Frequently Asked Questions about NWTR
What is the history of NWTR?
Nancy Meitle started the rally in Corvallis in 1986. Until 2003 there was no formal organization at all. At the Eugene rally in 2003 past organizers formed an informal group to begin sharing resources, setting some guidelines and working toward always having the next two year’s rallies in place. This group met annual at the rally.
The Salem rally in 2012 decided to donate their proceeds to formalizing the ad hoc organizing committee into a more formal non-profit structure with a board and by laws. That group has had its first weekend retreat to set our mission and set up committees in November of 2014.
When is NWTR?
Since our founder was a teacher she liked doing the rally over Memorial Day weekend. Fourth of July tends to be the more popular date given the weather in the northwest. But over the years it has come to fluctuate between Memorial Day and the Fourth depending on the host venue’s weather and availability. To date no one has ventured to plan a rally on Labor Day weekend as it might make it more challenging for those with kids and who teach.
How big an event is this?
This varies from about 200 tandems up to about 500 tandems with the larger events typically on the I-5 corridor. If you’ve never been to a tandem rally, prepare to be amazed. You will never see such a wide variety of 2-wheeled conveyances! It’s not unusual to see triples, quads and even quints. And there’ll be tag-alongs and trailers with babies and pets. Single bikes are also welcome to join us.
What kind of lodging can we expect?
Every community’s event is unique. We encourage organizers to offer a variety of options. Generally in addition to hotel stays there’s tent and RV camping. Often, but not always, there may be dormitory stays also available.
What kinds of routes can we expect?
Every year’s rally is unique to the community hosting. We encourage organizers to offer multiple length and difficulty routes each day with an attempt to meet a variety of attendees’ needs. Ideally that includes families with youngsters on a tag-along as well as those training for a competitive event and everything in between. Short loops or out-and-back routes of roughly 20 miles are typical of the short routes. Then there’s something in the 40-50 mile range and often 60-80 miles as well. Again, every year is unique so be sure to check the website for the event you are attending.
What's it like to ride in a Mass Start?
Depending on the route and number of attendees most rallies have at least one mass start. It’s exciting to see hundreds of tandems, triples, quads and quints, some with tag-a-longs or Bobs. It’s quite crowded and slow going at first. In most communities the police lead the mass start out and stop traffic at intersections until the mass naturally spreads out. You can get a feel for what it’s like in this fast-paced 2:45 minute video courtesy of Mount Baker Bicycle Club‘s Greg Rehm.
Questions about the upcoming NWTR rally?
Because each year’s event is hosted in a different community and the answers to questions are unique to that host, if you have questions about the next rally, please visit that year’s website. It’s easy…just go to https://nwtr.org/2017 for the one in 2017. But we won’t be updating that link each year so just change the year for the year it is and voila…you have the website for the next event! You’ll get much more accurate responses by doing this. Remember we are ALL volunteers. So thanks for your patience.