Bicycling Built for Two: Ridgeland Tandem Rally Takes Place in April

Ridgeland OBO 720x3002015 brings many new bike rides to Mississippi. Over the next few weeks, Crooked Letter Cycling will feature each of the new rides. One of them is the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally. It is being held the weekend of April 17-19 in the Ridgeland Township.

The Ridgeland OBO (One Behind the Other) Tandem Rally is a ride that Ashton and Renee Page are proud to have coming to the area. For those of you who don’t know Ashton and Renee, they are among our few local tandem riders.

Ashton and Renee started riding tandem 10 years ago, about six months before they were married. Ashton had cycled on and off since he was a teen in New Orleans. Renee was a runner and cardio junkie, so cycling on a tandem fit her perfectly.

10398336_1136278861247_5133556_nThe Alabama Tandem Rally in 2005 was the Pages’ first tandem rally. They had just started riding tandem, and they were worried about their cycling ability. Ashton Page said that once he saw how much grey hair was in the group, he thought, “This will not be a problem.” Then he and Renee were dropped in the first five miles! Nevertheless, they enjoyed the experience so much that they continue to attend at least one tandem rally each year. In 2011, they took a tandem tour of Spain; in 2013 they participated in a tandem tour from Paris to Amsterdam.

Asked why he and Renee wanted to bring a tandem rally to Ridgeland, Aston answered, “First, to show off the great area we have to ride. Second is to try and promote tandem riding in the area.”

Ashton continued: “I think people will be amazed at the ages of most tandem teams. Many cities have enough tandem riders to have a monthly tandem ride.”

Cyclists attending the Ridgeland OBO Rally will be treated to multiple days of riding along the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway, where the azaleas and dogwoods will be in full bloom.

The Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally is being held in conjunction with the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival and the Sante South Wine Festival. After the bike ride, tandem partners will be able to meander among the many varied booths of pottery, paintings, jewelry and other works created by approximately 100 artists from across the United States.

On Saturday evening, all interested cyclists will enjoy the Santé South Wine Festival. Since 2006, Santé South has grown into the largest wine and culinary extravaganza in the state of Mississippi. It has generated more than $350,000 in proceeds for the Mississippi chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally is also very fortunate to welcome Marcia and Ric Becker, owners of House of Tandems, a tandem dealership from the Houston, Texas, area. Marcia and Ric will be bringing a couple of tandems that couples may rent or try out for demos. Ric, a skilled mechanic, will be available to answer questions concerning participants’ own tandems and accessories.

Find registration information and more on the Ridgeland OBO Tandem Rally website and Facebook page. Couples registering before January 1 will be entered into a drawing for free lodging on Friday and Saturday nights!

Mark April 17-19 on your calendar! Even though most of us are not tandem riders, this is the weekend to come on in and check it out!