I think I’m safe in posting this now as the word has gotten out to all the affected parties…
If you have never attended a tandem rally (or any rally of any type), then this may all be lost on you. However, as seasoned rally goers with perhaps 40+ events under our belts, the thing that typically seems to present the biggest challenge to tandem rally organizers is the weather. There is simply not much you can do to control the weather, and while you can put in place contingencies for banquets, lunch stops and socials that can include an audible for inclement weather, cycling in-doors typically isn’t an option. So, once ever other detail is taken care of the one that keeps you up at night is ‘Typically’ that weather thing.
Well, here’s a new twist. What if you spent 9 months planning your rally, had 200 attendees all signed up and booked into your host hotel, the ride routes, meal events, and just about everything else ready to go so that you could spend the last two months before your rally just dotting ‘eyes’ and crossing ‘tees’ and the resort unexpectedly closed! Yup. That’s what happened. T-minus two months and a couple weeks from the event, the neat little resort in the middle of nowhere that was to provide the lodging, most of the meals and otherwise serve as the central meeting point for one of our favorite tandem rallies became insolvent and closed its doors. Moreover, because of it being so remote there were no other potential host hotels anywhere in the area.
As you can imagine, our friends were mortified! Having planned everything down to the last detail and leaving nothing to chance each and every year since 1999, here was truly a worst-case scenario. But, even though this was nearly a knock-out punch that left our friends dazed and confused, they simply ‘moved’ the rally to another location some 60 miles away in somewhat more familiar territory and quickly planned a ‘new rally’ in a mere two weeks. To do this required finding a new host hotel that could provide a block of nearly 100 rooms, lining up new caterers, meal venues, social activities never mind laying out three days of cycling routes. As luck would have it, a brand new Hampton Inn had just opened that could accommodate most of the rally goers and a few other things fell into place rather quickly.
In a word: Amazing. Both the cancellation and the full-court press put on by our friends and hosts of this always top flight event which, I suspect, will also be a great event… unless it rains!