minnehaha, the Ford bridge and the Fort Snelling overlook and soon we were landing in St. Paul at Marlis’ tea garden.
A more beautiful setting, a more accommodating hostess could not be imagined as Marlis and her attendants served treats and tea to the weary travelers. We enjoyed the bonfire, the English cheese and even the weather seemed to sweeten as we rested.
The final leg of this flight took us down Summit Avenue, through the U of M campus, across the Stone Arch Bridge and back to the start.
The banquet at the Great Dragon gave us time to relax, enjoy dinner and recall the sights of the day.
Sunday dawned rainy and cool and, with time, grew wetter and cooler. A finer day for English cycling could not be imagined. The Cycle Jumble was held in the rain but the rain held off for the Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust. John Thompson, oddly enough, was the winner on a lightweight Vicount outdistancing all challengers on much heavier steeds. Peter Akimoto was second overall on his Raleigh Sports but taking first in the Hub Gear Category. A heavy mist was in the air so we decided to take the most direct route back over hill and dale.
As soon as possible, our Keeper of the Cask declared the taps open and pizza and ale was enjoyed by all. Sadly, our Silver Knight Ale was on a delayed flight and eventually a no-show due to pressurization problems. “Stories both true and otherwise” were enjoyed by all and the highlight was Peter Jourdain’s telling of the Maurice Selbach story.
After awards and the overly-anticipated prize drawing, we realized it was time to come back to earth and return Barley John’s to the colonials.
Our own Spitfires and Hurricanes (whether they be Raleighs or Hercules) allow us to see the world unlike any aeroplane. We can enjoy both field and wood from an open cockpit and silently wander the beautiful landscape at will. We are not bound by gasoline or landing strips; we need only choose a direction and our humble Steed shall take us there.
Date(s): September 16-18, 2011. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 103 of 103 Total. 2699 Visits.