All-British Cycling Event with the Gentleman Cyclists today. And by "today", I mean "all day".
We met up in a parking lot in the scenic North Loop at 9:00 this morning, and after a rousing rendition of "God Save the Queen" on the harmonica by Pete (Wrong Way) Jourdain, we rolled out.
It turns out that I was not properly attired for this ride. While I was comfortable despite the cool, damp weather, I was wearing no tweed and no knickers; I looked more like an urban bike anarchist than a gentleman cyclist. Being gentlemen, they accepted me into their ranks nonetheless.
The route took us through a lot of Minneapolis and St. Paul, with plenty of stops along the way (Freewheel Midtown, the Peace Garden, lunch at 48th and Chicago, a pause at Minnehaha Falls, another stop overlooking the river over Hidden Falls, tea in Crocus Hill, a ramble around historic St. Paul, etc.).
We made it back to the parking lot by about 5:30 or so. All told, probably somewhere around 37 leisurely miles. The Gentleman Cyclists are indeed gentlemen - the company was great and the ride was enjoyable. I think, though, that I am going to have to spin off a more hardcore 3-speed faction that rides faster, takes fewer and shorter breaks and ventures further afield. I imagine more shants, tattoos and earrings in this group, but since it doesn't exist yet, we'll have to wait and see.
Perhaps we will call ourselves The Gentleman Cyclists "Corps of Discovery" because "3-Speed Adventure Society" seems to be taken already. Maybe the 3-Speed Adventure Society is accepting local chapters; I'll have to check that out.