Recent Rides
There have been 5 WATCAC rides since the last Tandem Talk, 2 Rec rides and 3 Club rides.

The March Rec Ride started out from Bassendean. Two tandems (Kerry & Debbie and Steve & Justin) and David faithfully followed Jennifer the long way around to East Perth and a very nice coffee shop…..that was closed. We ended up at The Royal in Claisebrook right between the end of breakfast service and the start of lunch. In other words, the kitchen was closed. Chalk this one up to experience.

The April Rec Ride fared so much better. Four tandems and Domestique David pedalled from Bayswater to Crawley. It was a beautiful day and the riverside was bustling with activity including dolphins by the Burswood, two weddings on the South Perth Foreshore, a group of yachts (what is the collective noun for that – the nautical equivalent of a peloton?) marooned under Windan Bridge, a vintage Ford Car club rally and a dog club meeting. Chalk this one up as one of the most interesting rides ever – for all the right reasons.

The Club Rides have been besieged by long weekends and member absences. On the Labour Day long weekend in March Hab and Adriana were accompanied by 5 single bikes through the Swan Valley. On Easter Monday Hab and Adriana cycled the Swan Valley again, joined this time by only one other bike.

In between these two rides 3 tandems and 2 single biked made the loop from Vic Park to Jandakot (with some taking a sneaky short cut) and back again on April 6th. The highlight of this ride, if not taking into account all the yummy cakes at Sassy Cookie, was having to detour along Kwinana Freeway by going up and over the pedestrian overpass at Preston Street, Como.

It has been a slow and steady start to the year, but as those of you who participated in the last Rec Ride will know, RIGHT NOW is the perfect time for cycling, not too hot, not too windy, and not too wet. So shake yourself out of bed and come and enjoy it!

Bike Week
Bike week was held in March, with too many events on to mention. I’m not sure if any of our members made it to a breakfast (or two) but we were well represented at several events.

On Sunday 16th March Hab and Adriana, Jennifer and Deanne, and David and Haylee took part in the Giro D’Perth. For this event, participants use a bike, a map and clues to navigate their way through the back lanes of Perth, answering some questions along the way. Before we had even started David and Jennifer had got lost getting to the start point using computer navigation, Hab and Adriana broke two spokes on their back wheel and Haylee missed her train.

WATCAC at the Giro d'Perth 2014

WATCAC at the Giro d'Perth 2014 - who is Hab's mystery woman?

Having got all the gremlins well and truly out of the system, the rest of the day passed without incident. It was great fun exploring old areas of Perth that were completely new to us and watching the other teams try to find their way around. Some of them had put a great amount of effort into their costumes and one family completed the ride on unicycles. We looked slick with our WATCAC shirts on, as evidenced in the photo.

On Saturday 22nd March Dee and I put on our sun frocks for a cycle from the city to City Beach with the Frocks on Bikes group. It was a nice ride and I plan to scope it out some time in the future as a WATCAC Rec Ride destination – need to level out one or two hills somehow. “Frocks on Bikes Perth” aims to normalise bike riding for transport, as it is done in other countries, by wearing normal clothing and riding at a relaxed pace. Despite the name, they welcome men and women. Frocks are optional, but Lycra is rather frowned upon. Look up “Frocks on Bikes Perth” on Facebook for more information on this group.

While Dee and I were working on our tans and getting sand in-between our toes, Hab and Adriana, Trevor and Greg and Haylee and Paul H were resting and carb-loading in preparation for the Freeway Bike Hike, the following day. They left Langley Park in the city as the sun was rising, and with a stiff easterly wind blowing over their shoulders, to take part in the 80km ride.

Greg writes:
“Another early rise, quick shower, breakfast, and into nics and one of our new WATCAC cycling shirts.

Today we are once again going to be part of the Freeway Bike Hike; this year is the 10th anniversary, and from memory Trev and I have only missed a couple. Taxi down to Trevor’s place and onto the bike for the short ride from Rivervale down to Riverside Drive and the starting point.

This year for the cyclists the ride is an up and back, travelling up beyond Joondalup and return to the city centre. A round trip of about 80km.

Travelling up towards Joondalup weaving between large groups of riders was a fairly uneventful cruise until we got to the area beyond Joondalup, then things got a little harder with a few hills, riders starting to bunch up a bit, and some frustrated car drivers becoming a little impatient with their wait while the riders moved through.

We got to the point where we turned for the return journey; it was then we realised that this ride was going to be a little harder than we thought. We were into a head-wind for the 40km ride back!

This is where tandems have their great strength; with many single bike riders struggling into the wind, we passed hundreds on our way back to Perth. The legs were a tad on the tired side when we crossed the finish line though.

We didn’t hang around the finish line for long, choosing to head up to the Sassy Cookie in Vic Park for a well-earned coffee with the rest of our WATCAC riders.

All up, from Trevor’s place to the starting point, the ride itself, and back to Trevor’s was just short of 100kms.

A great event, lots of fun, and that coffee sure was nice.”

Mountain Bikes
With the assistance of a Lottery West grant and a lot of research and diligence on the part of several committee members, our first two mountain bike tandems have been ordered and are on their way from MTB Tandems in America.

While we wait for delivery of the bikes Paul M has also sourced a mountain bike skills training company. Combined with their knowledge of mountain biking and our collective knowledge of tandem bike riding we will be able to provide an excellent induction to those who want to have a go. Please let a committee member know if you are interested.

Shoe Safety
On a final note, please remember to wear appropriate shoes when riding – secure footwear with a good grip is essential if you don’t want an unplanned pedicure. If your shoes have laces be sure to tuck away the ends to stop them getting caught in the chain or around the pedals. I distinctly remember riding home from primary school marvelling at how my untied shoelace was winding around the crank with each turn of the pedal. Until, that was, I lost my balance and couldn’t put my foot out to stop from falling. Embarrassing.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

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