Well, it has certainly been a challenge to find days when the weather was conducive to cycling here in the Atlanta area. Like a lot of places here in the states, we’ve found ourselves with cooler than normal temperatures and well above average rainfall since September. No wonder so many tandem teams retire to the warmer climates in Florida, Arizona and New Mexico!
Truth be told, other than one tandem ride back on 17 November, we’ve been off the tandem since the Southern Tandem Rally in Venice, Florida, back in early October. And, I can’t fault Debbie as the weather hasn’t been all that inviting period. I went out on my single bike on 18 November and between the weather, a six-day trip to Pennsylvania and various other commitments and distractions between Thanksgiving and New Years I was only able to get out for a ride on one other day, this past Saturday afternoon. And, I will say, it felt great to get out but 53°F with 89% humidity during a rainy spell sure felt a lot more like 45°F.
Anyway, this is why I’m now looking to 2019 to deliver on some better weather! We definitely want to get back to riding 100+ miles a week as we did during August and September and would like to take in at least one more tandem rally than we did in 2018. Speaking of tandem rallies, I’ve done my best to update the our 2019 Tandem Rally & Event Listing and hope that it’s movement from the TandemLink.com to our WordPress site hasn’t bothered too many readers. It really is a lot easier to update! I just need to remind myself to do so. I still need to go and check on the off-road event list but, to be honest, the hottest ticket for any off-road tandem enthusiast continues to Chris & Monica Judd’s “Self Organized Off Road Tandem Adventure” (aka., S.O.O.R.T.A.) Facebook Group now with nearly 300 members. They’ve definitely found the pulse of the off-road tandem enthusiast community with the less structured, come-as-you-will events being hosted by anyone with an interest in off-road tandem cycling. As much as I’d really enjoy heading off for these events I’m still struggling to get Debbie back on the Ventana… so don’t look for us at these events any time too soon.
As for our 2019 road tandem travel plans, they’re still taking shape. As mentioned, we’d like to expand our personal rally calendar by at least one event in 2019. Last year we only managed to make it to the Georgia Tandem Rally in Athens, Georgia, and the Southern Tandem Rally in Venice Florida. So, adding perhaps the Alabama Tandem Weekend, the TandemsEast Weekend or even the MATES rally is high on our “Let’s make it Happen” list. To that end, we now have a newer tandem hauler that should give us less pause for road trips.
Yes, we finally parted with our sometimes problematic 2006 Toyota Tundra at the end of November and replaced it with a 2017 Toyota Tacoma. We are still waiting for the Tacoma’s A.R.E. bed shell to be delivered and installed so that we’ll have a dry and secure place to stash our tandem when we drive to rallies, but that should be here in the next week or two. So, if you’re used to seeing us in the big, black Toyota Tundra you won’t find us anymore. Instead, we’ll be in the not as big, but still pretty big, red Toyota Tacoma. The photo at right of the Tacoma is a visual study of what it might look like with the color-matched A.R.E. Z-Series shell. So, yes… it’s similar to the Tundra, just a bit smaller and, well, red. I’ve never owned anything but black trucks so this is was a huge leap for me.
In closing, thanks for sticking with us and being loyal readers. As much as I enjoyed my days of participating in discussions at Tandem@Hobbes and other tandem cycling lists, I find this approach is a lot less taxing on my patience. We certainly expanded out knowledge of tandem cycling and circle of friendships with the tandem cycling community through my participation on those lists and will forever be grateful for that. As for the future of TheTandemLink.com, this may be its last year unless I suddenly get an urge to update my web authoring & management skills and software to breath new life into the old site. But, regardless of what I do with that Website, I still plan to keep on blogging and will do my best to keep the tandem club listings and event calendars up to date here at my WordPress site.