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 Jon Sharratt | Home > 
The 2012 All British Cycling Event
Victory of the Afflicted

On Friday evening, the Nutters gathered in New Brighton for ale and a renewal of friendships plus building of others. Glasses were raised and a toast was made during our claiming ceremony; “To claim Barley John’s in the name of the Queen for all the Riders of the Realm. With that, we knew we were afflicted.

Saturday morning was cool with light winds, in other words, perfect for a Gentleman’s Tour. Hands were shaken, friendships renewed and soon the Nutters were on the wheel. Threading our way through downtown Minneapolis is enjoyable riding since you can get a glimpse of the old Island Cycle warehouse and all the interesting architecture of the warehouse district, riverfront and the Post Office.

Soon we were southbound with a quick stop on the Sabo bicycle bridge and then eastbound to the Freewheel bicycle shop and tea house. The coffee cake was the treat of the day and, thanks to Peter Jourdain, they had laid in extra supplies. GC mugs were filled and drained and soon we were off again.

Rambling around the lakes was the next adventure and we enjoyed the sparkling waters of Calhoun and Harriet. The Harriet Bandshell is another sight to see and we stopped at the nearby hand-pumped well to fill our mugs again.

We easily found the wooded trail of Minnehaha creek but one ingredient was missing: water. It was dry; so dry, in fact, we saw one chap merrily jogging down the ex-watercourse.

Pressing on, we found our favourite lunch spot at 48th & Chicago. Plenty of restaurant choices ensured that everyone found something to their liking.

Eventually we left that idyllic spot and made our way to the Falls of Minnehaha but, alas, no reason to stop since it was dry. We continued on to Fort Snelling, crossed the Mississippi and continued on the trail along Shepard Road eventually gaining downtown St. Paul. We had a quick stop at the Irving Park fountain and then on to Cyclist Teas at Marlis’ secret garden.

If you travel over hill and dale, through fen and forest, a better setting could not be found. Tea was served in abundance and treats included savory scones, finger sandwiches, chocolate cake and clotted cream. We rested and chatted, reclined and dallied. Indeed, we were afflicted with this form of repast and revival. Must we leave?

But leave we must; cycle touring demands it and after all, the adventure is found in the journey. We tottered down Summit Avenue and eventually found our way back to the Mississippi. Our next diversion was the Park Rash switchback trail down the river bluff to the riverside. We wandered on to the boat house and dallied a bit since it was quite hot by then. Eventually we moved on and some parted for home, some to their automobile and some to dinner.

Sunday was another example of perfect weather; the Cycle Jumble was set up quickly and many deals were to be had. An affliction may easily be witnessed here; those infected souls are attracted to shiny objects, cannot see rust or dirt and have a shed/basement/garage with bulging walls. A most enjoyable disease, this, as it has the ability to sharpen the eyesight (for most anyway) and lighten the wallet.

The Sunday Gentleman’s Tour began with a curious bit of adventure in the form of a Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust; another odd affliction in that the object is “…distance via dignified coasting”. What could be more dignified than having a pastry during a race? Is this another affliction? No question it is.

Carrying on, we made it back to Barley John’s and without hesitation, our Keeper of the Cask (Dave) declared the taps open and soon we were giving out awards and telling stories both true and otherwise.

We all have our various afflictions whether they are collecting oddly heavy bicycles, stories of touring in strange lands, drinking tea in a hidden forest or even suffering the spectre of health issues but rest assured the noble English bicycle is the panacea for all.

www.ABCEtour.com
Date(s): September 14, 15, 16, 2012. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 86 of 86 Total. 1894 Visits.
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Hi Jon. Wonderful set of pics. Say, what make are those levers attached to Lauterwasser bars on the Moulton?? I love them! Where can they be purchased? Much thanks. Rich
 - 
Rich Slimbach, Mon, 7 Jan 2013 8:11AM
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"Marlis, you look fabulous!!!"
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