The 2013 All-British Cycling Event was another in a continuing series of High Adventures and much like Robin Hood; our arrow flew right to the heart of the target.
The Friday reception and claiming ceremony was well attended and we bore our weighty responsibilities with a pint of cheer. Barley John’s was “Hereby claimed for the Queen and for all the Riders of the Realm”. Glasses were clicked and it finally settled in; another ABCE was underway.
The Gentleman’s Tour on Saturday morning started from a new location; Merlin’s Rest. A warm and friendly gathering spot that proved perfect as a starting and finishing point. 28 Nutters took aim and were let loose down the trail. The Sabo Bridge was our first stop at less than a mile and the view of Minneapolis is not to be missed. We did not linger since the call of Elevenses at Freewheel bicycle shop could be heard. Treats and tea were served while some shopped and some relaxed in the warm sun.
Eventually another arrow was pulled from the quiver and off we went to Lake Calhoun and then the vintage water pump stop at Lake Harriet near the band shell. We lingered a bit but we had to fly; our target was lunch at 48th and Chicago. A grand place it is, with many choices for lunch that include indoor plus outdoor dining. With fine temperatures and partly cloudy skies, it was perfect and we enjoyed it all.
Once we realised our next target, we jumped up and moved on. We had a long stretch to cover to get to Marlis’ garden and High Tea. We wound along Minnehaha creek, gathered and re-grouped at Minnehaha Falls and found our way through the Sherwood Forest trail to the Ford Bridge. The view from the bridge is always spectacular since it hovers hundreds of feet over the only gorge on the Mississippi. We found our way to Summit Avenue and we never tire of it. Fans of architecture and vintage houses were thrilled with the views. After a time, if you watch in the distance, you will see the avenue seems to disappear; the Ramsay Hill is the culprit since it plummets seemingly off the edge of the earth. Thankfully, we turned left, a quick right and hit our target; Marlis’ garden.
Home baked cakes and cookies served with tea were the order of the day. All of it absolutely delicious! We relaxed in the hidden forest and enjoyed it all. A truly magic spot, this, and three cheers were given to Marlis; our very own Maid Marian!
One arrow was left for the day and we regrettably had to move on. Merlin’s Rest was calling and raindrops were beginning to fall. It seemed a false rain since we stopped to don the capes and shortly after the rain stopped. We found our way back to the River Road, the Marshall Street Bridge, and finally, Merlin’s.
Fish and chips, buttys, pies, pasties and mash were all served with ale and cider and we laughed the evening away while the rain came down in buckets.
Sunday found the Cycle Jumble well underway at 10am. The weather was perfect; cool and with a light breeze. Many deals were to be had and soon we were anxious for the Gravity Race and Pastry Joust. An odd event indeed but it’s great fun to watch the Nutters take aim and pull a straight shot down the hill and struggle for every last inch of distance while dealing with irksome day-old pastry. Winners were declared and a quick tour past the long-lamented bicycle shop of Terry Osell and down the Diagonal Trail found us back at Barley John’s.
Dave, our Keeper of the Cask, declared the taps open and soon we were enjoying pints of Silver Knight Ale. Judges were busy and many were preparing for our favourite: “Stories, Both True and Otherwise.” Many tales were told of bicycle adventures, tours and discoveries. Many were humorous, some were historic and all were coveted. Eventually the awards were given, prizes drawn and we clicked glasses one last time. Sadly, another ABCE drew to a close.
Whether our personal arrows are family pheons, Office of Ordnance designations, a hard-earned scouting sash worn with pride, or simple markers on a distant hillside, it is just the adventure known as life and few know the adventure like the Riders of the Realm. In the realm of Robin Hood or the modern Scout, the Order of the Arrow means brotherhood, cheerfulness and service. For the Riders of the Realm we cherish much the same; the brotherhood and reunion of old friends, the cheerfulness of conversation over a cup of tea, and the faithful service of our devoted steed; the three speed bicycle.
Date(s): September 13, 14 & 15, 2013. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 99 of 99 Total. 1211 Visits.