The clouds were ominous as we drove up 89. This was going to be a fun event and we were not contemplating getting soaked simply for the pleasure of riding around in our chosen garb. Luck was with us and we arrived at Maglianero's under grey skies but no rain. We were on time and slowly others arrived, tellingly with wool sports coats, knickers, rolled up jeans with argyle socks, bow ties, etc.. There was also a distinct English air to the bikes that accumulated: Raleigh 3-speeds, Brooks saddles, black saddlebags, as well as the Raleigh Twenty we brought along.
The ride was rollicking and somewhat free form, almost like a critical mass ride, but with a couple of folks who knew where we were going. People on the street smiled and waved and wondered what was happening. Our first stop was in City Hall park, where we were treated to a brief lecture from Luis Vinanco, professor of Cultural Anthropology at UVM. He described Burlington as a hub of cycling activity at the turn of the century and described early efforts to improve roads and encourage cycling.
Our most dramatic stop was at the Ethan Allen stone tower in the hilly woods overlooking Lake Champlain from it's high perch. The organizers had a key and we were lucky enough to enjoy climbing the stairs and taking in a view of the lake from end-to-end, the high peaks of the central Green Mountains, and the surrounding city. Poetry, snacks and other friendly offerings were shared.
It crossed my mind in the midst of our ride that really this was just an excuse to get out and enjoy riding our bikes with a fun group of people. We had a great time.
More photos here.