The All British Cycling Event
And Gentleman's Tour *
September 15, 16 & 17, 2017 in New Brighton Minnesota
New this year: Robin Hood Festival!
New Route this year: click HERE!
Tailored to the cycling hobbyist, Gentlewoman or Gentleman Cyclist™ who appreciates the finer points of bicycles built in the English Commonwealth, the 13th annual ABCE is a refined event that recalls an earlier time when bicycles were beautiful to behold as well as ride. Expect to see utilitarian 3-speeds as well as the odd Baines Flying Gate and perhaps a Claud Butler or Jack Taylor Tourist; we welcome and admire them all. As in years past, this continues to be a lycra-free event.
Now, for some details: Sherwood Oregon hosts an interesting event called the Robin Hood Festival; a community and family event that emulates the common Renaissance Festival theme. Fair enough, but look close and there is nary a bicycle to be found. Our first thoughts were to invade this event with a lorry load of Old Blokes with Robin Hood bicycles and show the locals how a proper event should be run. Cooler heads prevailed and we decided, for the first time, to add a featured marque to the ABCE. By now, you can see where this is going; bring your Robin Hood or, as a plan B, any bicycle made in Nottingham (think Raleigh). A Maid Marian sassy hat would be welcome, as well as something appropriate for the gents (probably not tights). Don't forget Friar Tuck and Little John, the Sheriff of Nottingham and King John. Of course, you'll be eligible for the "Best Bit of Kit" award.
Friday we will have a reception at Barley John's Brew Pub in New Brighton Minnesota to greet both the regulars and the out-of-towners and officially claim Barley John's in the name of the Queen and for all the Riders of the Realm.
Saturday events will begin in Minneapolis with the 30 mile Gentleman's Tour and an evening banquet at Merlin's Rest.
Sunday events will be at Barley John's as in years past and include a Cycle Jumble, Brew-Up, another Gentleman's Tour with the re-named Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust, cycle judging, awards, prizes and stories both true and otherwise.
Mr. John Moore of Barley John's Brew Pub (the owner, Brewmeister and True Gentleman) has a shaded patio with plenty of chairs and tables, restrooms, food and if the weather is typical English we can take shelter inside and scoff at the people willing to ride the Gentleman's Tour. On Sunday, the pub will be open to the public as well as ABCE participants. Mr. Moore has also promised another cask of Silver Knight Ale; custom brewed for the ABCE.
For the true English Devotee (or Nutter) that can actually ride one of these up a hill, investigate our companion event: The Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour.
"Cycling for pleasure, not penance." -British Transport Films commenting on the C.T.C. 1954
Celebration of English
We will have tours, tea, a banquet, presentations, displays, prize drawings, hub gears, plus fours, treats and awards along with stories both true and otherwise. We will not have lycra, path racing, pass storming or massed start races and instead we focus on the social aspects of English cycling for the Gentleman Cyclist or cycling hobbyist. The Gentleman's Tour on both Saturday and Sunday will be a relaxed pace; Saturday we will take in the sights of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The shorter Sunday tour will wind through the streets and parks of St.Anthony and include the Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust.
"Sadly there are no rallies like this anywhere else in the world. I could not find such a ride even in the good old UK. You have definitely started something unique and long may it continue." -Dasha Somaratna
What to Bring:
Bring your dad's old Dunelt or your granddad's Raleigh or your neighbors Holdsworth or anything made in the English Commonwealth, old or new and derailleur-equipped machines are welcome. Extra points garnered for hub gears or period dress. As the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour, this is a lycra-free event.
If you have a British bicycle or parts to sell, by all means bring them for the Cycle Jumble on Sunday! We may need spares for the bits that fall off during the ride...
On Sunday bring tea, pastries or other treats for sharing during the Brew Up before the shorter Gentleman's Tour.
Bring a display! This may sound a little ambitious but crackers! this only happens once a year. Got a poster? Catalog? A house full of old wingnuts? Bring 'em.
Consider bringing a prize donation for the drawing on Sunday.
Any displays or extra bicycles you bring will be supervised during the Gentleman's Tour on Sunday.
What to Expect:
Friday: A small reception at Barley John's to greet the regulars as well as out-of-towners and officially claim Barley John's in the name of the Queen and for all the Riders of the Realm. 5PM.
Saturday: At 9am we will begin with the 30 mile Gentleman's Tour starting from Merlin's Rest; 3601 E. Lake St in Minneapolis. Elevenses to follow and lunch will be at 48th & Chicago in Minneapolis; we will have 2-3 restaurant choices plus a new pub -Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. 5:30 or so brings us back to Merlin's Rest. A revised map for the day is here.
Sunday: The day begins at 10:00 AM with the Cycle Jumble. At 11:00 AM we will have the Social Hour and Brew Up -please consider bringing treats for sharing. At noon we will have the traditional 5 mile Gentleman's Tour with sweep to gather the dislodged parts PLUS the Gravity Race and Day-Old Pastry Joust. Guaranteed no sweating or exerting. (Horrors!) Upon our return at about 1:00 PM the judges will vote for "Best of Show", "Honorable Mention" and "Peoples Choice". If your bicycle has an interesting history or related story, be prepared to tell! Everyone (including the judges) will be interested in hearing it. The People's Choice ballot will include an automatic entry in the door prize drawings. All winners will receive a certificate suitable for framing, bragging or composting and don't forget- bribes are encouraged!
At 2:30 PM we will have the overly-anticipated door prize drawing. Prizes will include gift certificates, English parts and other baubles of questionable value.
I almost forgot to mention the beer; John Moore has agreed to brew another special pin of Silver Knight Ale just for the ABCE. As in the past, I'm going to order our Keeper of the Cask (Yes, we actually have one!) to keep the taps closed until after the Gentleman's Tour. This sounds a little harsh especially for an English event of this magnitude but if you care to protest, the challenge will be Herrings at Dawn and who can argue with that?
Schedule of Events:
We have designed this event to be as automobile-free as possible.
Friday, 15 September
Saturday, 16 September begins and ends at Merlin's Rest.
Sunday, 17 September begins and ends at Barley John's
Located on the east side of 35W, one block off Cleveland Avenue, between County Roads C and D (arranged in order of proximity to Barley John’s):
Marriott Fairfield Inn, 3045 Centre Point Drive, Roseville, MN
Marriott Residence Inn, 2985 Centre Point Drive, Roseville, MN
Courtyard by Marriott, 2905 Centre Point Drive, Roseville, MN
Located on the west side of 35W, near County Road C:
Holiday Inn Express, 2715 Long Lake Road, Roseville, MN -A good compromise distance between Barley John's and the Red Dragon.
Farther away are the Radisson, Holiday Inn, and Motel 6.
*A Gentleman always invites a woman.
Contact the STO
ABCE Cast of Characters:
Jon Sharratt: ABCE Shirt-Tail Organiser
Steve Brink: Keeper of the Cask
Dave Brierley: Keeper of the Cask Emeritus
Ron Grogg: ABCE Opportunist
Noel Robinson: Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour Founder and ABCE MoP (Member of Parliament)
Tubes patched: 12 September, 2017
"Gentleman's Tour " and "Gentleman Cyclist " are trademarked 2005 by Jon Sharratt