My thoughts after the inaugural Tennessee #Recumbent Rally: I hope there’s a 2nd Annual Rally!
It was a hot 91º day in #Murfreesboro, TN for the inaugural Tennessee Recumbent Rally. Guided bike tours of the Murfreesboro #Greenway and Civil War Battlefield were scheduled at 7:30 am, 9:30 am and 11:30 am; Laura and I decided the night before to join the 9:30 AM tour.
We arrived at Recumbent Bicycles of Tennessee (RBOT) about 9 AM and were promptly signed in; name tags placed in lanyards and T-shirts awaiting our arrival. A ticket, placed behind our name tags, was to be used in a drawing for door prizes scheduled later in the day. I politely listened to the instructions about the drawing, but a lifetime of experience reminded me that I would not be winning a prize. I don’t win drawings.
With a few minutes to kill before our tour started, I decided to stroll through the recumbent bicycle shop. The first thing I noticed (and appreciated) is the air conditioning. The contrast between the temperature outside and the store’s interior was considerable. The showroom is clean enough to eat off of the floor. The store is stocked with cycling merchandise ranging from #tadpole #trikes to chain lube; everything arranged in an orderly fashion. It was easy to locate the items you were looking for; perhaps too easy. I had already found several items that I wanted to purchase!
We decided to get our trikes unloaded and get prepared to join the tour. Laura and I were the only people riding #delta style trikes; the remainder of the group riding tadpoles. Initially I felt out of place being the only delta riders. However, before the tour left we met several of the riders and discovered them to be very welcoming. We learned that a couple of the tadpole riders owned or had previously owned delta trikes. Now I just wondered if I could keep up with the tour!
The tour leader pulls out in front and a line of recumbent riders forms behind him. It seems easy for our guide to get everyone in place. This is going to be fun! We depart from the parking lot of Recumbent Bicycles of Tennessee and head toward the traffic light at Middle Tennessee Boulevard.
After crossing Middle Tennessee Boulevard we make our way down Park Avenue to Old Salem Highway. Recumbent trikes get attention; riding in a group like this they get a lot of attention! Everyone wearing green Tennessee Recumbent Rally t-shirts while riding a #recumbent trike is hard to hide; a huge benefit as we share the road with cars. We pass Mayday Brewery on Old Salem Highway and I can’t help but think how good a cold Boro Blonde would be right now in this heat.
Our tour group enters Mufreesboro’s Stones River Greenway System at Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village. It is a pleasant #ride on the greenway with shade covering much of this section of paved trail. Our guide leads us to General Bragg Trailhead where we take a short break. From General Bragg Trailhead we pedal over and tour Stone’s River National Battlefield. The shade is scarce on this section of the trail with a lot of open fields. The park’s visitors center provided the group another convenient spot to take a break. A bottle filling station located inside the visitor’s center provided cold water for much needed refills. After a brief rest, water refills, and some hydration we retrace our route back to RBOT. My Strava app logged the ride at 13.6 miles with a riding time of 1 hour and 44 minutes.
The ride in the heat had taken a predictable toll on our bodies. My wife was ready to go home, shower, change, and cool off before attending the after party. With our trikes loaded up we headed to Mount Juliet were we even managed get a nap in; the day was going great!
We returned to RBOT at the perfect time; the party was just getting started. The caterers had a buffet line of delicious food prepared and the DJ was cranking out the tunes. After enough time to enjoy our meals and socialize the group was entertained by RBOT the robot. RBOT did not deliver a speech but entertained by dancing; even delivering a few moves of “The Robot.”
RBOT assisted with the drawing for the door prizes, being responsible for pulling the tickets. Gift bags stuffed with cycling goodies were given away with the grand prize being an indoor #trike trainer. Drawing responsibilities complete, RBOT returned to the dance floor for one more song before calling it a night.
Laura and I were soon to follow, both tired from a day full of events. The inaugural rally had been a blast. A guided tour of a beautiful and historic greenway, great people, and good food.
I did not leave the rally empty handed; I had a new micro pump and two safety flags. Of course I purchased them because I don’t win prizes. I look forward to any announcement of a 2nd annual recumbent bicycle rally so I can make my plans to attend. I hope to see you there.