After a two-year hiatus, we’re headed back to the Alabama Tandem Weekend (ATW) in Eufaula, Alabama. The weather looks as though it will be perfect for spring cycling and many of the names we’re seeing on one of our favorite, no-frills tandem gatherings are familiar ones.
We were first introduced to ATW in the spring of 1998, at Fairhope, Alabama. A quaint little down on the Gulf Coast just east of Mobile, Alabama. We made fast friends with Philip & Donna from Chattanooga, Tennessee while sharing stories over some Killian’s Red at a gulf shore bar. It was a great time, to be sure, and it was also the first of many rallies that we’d attend.
For the next several years, George Bacon hosted the annual ATW gathering at the University of Auburn in Auburn, Alabama. While the roads were a bit iffy on occasion and Mr. Gatti’s Pizza was, well, Mr. Gatti’s Pizza, ATW was it was: our annual spring tune-up rally where friends reunited and caught up on what had happened over the winter while riding on lovely rural roads around Auburn, sitting in the Hospitality Suite atop of the University Inn, or while enjoying a great meal at one of the neat little college town restaurants. Although, our visits always seemed to end with a final visit to Cheeseburger-Cheeseburger. After what must have been five or six years of visits to Auburn, George moved ATW closer to home in Trussville, Alabama just outside of Birmingham for 2004 & 2005. The riding was much more challenging and by the second year George had hit his stride with a great Saturday lunch stop next to a lake and some really great BBQ for dinner at the hotel.
After that, we lost touch with ATW as it may have had a bye-year before moving to Enterprise, Alabama for 2006 & 2007. We did not attend for those years as it was just too far of a drive. In 2008 & 2009, ATW moved to Anniston, Alabama where the ride became a point-to-point two-day trip along the Chief Ladega and Silver Comet Rails-to-Trails bicycle / MUP path, which just isn’t our cup of tea.
So, it is with great anticipation that we look forward to this weekend’s tandem gathering in Eufaula, Alabama in the hopes that this will be the beginning of another multi-year run of this very special spring classic for those of us here in the Southeast US. Let’s see, yes… we’ll need to leave in about 2 hours to make the 1pm start.