Double the pleasure in AndalusiaPublished 12:00am Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Andalusia was the “host city” for the 2014 Alabama Tandem Weekend, “ATW,” April 3-6. Thirty-three cyclists on 15 tandem bicycles and 1 triple came here to enjoy our lovely low traffic rural roads. Most stayed at the Holiday Inn Express hotel, the starting point for all the ride routes. Others enjoyed camping at Frank Jackson State Park. The cyclists came from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Many commented on the beauty of our area and the friendliness of the people.
The welcome and reception of Andalusia’s Tourism and Relocation committee and the Chamber of Commerce greatly impressed the cyclists. We are fortunate to have such responsive, progressive City leaders. The attendees requested the ATW be held here again in 2015. There was still so much for them to see and experience!
The suggested bicycle routes are posted online at RidewithGPS.com for anyone anywhere to download and use. Several people who were not able to attend ATW came in the weeks before and cycled here using the routes. These visitors stayed in hotels, dined in restaurants, shopped in stores, and were quite favorably impressed with Andalusia.
Everyone was excited to learn of our rare opportunity to develop a safe Rail Trail connecting Andalusia and Geneva! This proposed trail would be a fantastic economic and aesthetic asset to our extended area, drawing local people to use it for health and recreation, plus visitors to come use it and stay awhile, adding to the economy. Folks drive from everywhere to use similar Trails in Milton, Fla., (Blackwater Heritage State Trail) and Hattiesburg, Miss., (Longleaf Trace, also has horse trail). This is truly a wonderful opportunity for our area.
In 2010, Alabama ranked last in a list of “Bicycle Friendly States.” Perhaps Andalusia can lead the state as a bicycling destination!
The City of Andalusia, Chamber of Commerce, The Andalusia Star-News coverage, and friendly people made the ATW weekend a great success! Thank you!
Pam and Guy Wyche