The 2019 ABCE began with an unassuming gathering at Barley John's as usual and the handshakes, hugs and greetings were nonstop. We chatted and laughed outdoors in the cool night air until the increasing cold wind changed our minds and we moved inside. A lovely night, this, and we manage to solve all the worlds problems after the 2nd porter.
Saturday is always a challenge with the longish Gentleman's Tour foremost on our minds. Gathering at Merlin's Rest, we seemed to have fewer numbers than previous years. We managed to push off for a quick ride over to the Sabo bridge for a good mull about. Everyone had warmed by then and we were able to take photos, enjoy the view and be regarded as pests.
Moving on to mile 2 we had to pull into Freewheel Bike for elevenses. A mug of hot tea and a pastry proved to be just the business and gave us strength to move on. One odd observation was our numbers seemed to be increasing as the tour progresses.
Making our way through the heavily detoured lakes region of Minneapolis was a chore due to the barriers but everyone was accommodating and the scenery was quite good.
Eventually, we found our way to the lunch spot at 48th and Chicago. The 2 most popular choices are the Town Hall Tap for a sandwich and beer or the Turtle Bread Company for a sandwich and pastry.
We needed to make it to Minnehaha Falls but more detours were not helping. Eventually we made it and found the Falls absolutely roaring with mist rising from the gorge and tourists everywhere.
Moving on, we found our way to Fort Snelling and after crossing the Mississippi via an interesting portage up and down some challenging steps; the good news is we were finding no more construction or detours and eventually found our way to the City House for a break and ice water.
Most everyone chose to beeline back to Merlin's Rest via the Grand Avenue hill but first, a stop for ice cream at Grand Ole Creamery. Simply Delightful. Right. Back to the beeline. A nip over to Summit Ave, through the University St. Thomas and on to Merlin's for a delightful dinner and a beverage.
Sunday festivities started with the Cycle Jumble and many nice bicycles and parts exchanged hands. New-old-stock parts were available as well.
The Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust is always a big hit with the Nutters; many machines are meticulously prepared with special oil in the hubs and freewheels, special tyres and other secret modifications. Once we returned to Barley John's, it was taps open, pizza oven on, and stories both true and otherwise.
Many people create barriers to cycling, indeed, whether it be too hot, too cold, too rainy, too tired, or too much construction and eventually enough barriers are built so you never leave the overstuffed chair. Riders of the Realm are a different lot; our Trusty Steeds are a friendly solution to this and will bridge the barriers with no problem and carry us all into the future with dignity and style.
Date(s): September 13-15, 2019. Album by STO. Photos by STO. 1 - 78 of 78 Total. 0 Visits.