The following Email was shared-out on both Tandem@Hobbes & BikeForums.net’s tandem forum today and can be found at the Northwest Tandem Rally’s “home” Website….
From: NWTR <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:43 PM
Subject: NWTR Important News
To: NWTR participants & tandem enthusiasts
Open letter to NWTR participants and tandem enthusiasts
We regretfully announce the rally scheduled in Bellingham this year will not happen. The reasons are complex, but the end result is the same. How did we get here and how will we prevent another occurrence?
Since 1986, the Northwest Tandem Rally has gathered cyclists for a weekend of fun, socializing, and cycling throughout our region. Rallies have been largely run by volunteer groups with no central organization. The location for the next year’s rally was decided at the annual banquet. In 2002 nobody volunteered. Eugene stepped up and saved the day, putting on a rally with less than a year’s preparation.
Since that time, a group of past organizers has met annually to make sure rallies were scheduled at least two years out. This group has passed along ideas and advice to each successive rally while encouraging them to retain the unique flavor of each community.
However, this group has had no capacity for oversight. When the Bellingham group failed to open registration as they posted, past organizers from Lacey (2004) and Salem (2012) reached out. They found the Bellingham group was overwhelmed and unable to proceed. For the past two weeks, significant efforts to resuscitate the 2013 rally were made to no avail.
While we have determined it is not possible to pick up the pieces with only 3 months to go, Bellingham remains an attractive venue for future rallies. But this experience points out the need for an official oversight organization.
The past organizers group had actually already begun the process to create such an organization after last year’s rally. It is now apparent just how much this is needed. We hope to finalize its creation soon with the proposed mission of providing support and guidance to assure the sustainability of annual locally-produced family-oriented Tandem Rallies in the Northwest.
Please know that cancelling a rally was not an easy decision. We are firmly committed to promoting quality tandem rallies in the Pacific Northwest for years to come.
We thank you for your past, present, and future support and look forward to seeing you at next year’s rally. Stay tuned.