Northwest Tandem Rally 2022 – Eugene, Oregon
Check-in was our first indication of that this rally was going to be a bit of a disappointment to what we have learned to expect at these events. It turns out the rally venues were spread out around the county with registration at a very small little venue 5 miles from where the ride events were held. Registration was at The Oregon Wine Lab, which is a tiny little place and the line for registration was ridiculously long due to having one small table to check in. After waiting in line and eventually getting checked in we went to the truck and realized they did not give us the jerseys we had ordered. Back to registration. We did find a fun place to grab a bite to eat in the area, The Bier Stein, which res recommended by Liz’s son Colin.
NWTR Day 1
Well that was interesting. We bumbled our way through the first ride of the event. The rallies we have perviously attended ha e always had a mass start with all riders leaving together. The organizers in Eugene were unable to get permits for a mass start and we were told that there would be two start times for the rides, determined by which of the four ride options you chose. Additionally, riders were to be sent off in waves of ten. In reality, it turned out to be just pretty much a free for all with nobody coordinating anything. So off we went. We did have routes on our Ride With GPS app, which was fortunate because the route marking was almost non existent ad no course marshals at all. We the chose the 30 mile option due to the lack of training we have been able to do this year, which is a whole other story. The route was along the McKenzie River and was an out and back and a bit undulating. The scenery was pleasant.
When we returned to the park for the finish we exchanged our jerseys for a larger size (another disappointment with this rally experience. The jerseys were race cut versions which are ridiculously small and tight like racers like to wear, hence the name race cut. It is ridiculous to have race cut jerseys for these events as the majority of participants are older purely recreational riders. It was rather comical to see riders wearing those tiny little jerseys. We ended up trading for large jerseys which is kind of silly, Liz and I are not exactly large people.
We proceeded to attempt to explore the vendor fair, but of course the vendors were just arriving and starting to set up.
Saturday evening we attended the NWTR banquet with our tandem friends, Tom & Diane, Rob & Vicky, Bob and Lynnette and met another couple Bob and Helida. The banquet itself was not a stellar experience, but we enjoyed catching up with our tandem friends.
NWTR Day 2
The ride today was though agriculture landscape. The route was marked better than Day 1, however still no course marshals. We rode a modified versiion of this route and ended up with 37 miles. After the ride there was a BBQ at the finish. We met an interesting couple from Miami Beach as well as one of the organizers from the Albany 2018 rally. We connected with our tandem friends before and arranged to meet for dinner. We all had a great evening together at The Coburg Pizza Company to finish out our rally for 2022.