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The 2015 All-British Cycling Event
Leading the Way Along A Different Path

Only three Nutters braved the steady rain and rode their Worthy Steeds to the reception on Friday, but they were rewarded with warm handshakes, hugs and greetings of friends that have not been seen for much too long. Indeed, a small and enthusiastic group gathered that paid no mind to the chilly breeze since all were warmed by laughter.

Craig brought a Union Jack, a photo of the Queen and copies of “God Save the Queen” for all. We stood, hats in hand, and sang a beautiful rendition. A quick peek at the rest of the patrons confirmed it; everyone in the outdoor dining section was standing and singing. Proof that leading the way will guarantee others will follow.

Saturday morning was clear and cool; perfect for a nice cycle tour. We departed about 9:30 and soon found ourselves at the Sabo bridge admiring the views and the perfect weather.

A quick glide down the Greenway and it was time for Elevenses at Freewheel Bicycle and coffee shop. A delightful place, this, and you may find yourself lounging in the comfortable chairs with a treat or doing a bit of shopping. An industry leader without question since access is by bicycle and bicycle only; the front door is on the path.

Soon we were rolling down the trail but the sound of an exploding tube had everyone pulling over and checking for bullet holes. The cause was much more innocent; a worn-out tyre had exposed the tube and the tube had worn through. Not a quick fix since it was a roadster but fixed it was. Lesson learned: replace the original cotton carcass tyres.

We rode around Lakes Calhoun and Harriet as the wind picked up and the sailboats on the lakes were clipping along nicely. Next was Minnehaha creek and it was quite high for September and we followed it to our lunch spot at 48th and Chicago. Plenty to choose from here and we enjoyed a long slow lunch.

Eventually we made our way to the falls and it was spectacular with plenty of water cascading over the ledge. While we enjoyed the view, we also enjoyed the coincidence of a great blues band near the pavilion. We chatted with many visitors curious about the odd vision of well-dressed ladies and gentlemen on stalwart bicycles.

Crossing the Mississippi at the Ford Bridge encouraged us to make a bee line to High Tea at Marlis’ secret garden. A lovely spot indeed and we revelled in Welsh Rarebit, cucumber sandwiches, raspberry trifle and chocolate torte. All this was served with pots of hot tea and fine china. Janet and Betty did the honours and no-one had an empty cup. A bang-up job and Marlis leads the way in hospitality, presentation and courtesy.

We hate to leave that treasured spot but leave we must. Up the steep alley to Summit Avenue and crossing over to Oakland gave us a break from the traffic of Summit. Lovely houses lined the streets all the way back to the river.

Crossing over at Marshall/Lake St put us within sight of Merlin’s Rest and our destination for the day. Pints of cider and ale were hoisted: pastys, fish and chips, steak and pudding, proper steak and mushroom pie were all consumed.

Sunday was windy, cool and the gravity race was a hoot. Mark Gutzmer was the non-hub gear winner and Ralph Karsten took the hub gear category. When we returned to Barley John’s, the cycle jumble was winding down to make way for the Keeper of the Cask to “…declare the taps open!”

Silver Knight Ale was the order of the day and everyone lined up for a pint. Soon we were judging all the fine bicycles and casting ballots for “Nutters Choice”.

Many stories were told; wonderful little tales of fine bicycles and how they didn’t get away this time. Stories of how lovely machines come together as if by magic; the only magic is the generosity of friends.

We may seem odd to most but in our hearts and minds we have chosen a different path in life, indeed, a path seldom chosen; a path of dignity, substance, vision and a path that has no end. What better way to travel that path than with our ‘umble 3-speeds.
Date(s): September 18, 19 & 20, 2015. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 76 of 76 Total. 859 Visits.
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