Welcome to the final edition of Tandem Talk for 2015. There’s been an awful lot going on the last few months; great weather, Bike Week and more, so you may want to get yourself a cuppa before settling down to read this one.

Recent Rides
The September Clinic was clearly a success as there have been several new riders join our rides and hire tandems. New member, Kate with workmate Roland volunteering up the front, have been riding regularly since they attended the clinic and Erin has shown herself to be an extremely versatile stoker, partnering with five different pilots at last count.

Rec Rides
In September (1 tandem, 5 singles) and October (3 tandems, 4 singles) we cycled from VisAbility to Matilda Bay, with the more adventurous extending the ride to the jetty at Steve’s before turning around and coming back for coffee. The October ride was a great turn-out considering the Blind Citizens Conference was on, and it was great to have Nathan and David join us.

The November Rec Ride was remarkable on two fronts – the tandems outnumbered the single bikes 5 to 2 AND the girls outnumbered the boys 8 to 4! Needless to say we turned some heads on our ride from Guildford to Oasis and back. I have to add that the boys, (or should I say men?) made up for their lack of numbers when Ian’s front tyre suffered a blowout and Ian, Paul and David pooled their resources (I was going to say “pulled out their tools” but that would be wrong!) and MacGyver-ed a fix on the side of the road involving a found, plastic water bottle and a deal of ingenuity.

Most of us are used to seeing the bemused looks on the faces of the people we pass and hearing “there’s a tandem… and another… and another!” but the shoe was on the other foot so to speak, when our group passed 4 tandems going in the opposite direction! Somewhere out there, there are other tandem riders as surprised and as startled as we were by this discovery.

Rec Ride to Oasis 15th November

Rec Ride to Oasis 15th November

Club Rides
There was only one Club Ride per month for September, October and November due to the number of other events on.

In September 4 tandems and 4 single bikes tried out a new route through Nedlands and Claremont. In October we tried to finesse this, but realised we got it right the first time. In November 4 tandems and 4 singles braved the heat to head out on the ride through the Middle Swan and Bellevue. I only just discovered that this circuit is called “Thomas the Tank”, because it crosses 5 train lines.

Community Rides
Did I mention there’s been a bit on lately? To name a few, in October we had members involved in Ride for a Reason, Ride to Work, MS Ocean Ride and the Gravel Grinder.

New members, Kate and Roland, participated in the Ride for A Reason, cycling 45 km, which was a great effort, especially as some of it was with the rear brake on. (Note to rear riders – don’t be afraid to say “Hey, what’s that strange, rubbing noise?” And to pilots – check your bikes before you jump on : ) )

While Kate and Roland joined the ‘short ride’, taking in part of the Shelly loop for coffee back in Perth, Beau cycled all the way to Bunbury and was back in Perth in time to walk 12 km in the Rotary Ramble the next day. To be fair to Roland, he jumped onto his commuter bike and did another 135km that day, taking the long way home.

Deanne and I have discussed participating in the Ride to Work day for several years now, and this year we made it happen. Thankfully her workmates were suitably impressed with our 7km ride from Vic Park train station to North Perth, via the Concert Hall for a free breakfast – which is what it’s all about right? A light drizzle made us look sufficiently hard-core as we were fairly soaked by the time we got to Dee’s workplace. Next year we will plan to leave earlier (more breakfast), and from a more distant train station (more ks).

The MS Ride is a regular event and WATCAC was represented once again – Callum and Paul M took on the 70km challenge, including Reabold Hill and a few other lumpy bits. Deanne and I and Forest did the 50km ride. We chalked it up as a good day, as for the first time in 4 years we didn’t get swooped by maggies or rained on. This event is well organised and marshalled, and there is a 30km option that is very do-able should you be considering participating in a community event.

On the same weekend, WATCAC members, Adriana & Hab, Paul & Jo, Haylee and Paul H travelled to Moora for the Grave Grinder Challenge; 52 km from Moora to Watheroo. This is a big event for the town and they all turn out in fancy dress to cheer riders along at the water stations. Jo, Adrianna and Haylee shared the podium for the best women’s times on the day. This event, which includes a huge dinner, wins the best value for money prize.

Adrianna writes:
“We had an interesting ride. We didn’t head off until 2.30pm and it was 36 degrees. We headed off along a bitumen road for 14 km and it was so hot, we then turned onto the dirt road which was surprisingly good. There was water stops every 4 km which was great so we got them to spray us to cool us down. We were all under the impression that it was a flat circuit, WRONG!!! It was hill after hill but we survived and finished. The town folk were great and there was a great dinner after. Good event and big thanks to Paul H, Haylee, Jo and Paul for keeping us going.”

Finally, while I write this, more of our members are participating in the Santos Great Bike Ride, cycling 52km around the Swan River, including on the Kwinana Freeway (not the bike path) from Canning Highway to Riverside Drive. Well… I say “while I write this” but it is now midday and they are probably all at home having a well-deserved rest. I was lying in bed listening to the wind blowing a gale outside my window when they were riding.

Upcoming WATCAC Rides

  • 29th November – Retina Clinic – Whiteman Park
  • 6th December – Club Ride – Jandakot. Departing from VisAbility at 8:30 am
  • 13th December – Rec Ride – Canning River Ride – Departing from Musgrave’s at 8:30 am followed by AGM at 11:00

Tandem Riding Clinic
Next Sunday, 29th November, WATCAC will be hosting a “Have A Go” day for Retina Australia at Whiteman Park from 9:00 to 12:00. If you can volunteer as a helper or pilot for this event please email WATCAC@googlegroups.com and let us know.

SW Tour
What a fabulous weekend! Great company, great food, great weather and lots of cycling! Fifteen members with about twice as many bikes enjoyed three nights in Busselton – yes, the bikes enjoyed it too, with a ride to Peppermint Grove Beach (57km return) on Saturday, Simmos’ Ice creamery via Dunsborough (59km return) on Sunday and on Monday some of the more adventurous headed out to the Dunsborough MTB Skills Development Park at Dunsborough and Districts Country Club. Rumour has it that they accidentally ended up on the blue (read advanced) trails. Jo, believing that all good Country Clubs should have a spa, applied her own mud facial while out on the trail.

Thank you to Jo and Paul, who put in the hard yards (quite literally) to plan, organise and personally check out the accommodation and the rides for us.

WestCycle Survey
WestCycle are calling on people who ride bikes, people who drive and people who would like to ride more but are concerned about safety to complete the Bike Safety Survey.

The Bike Safety Survey is the result of over 12 months engagement work between WestCycle and our member organisations. Together we have identified 10 measures needed to make it safer to ride a bike in Western Australia and we are now inviting the general public to help prioritise what the most important measures are.

“This survey is for everyone – the people who already ride bikes, people who drive cars, people who would like to ride more but are concerned about safety. We’d like everyone to input into finding solutions to make Western Australia a bike-friendly state”, said Mr Fulton.

Have you completed the Bike Safety Survey yet? This is your chance to share your thoughts on how riding a bike can be made safer in Western Australia.

Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bikesafetysurvey2015. The survey closes at 4pm on Monday 23rd November – that’s tomorrow!

AGM – SAVE THE DATE Sunday 13th December
The WATCAC AGM is scheduled for Sunday 13th December. We will start with a Rec Ride from David and Jennifer Musgrave’s home, 52 Sutherland Cres, Winthrop to Kent St Weir returning to Winthrop for the AGM at 11:00. This will be our final ride for 2015. Check your email for further information.

AGM – Committee Positions Open
WATCAC doesn’t run without a dedicated group of volunteers, and you may recall that last year our then President stood down and wasn’t replaced. Anthony (Hab) has been filling in as Acting President but is unable to continue in this role. If you are able to give a few hours a month to help co-ordinate rides and keep the wheels turning please consider nominating for a committee position. Any of the current (and past) committee members would be happy to talk to you about what’s involved.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

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