Cycling in SOWEFLO

Hurricanes and red tide are on the horizon as we head to Venice, Florida for the 40th Southern Tandem Rally.  It’s our 21st consecutive STR and Hurricane Michael passes by, breaking up the red tide that has plagued this area for months.

Clear skies ahead.

On Friday morning about 70 teams gather for the first ride of the rally.  

Our 50 mile ride is flat and fast. After about 5 miles we hook up and ride the rest of the way with a group of 7 bikes.  

There are three hills all day. All are Interstate 75 overpasses giving us a total elevation gain of 213 feet for the day.

After dinner at a brewpub, we arrive at the Friday night social about halfway through the party.  Our ice cream choices are chocolate, or chocolate! There is a very impressive array of toppings for us to add.  

Ice cream is always good.

A front goes through during the night and Saturday dawns cool (it may have been under 70 degrees) and without humidity.  

Today we will remote start from Sharky’s On the Pier so we will finish the ride at our lunch location (great idea). Somehow we end up right behind the police car which escorts us out of the parking lot and for several turns, we are leading STR. 

We wonder if we will have to get behind the other 70 bikes when we pull off the front!! 

Today the ride is flat, but not as fast because we have so many turns.  At one point when we are about 15 miles into the ride we have made 30 turns.  Kudos to our captains for passing the bike handling test!  

We enjoy the well-placed and scenic rest stop at about 28 miles.

Then we crank out the last 14 miles before a yummy lunch. 

Sharky’s has a beautiful piece of real estate with a beach and pier which provides a great locale for a photo op.

Did I mention that I like ice cream?  Our host hotel for the weekend is located across the street from Bob’s Twist N’ Shake, which was voted “Best of Venice”. How do we say anything but “yes, please” to it?

Tastes like a creamsicle.

The festive banquet is a great opportunity for Michele and I to show off our new “tandem” dresses!

Photo courtesy Reg Ullmann.

The Sunday ride is always much smaller as so many participants are anxious to get on the road towards home.  Because about half of the riders are from Florida, many do stay and  probably 65-70 percent of the group actually ride.

It’s another 31 miles of flat fun featuring fantastic photos. No extra charge for alliteration.

Thanks to Debi, Steve, Kat and Bob for hosting a fun weekend in Venice, Florida.  Their years of planning and hard work as well as their obvious enthusiasm combined to make for a memorable 40th Southern Tandem Rally.

Next up we fly west for some riding in SoCal.  Nancy, Michael, Britt and Kevin – we’ll see you soon!

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3 thoughts on “Cycling in SOWEFLO

  1. So glad you were able to join us. It sure was fun! Sorry if they ran out of vanilla ice cream but chocolate is always great 😎

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