This past weekend we, my stoker Jenn and I, packed up the ‘stealth’, alias the Calfee Tetra and headed north 200 miles to Victoria BC for the 2009 edition of the annual NorthWest Tandem Rally. About all we knew was the weather looked great and we were going to be sharing the experience with a couple hundred couples in matching jerseys – as Jenn said, “it’s better than name tags” (we did end up with bike name tags).
For me a tandem rally was the other side of the cycling planet from the past couple weeks of racing; the average age doubled, the average speed was halved, but other things were pure bike you can’t change - the pastry and beer calorie count, billboard-like jerseys, and the predictable journeys into bike-component-geekiness was easy to find (with or without beer). In the end “Rally” means social.
The NWTR moves about the Northwest each year (NWTR2010 in Medford, Oregon) and while we haven’t rallied before it’s hard to imagine the hills, beaches and roads of southern Vancouver Island being topped. Look for ride routes and maps in July’s Ride of the Month as well as other links to future tandem happenings over on my website BicyclingNorthwest.com
Now, for the really important details: Beer & Eats. Acouple microbrews worth noting: Swans on the corner opposite the Johnson St (blue) bridge has a couple of award-winners, the IPA and ESB were quite nice. Their endamame beans are great – lots of salt – halibut & chips are also a nice score. Avoid the nachos – how can you blow something so simple – for those cross the street for the Mexican place. Across the blue bridge and a left on Catherine Street (half mile) is the Spinnakers. Beers didn’t match up to their food, but the small deck is a great places to relax after a ride and view the harbor.
For all the new friends we met these past few days enjoy the slide show and Gallery of our weekend. Special thanks to the guys at Rider's Cycles for volunteering to sag the rally and fix our broken front spoke!