Elvis Has Left The Building

The Southern Tandem Rally returned after a one-year Covid hiatus. Tupelo, MS was the host city which made this Elvis fan very happy. What didn’t make me quite as happy was that attendance didn’t hinge on being vaxxed. Meeting new people came with some trepidation as we fished to learn if they were vaccinated.

There are lots of cool murals in Tupelo

The first day of STR featured a ”ride when you choose” out and back on the Tanglefoot bike trail. It also featured the best weather of the weekend, but we’ll get to that later.

A mural at the trailhead where we started
This is the group we spent the day with. Livingoods, Campbells, Bolands and Ullmanns.
It was a three (3) Seven ride…does that make it a 21?
There was a bakery at the turn around spot and we enjoyed a fall treat!
Did I mention it was a beautiful day? This stunning sky was for a limited time only.

A funny thing about tandem rallies, they are totally dependent on the weather. All week leading up to the weekend the forecast looked great, near perfect. But when you get those great forecasts, it’s time to worry! We were All Shook Up when we awoke to this weather radar on Saturday morning. Should we take the weathermen and Return to Sender?

This is what the Saturday early morning radar looked like. Tupelo is the blue dot to the east of that giant yellow and orange blob.

But That’s All Right Mama, the storm moved out at ride time and Roger used his radar reading skills to determine that we could ride. It’s Now or Never–let’s roll! Those who wanted to ride the longest option trimmed their expectations, and those of us who chose to ride were happy we did. We didn’t get any water on our Blue Suede Shoes.

It looks gloomy. but we didn’t get wet on this ride!

Lunch was at the Elvis Presley birthplace. We rode the shorter ride so we had plenty of time to finish the ride, return to the hotel, shower and change before lunch.

Here is the tiny shotgun (two room) house.
Posing with The King inside the museum.

It drizzled during much of our tour of the birthplace, things were about to get better later in the evening. The banquet had a definite theme, including a genuine Hunk of Burnin’ Love.

Roger was dressed perfectly for the night’s festivities.

Suspicious Minds will tell you that Elvis is not dead. He’s hiding in Tupelo. Let’s Bossa Nova, Baby!

The only thing that could top the entertainment was the conga line finale to one of my all time favorite songs from my favorite Elvis movie: Viva Las Vegas!

This high energy ending had everyone up and rockin’

Sunday morning brought more Kentucky Rain to Tupelo and the surrounding area. It’s Now or Never–to ride or head home? Most of the 50 (or so) teams who were in attendance (including us) did not ride. At the last moment Roger proclaimed that we could ride, but at that point we weren’t dressed and had already blown off the ride. Two out of three ain’t bad…some attendees drove all the way to Tupelo for one ride (on Friday) which didn’t have a group start.

We had a fun weekend with friends in a cool city!

We are glad to be attending rallies again, we are glad to get to chance to see tandem friends after so much time away.

Next up. we head west and enjoy the bike lanes and bikeways of Orange County California. Is that near Blue Hawaii? Thank you…thank you very much.

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8 thoughts on “Elvis Has Left The Building

  1. Looks like fun! Hope to see you while you’re in Orange County – – check out the SCOOTers’ upcoming rides on the new Facebook group!!

  2. sorry, ridiculous that vaccines weren’t required. but, not surprised 😮. we wouldn’t have gone….looks like fun, though!!

  3. Regarding Vaccinations, I’m pretty sure it was the same at Dirty GTR: everyone was “on their honor” to have been vaccinated if they planned on attending. From one of their final Emails regarding the event, “We believe we can make it work, if we’re all careful and fully vaccinated!” I wish I’d have kept the registration information as it was very clear, if you want to attend you need to be vaccinated. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so… and I’m pretty sure everyone who attended — like the Dirty GTR — was the no worse for wear.

  4. Disagree. There was nothing on the website or the application regarding being vaxxed. There was one line “if we’re fully vaccinated” was the phrase used in an informational email that went out near the end of August when many folks were already registered for the rally. As to the dirty GTR, we didn’t ask to see proof of vax, but you affirmed that you were fully vaxxed on the application.

    1. Yes, you are correct on all counts. I thought there may have been mention of vaccinations in the April announcement, but it is most likely the one issued just before the event that comes to mind.

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