Once again we are pleased to share a Florida PANTHERS Post-Event Report from our guest contributor Kathy Foster, the PANTHER’s publicity chair.
I’m enjoying a recovery day after helping the Florida PANTHERS host the third annual Florida Tandem Rally. Despite the threats of Hurricane Sandy and her winds, we consider it the best yet. All but a dozen or so of the 113 participants came to Florida early to ride in the Southern Tandem Rally in St. Augustine Oct. 19-21, then headed 2 ½ hours west to The Villages for the FTR this weekend.
Those who had enough leisure time could ride Monday through Thursday with the PANTHERS in The Villages. With so many early arrivals, some of us asked that the planned ride-when-your-want routes for Friday actually start at 9 a.m. so that we could go together. President Bob Thompson readily agreed and Friday morning, 20 or so tandems headed off on a choice of two distances from the Waterfront Inn, rally headquarters. Afterward, we all met for coffee at the covered picnic tables overlooking the lake in the Lake Sumter Landing village and noticed an increasingly strong wind. By the evening ice cream social at the hotel, the lake outside was full of white caps. Thanks, Sandy.
The wind encouraged some of the riders planning to do the 44-mile ride around Lake Weir on Saturday to opt for the 33-mile Sunset Harbor ride instead. We stayed with the 44-mile route and were pleasantly surprised. One special treat was a group start for all four Saturday rides for the first four miles with police blocking traffic at intersections. What a thrill to ride across the busy U.S. 441 in a pack of tandems without having to stop! Thrilling is a great way to describe the whole rally –the routes, the camaraderie and the locale.
Read all the details in an upcoming issue of DoubleTalk, the tandem magazine, or look for more photos to be posted soon at www.floridatandemclub.org
Also note that the photo below is hyperlinked to a slideshow from the Florida Tandem Rally with 157 photos for your viewing pleasure.