The ride up Barlow Pass and back down is one of the premier rides that NW Washington has to offer. It had been a few years since we had ridden it (5 years to be exact), so it was nice to reconnect with that ride, shared with one other tandem couple. Round trip is 38 miles, 19 up 2% and 19 down 2%. All on very lightly traveled road with superb scenery. This photo is at the summit where the road turns to gravel. One of these days we'll ride a gravel tandem and just keep on going!
And no less a highlight was our trip to Crater Lake NP in July, where we dodged the smoke from nearby wildfires and enjoyed the rim ride with another couple of dear, close friends (we actually went around twice we liked it so much). As you can see, it wasn't smoky the entire time. What a delightful trip!
Certainly one of the year's highlights was our trip to the Southwest where we rode, hiked, and canoed in a total of 6 National Parks and 2 National Monuments. We did this with one other tandem couple - very dear friends and travel buddies. Amazing in all respects.
April is the time of year for the Skagit Tulip Festival, a favorite tandem destination. This year we rode with 2 other couples from Bayview State Park, through the tulip (and daffodil) fields, returning by way of the Padilla Bay trail. It was a gorgeous Pacific Northwest day.
The Tandem Year in Review
From the standpoint of the COVID pandemic, 2021 was a better year for Tandem Diversity than 2020; however, things were still far from the pre-pandemic normals we hope to see again. International travel was still not on the agenda for us, though domestic travel featured. Sales and service business was better than 2020 but still not yet up to hoped-for levels. Most of our travel was driving: several times to Colorado, the Southwest, and the Midwest. Only one airplane trip and as of today we've still sworn off air travel. In fact, we had planned a trip to Africa for this January but called it off due to COVID risks as well as the impact of jet travel on climate change. We still are mulling our stand on that issue; for the time being we still stay with our findings and recommendations in the article we wrote for our website about tandem travel and climate change.
The domestic travels were many and varied, though, with lots of scenery, lots of learning, and lots of time with good friends.
The trails of Southern Wisconsin are a favorite destination and 2021 saw us visit there and ride there on 4 different occasions.
It was on one of the Wisconsin trips where we attended and sponsored the Midwest Tandem Rally, put on in Racine this year by the Wisconsin tandem club, the COWS. We had our vendor booth, enjoyed the rides, learned much about the Racine area, and relished re-establishing connections to old tandem friends (and making new ones). The COWS did a super job and this was one of the best rallies we've attended.
Although there had been snow for Christmas (and would be again for Valentine's Day), it was all melted by the New Year so we were able to start 2021 off with a tandem ride. Yay!
Although not up to our usual standards of travel and mileage, it none the less was a good tandeming year with lots of fun, including one domestic tour, one tandem rally (Midwest), 2273 miles, and riding on 9 different tandems (including a really sweet Co-Motion Carrera Rohloff we demo'd at the tandem rally).
We offer our heartfelt thanks to all of you who rode with us and/or trusted us to help you on your tandem journey. We thoroughly enjoyed the year and wish for all of you a very happy, safe, and healthy 2022. As always, please email us to let us know how we can help you in your tandem life together.