Amber waves of grain by tandem…



The annual Northwest Tandem Rally  was held in Pendleton, Oregon this year.

It was our first time at such a big event.  Something like 170 teams turned out for three days of rides past rolling waves of grain.  The ‘rollers’ were a challenge in the 90+ degree weather but the perks of good company, good food, and great scenery made it worth the while!  We’re already signed up to do it again somewhere else next year!

For the pre-rally warm-up enroute, Jim thought we should try riding up Cypress Mountain in N.Vancouver.  I mean why travel with a bike and miss such great opportunities to try it out?!

So up we went to the ski slopes, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics–IMG_20140702_112308052IMG_20140702_113144242

IMG_20140702_113604116_HDR It took an hour and fourteen minutes to climb up there, but only 14 minutes to get down!  What a hoot it is going 51mph on a bike.

Well, then we hit the road and made our way to Washington (by van!) for the night—and of course had to ride our bike out to eat, logging another 20 some miles but really enjoying dinner, (No eating’s as good as the eating you’ve worked for!) in the quaint little town of LaConner.  IMG_20140702_183216122_HDRIMG_20140702_191236696_HDRIMG_20140702_192018820IMG_20140702_192038854

We arrived Pendleton, Oregon next afternoon after a rather HOT drive minus air-conditioning but PLUS ICE CUBES!  They evaporate wonderfully on hot skin and do a fabulous job in dry climates ( :


We set up our tent right beside the rodeo grounds, within view of the big screen from which we kept track of the Bull-Riding event in the evenings… Homesick bulls serenaded us to sleep at night and bellowed us awake in the morning…


The three days of rides were fabulously scenic, and hot.  Here are some highlights from the vantage point of the stoker (me!):






O Beautiful for Spacious Skies, for Amber Waves of Grain….



A welcome rest stop and watering hole!IMG_20140705_085022297_HDRIMG_20140705_090314043IMG_20140705_092506813


The final ride was a delightful climb into pine-scented hills to a historic ranch, now owned by Calvary Chapel…



IMG_20140706_094532893(Note: the ‘special effects’ on this photo are thanks to the sweat accumulating in my jersey pocket! Did I mention this was uphill?!)

IMG_20140706_095955317IMG_20140706_100028130 IMG_20140706_100205290

Not only did we get lunch here but also a swim in a spring-fed pool…




It was a fine destination for a 95 degree day!

All that remained was to repeat the ride back down through the once-shady canyon, now baking in mid-day sun and out into the blow-dryer head-wind past the hot wheat fields set in endlessly rolling hills—back to our tentsite with the river running by. Here we jumped in and lolled about like happy seals till all the heat was soaked away…IMG_20140706_155145939

…followed by eating watermelon–IMG_20140705_205910187 Nothing quite abates heat and thirst like watermelon!!!

And a rest!


It was a wonderful rally! We’re so grateful for the strength and health to do these things, and hope you’ve enjoyed the scenery through a stoker’s eyes…


IMG_20140706_192825652(local graffiti)


All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!

[For more views of the rally, don’t miss the parade post…]

Small Town USA Parade

There’s no place quite like small town USA on the Fourth of July

And this year we found ourselves in the middle of a parade with a host of riders from the Northwest Tandem Rally!

P1150501Canadians got to participate too…


The mayor led the charge…


along with a friendly Indian…P1150512

…and the local stagecoach.


But the winning entry was none other than the Tandem Rally folks! And now there’s a trophy for the organizers to tote through life…


Back at the rodeo grounds when all was said and done…the mute beasts wondered what was the big deal…and where did all those tents spring from?!


If you look really close, almost dead center you’ll find the tiniest tent in the field—that’s ours—and contrary to my significant doubts (and initial complaints) we both fit in it, as did the air mattress (just barely).  And sleep was not a problem–we logged 182 miles in three days of riding in the hot summer sun.  Sleep is sweetest when you’ve worked for it!


[Don’t miss the pics once the rally got underway—awesome scenery on the rides!]