In the world of tandems, Labor Day Weekend is synonymous with the Midwest Tandem Rally (MTR). It’s been 13 years since we last attended an MTR, and with the 2017 edition so “close” to us, in Dublin, Ohio, we signed up.
The plan was to spend 2 days riding with our Coast to Coast friends, Joyce and Ed near Cincinnati and then head up to suburban Columbus for 3 more days of riding at MTR. It was a great plan and it almost worked!
Hurricane Harvey followed us to Ohio and lurked around long enough to cost us a day of riding in each of our stops. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, getting rained out of two rides is nothing to complain about and our hearts (and a generous donation to the Red Cross) go out to the gulf coast as it begins the long, slow process of recovery.
Back to our story and our pictures! Joyce and Ed picked their lovely home in Lebanon because of how close it is to the Great Miami River bike trail. They invited us to share their favorite rides and we accepted.
Ed shares our love of good beer, and one of our dinners is at the Rivertown Brewery where Roger and I enjoy this flight.
When near Cincinnati, you have to eat the chili. Here’s a lunch at Skyline Chili.
They must top this stuff with a pound of cheese. There was plenty for both of us.
On to Dublin, where this year’s 42nd version of MTR was called Doublin’ in Dublin (you’ll have to imagine the special Irish font). This is the largest tandem rally in the US, and probably the world.
This is a Saturday, Sunday, Monday riding rally with optional ice cream ride routes available for Friday. Here is what the first day of riding (Saturday) looked like as we drove to the lunch spot.
The weather finally cleared for the Sunday morning mass start. Even though MTR numbers are down from the 400-500 bikes that used to attend, the gathering of about 240 tandems is still an impressive sight.
Our flat, fast 65-mile ride featured beautiful low-traffic farmland, a covered bridge and new friends.
There is only one reward we need after riding 65 miles.
Graeter’s Ice Cream is the place to go to replenish those carbs. Check out that gorgeous waffle cone with sprinkles!
This is an “ala carte” rally, and we opted out of the “big banquet”. We enjoyed our own banquet for 10 at a delicious Mediterranean restaurant.
Dublin, Ohio oddities include a field of concrete corn. This sprawling art installation honors the man who pioneered the hybridization of corn.
The Dancing Hares is another giant art exhibit. This is a 15 foot bronze sculpture which has everyday objects embedded in it.
I apologize that I didn’t take any close-ups so you could see that the sculpture is like a giant version of “I Spy”…I really blew that.
Our rally concludes with a short Labor Day breakfast ride to Der Dutchman, best described as an Amish food paradise. We retrace the first eleven miles of the Sunday route, stop for pastry and then return to our hotels on the same route.
The cold and rainy weather on Saturday reminded us why we don’t like winter. We are so glad clear skies and warmer temps returned for Sunday and Monday. Now we head home for almost two weeks before we resume our travels in North Carolina later this month.
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