Sep 3, 2011

TC3-SAS Ride Report and What September Brings...

This morning the most stalwart and dedicated TC3-SAS riders set out on a mission to circumnavigate the Capitol City*.

The route took us more or less on the St. Paul Grand Rounds but we did it one better by going the long-way around Lake Phalen. For an added challenge, we tossed in in a few wrong turns, rode through the Wabasha Bridge construction zone twice and ascended a stairway from hell to get to the Swede Hollow Cafe (all before 11:00 AM, no less).

Despite almost getting run-over by some asshat in a silver SUV at Maryland Ave. and Phalen Parkway, this was a Good Ride. With the lunch stop, it took about 5 hours to do this (things cannot be rushed on old English 3-speeds because it's physically impossible). The weather was very humid at the start of the ride. I had sweated through my gloves and my helmet pads were soaked by the lunch stop. In early afternoon, we faced a bit of rain and a gusty west winds, but that felt a lot better than the steamy tepid air we set forth in.

The route was acceptable (indeed, my compliments to my co-conspirator for devising this Plan of Operation), but sadly, due to the environment we were traveling though, it was not an exceptional route. We were most disappointed in Wheelock Parkway (traffic volume was higher than we anticipated, pavement was worse than expected, and the scenery was only so-so to kind of sketchy).

Another disappointment was the connection from the Gateway Trail to Wheelock Parkway. What connection, you ask? My point, exactly. That was the second time on this ride where we took to shouldering the bikes and hurdling obstacles. True, this one was much easier than schlepping 35 pounds of old English bike up 300 feet of stairs, but it's pretty clear that St. Paul could use a Bike/Ped Coordinator as much, or more, than Minneapolis.

Unbelievably, the only photo I took on this whole ride was at a memorial to the U.S.S. Scorpian near Como Park. I should fire myself for this half-assed work, but we are thin on staff at Snak Shak HQ and the cat is an absolutely terrible photographer and has the proof-reading skills of gnat, so I can only write myself up and threaten future disciplinary action if this unacceptable performance continues.

The next scheduled 3-speed event on the books is the ABCE Ride in mid-September. I'll probably organize a shorter, easier TC3-SAS ride that same weekend as a counterpoint to ABCE. I did ABCE last year but found the British stuff to be a little much and the stops to be a little long. After all, TC3-SAS is "3-Speeds Without the Tweed". If you have never done the ABCE ride, by all means go for it. It's a hoot, and this subset of bike culture is well worth sampling. Who knows, this might even be your destiny.

The weather is finally turning cooler, so I am looking forward to hauling out my Recycled Cycles wool jersey on Sunday morning for a 49-degree ride around Nokomis or something to keep up my 30-days-of-biking streak.

* The MPLS Bike Love kids refer to St. Paul as "Shelbyville" but we elected to refer to it as the "Capitol City" simply out of obstinacy.

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