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Christmas Night Ride and BBQ

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Dec 282016

Just a quick line to wish all members and supporters and their families a happy and safe Christmas.

We had our end of year ride on the weekend and finished the year with a fun ride and BBQ. It was great to see new riders, life members, lots of tandems and plenty of laughter to finish our year.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again in the New Year.

Hab (Anthony)
WATCAC President

Tandem Talk October 2016

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Dec 092016

The calendar says October, but it is another wet, windy, cold Sunday morning, so I am sitting at my computer instead of being out on a bike somewhere.

Here’s a bit of a run-down on what’s been going on in the world of WATCAC.

Recent Rides

Rec Rides
There have been only two Rec Rides since the June newsletter – the July ride was cancelled but in August a group of us finally gathered at Bull Creek Station to cycle to Kent St Weir; the third attempt to do this ride.

For the September Rec Ride 10 of us (4 tandems and 2 single bikes) cycled from Vic Park to Maylands via Garrett Rd Bridge, Ascot. Aaron did a sterling job piloting for Kate and showed great adaptability in moving from riding his usual, BMX bike to a drop-bar, road tandem. Kate may have just about recovered by now.

There are only 3 more Rec Rides scheduled for this year – Oct 9th, Nov 13th and Dec 11th. Put them in your calendar now.

Club Rides
There have been four Club Rides since the last Tandem Talk in June, with bad weather resulting in three rides being cancelled. (Are we getting soft?)

Most of the rides left from VisAbility and a did a version of the Kwinana Freeway/Roe Highway Jandakot loop, finishing up at The Kettle in Lathlain, a very satisfactory replacement for Sassy’s which has been closed over the winter.

It’s been great to see Anthony (Hab) come back from his injuries, progressing through a range of bikes and distances to now be back on the Kerminator with Adriana.

Our next club ride is scheduled for Sunday 16th October.

Community Rides
WATCAC Members haven’t participated in any big, community rides in the last few months. However, there are a lot coming up. (with apologies if I have missed anyone or anything out)

Around the Bay
Adriana, Anthony, Haylee, Paul H and Forest have been training diligently for the Around the Bay in a Day ride, where they will be joining thousands of others in cycling around Port Philip Bay, Melbourne. They will be doing the 210km Anti-clockwise ride, which starts in Alexandra Gardens, travels to Queenscliff via Geelong where the ferry then transports riders to Sorrento for the ride back to Melbourne via iconic Beach Rd, to the finish line in Alexandra Gardens.

Ride to Work
On Wed 12th October Deanne and I will be cycling from Oats St Station to the free breakfast at Elizabeth Quay. Be at Oats St Station for 6:45 if you want to join us.

Trek the Trail
On Sun 28th August Deanne and I made use of one of the WATCAC Mountain Bike Tandems to ride 20 km from Darlington to Mundaring Community Sculpture Park and back on the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail. This is a wide, easily accessed trail right on our doorstep. If you want to try out trail riding it’s an ideal place to start. Let me know if you want to give it a go and need help with a bike.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides
9th Oct – WATCAC Rec Ride (and every 2nd Sunday)
9th Oct – Around the Bay in A Day, Melbourne
12th Oct – Ride To Work
16th Oct – WATCAC Club Ride (and every 1st and 3rd Sunday)
12th Nov – Tim’s Ride
19th Nov – Tour of the Jacarandas
19th Nov – SENSES Camp
4th Dec – Ocean Ride for MS

Fund Raising High Tea
On Sunday Sept 18th, 24 WATCAC members and friends participated in a wonderful High Tea hosted by Susan Murphy. The tables were set beautifully with fine china, champagne flutes and blue serviettes tied with sparkly, silver ribbon. In the centre of each table was an amazing 3D paper cut-out of two riders on a tandem bike, designed and made by Connie.

Sue produced scones, cake, mini chocolate muffins, friands, sweet and savoury slices and delicate sandwiches for us all to partake of. And partake we did. The coffee, tea and champagne flowed into the evening, along with the conversations and a staggering $1,085 was raised to put towards WATCAC’s operating costs and future projects. A huge Thank You goes out to Sue (and Connie) for organising and producing such a wonderful event.

Celebration Dinner for Greg Madson – Life Member
Last Friday Life Members, current members and friends gathered at CAFE BELLA ROSA in Carlisle to acknowledge all that Greg Madson has contributed to WATCAC and award him with a Life Membership. It was great to catch up and hear tales from Greg of cycling from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, participating in the Para-Olympics and overtaking trucks going down Greenmount Hill at speeds in excess of 100 km/hr (just to be clear, that’s while on a bike).

Greg continues to be a strong voice in the community, and Australia-wide, advocating for people with blindness and vision impairment. Anthony spoke for all WATCAC members when he congratulated Greg on all his achievements, on and off the bike, and thanked him for all that he has done to develop and support WATCAC.

Bits and Pieces
Is Your Information Up To Date?
We are currently updating all our membership data and contact information, including Emergency Contact information. If you who haven’t yet done so, please complete the WATCAC Membership form and email it to watcac@googlegroups.com or hand it to a committee member. A copy can be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here: http://watcac.org/about/membership.

WATCAC Jerseys
There are a limited number of WATCAC jerseys still available for purchase, so if you didn’t get one the first time around, or yours is worn out, $50 will get you a new one.

Sizes available are:

  • M Short Sleeve (2)
  • M Sleeveless (1)
  • XXXL Sleeveless (1)

Track Tandem Bike Available for Hire
Casey Hyde has a track tandem bike (pilot 52 and stoker 52 cm) that she would like to hire out so blind people in Perth can give track cycling a go. Contact Casey via email: caseyhyde@mail.com

Riding For Transport Course by Befriend
The Term Four Sweet Skills program kicks off on the 15th of October with a brand new course- ‘Riding for Transport.’ This unique course aims to build up your comfort and confidence in riding a bicycle around Perth so you can enjoy the many benefits of doing so- getting fitter, saving money, enjoying nature and having good old fashioned fun. Bring your bike or borrow ours and learn everything from how to fix a flat to how to plan a good route with as few hills as possible!

More details on this course are available at http://bit.ly/2d4IPfS.

Bike Ergonomic Assessments
Ian Wee, at Perth Integrated Health is a passionate cyclists, cycling coach and occupational therapist. If you are serious about cycling and eliminating all the associated aches, pains and numbness he is the man to see. Adriana and Anthony recently took the Kerminator – the tandem they have been riding for years – to Ian for assessment. Despite feeling that they had a pretty good set-up, Anthony reported that Ian changed everything on the bike save for Adriana’s cleats, even raising her seat by 2cm (that’s a lot). Adriana says she can now ride without her hands going numb and feels a lot more comfortable on the bike. Have a chat to Anthony or Adriana if you are interested in finding out more.

Avoid Bonking on the Bike
Last but not least, I found this great blog article: http://blog.mapmyrun.com/2016/09/avoid-bonking-on-the-bike-with-these-easy-tips/. If you are training for longer rides it’s worth a read.


Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk December 2016

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Dec 092016

Welcome to the final Tandem Talk for 2016. Here’s a bit of a run-down on what’s been going on in the world of WATCAC over the past few months.

Recent Rides

Rec Rides

Just the one ride to report on – October’s ride was cancelled but November 13th saw three tandems and one bike complete the ride from Bassendean to Oasis in the Swan Valley. Welcome back Kerry and Debbie, and thank you Anthony for leading this ride in my absence.

Come and join us for our final ride of the year on Sunday Dec 11 th . Details below.

Club Rides

There have been three Club Rides since October’s Tandem Talk. On a (finally) sunny October morning 11 riders (3 tandems, 2 singles) left from Bassendean to do a loop around the upper reaches of the Swan River, via Whiteman Park. This ride included a zig-zag of no less than eight hairpin bends which were navigated well by all our tandems. Thankfully it was downhill, so not much pedalling was required for this bit.

We actually managed to complete two club rides in November! On the first weekend five bikes (including 1 tandem) rode out from VisAbility. On the South Perth foreshore we passed marathon runners competing in the World Masters Athletics Competition. There was a lot of competitors wearing the green and gold of Australia and a good representation of lots of other countries. Later on the ride, in Mt Pleasant, we all had to check with one another to confirm that we had witnessed someone walking a rather large pig among all the dog walkers.

Last weekend we combined a ride with the WATCAC AGM. The ride took us around the Canning River from Mt Pleasant (where there was a second pig-walker sighting), Rossmoyne and Manning. The ride was shortened to make sure we would all be back in time for the AGM. If anyone can recommend a good coffee stop in Manning, it would make a good rec ride for 2017.

WATCAC Christmas Night Ride

In a first, our final ride for 2016 will be an evening ride, followed by a BYO BBQ in South Perth.

When: Sunday 11 th Dec, at 5:00 pm
Where: Meet in the carpark at the end of South Perth Esplanade.

There will be time to bling up the bikes with Christmas lights (lots of lights) before we head out around the river, returning to South Perth for a BBQ.

As we will be cycling at night let’s make sure we are really, really visible. We, like this event, should
be unmissable. Some examples from previous rides, appear below.

Let me know if you need help organising a pilot and/or bike.

Around The Bay 2016 – Or should I say Blown Around The Bay! – by Haylee

The WATCAC Contingent: Adriana & Hab, Paul, Beau, Forest and Haylee

We had spent a few weeks and months training to ride the 210kms from Melbourne to Geelong on to Queenscliffe, across the Bay to Sorrento and back to Melbourne but no one told us to train for GAIL FORCE WINDS!

We joined up at the start line at about 5:20am on a dark Sunday morning in Melbourne. There was much anticipation in the air as we had been following the weather and knew it was going to be windy – with up to 100km winds forecast. We set off at 5:37am riding out through empty Melbourne streets heading for Geelong. Riding over West Gate Bridge was a buzz, its massive but the winds had started.

We had a tail wind most of the way to Geelong and enjoyed 30+km speeds. We stopped in Geelong for a rest and a snack and it was getting pretty windy by now and a bit cold with no shelter.

It all changed when we got closer to Queenscliffe and we now know the winds in the exposed coastal sections were reaching gusts of 120km per hour. It was frightening. I couldn’t keep the bike going straight, I couldn’t unclip my shoes to stop and walk and at one point I was blown so hard I almost hit a car. I eventually made the horror 4km stretch to reach the ferry terminal and rest area and was pleased to see Forest’s friendly face.

Beau, Adriana, Hab and Paul ride in shortly after where Hab just about imploded as he explained he and Adriana had been knocked over on the Tandem by the wind, with Hab hurting his just healed wrist. Everyone was feeling the after effects of a tough ride so far.

We sat in the cold, howling wind of the unprotected park and had lunch before boarding the open deck ferry – a cold and wet and very windy crossing to Sorrento. Thanks to Paul and Beau for the hot coffees!

Once over the Bay we found a coffee shop and talked about our options of going on or catching the sag wagon to Frankston – we’d been warned of more strong cross winds. We collectively decided to push on which resulted in sand blasting and 90+km side winds testing our strength, coordination and resolve. A scary long downhill for the Tandem, which felt like riding into a wind tunnel, an undulating highway ride and an eventual arrival in Frankston 25kms later and a total of 165kms ridden so far.

Here we discovered they’d run out of food for the riders, the trains were not running due to fallen trees across the tracks and more talk about whether to ride on. In the end Hab discovered the event buses were taking riders and bikes to the train stations that were operating. Hab, Adriana and Paul called it quits and took the bus. Beau, Forest and Haylee rode on for the last 45kms.

The winds continued! At one stage the three of us were averaging 4km per hour as we hit the head winds. It was a slow hard slog along the undulating coast and we were blessed with some rain. It sounds bad but it did mean slightly less wind and the temperature increased. Seeing St Kilda beach and knowing we were 5kms from the finish lifted our spirits. We rode through the city to cross the line at 7pm. It was a a great surprise to have Hab, Adriana and Paul cheer us through the finish line.

We were thrilled to have finished and got our medals. It was the windiest and most frightening ride I’ve done and we were all proud of what we achieved but it was very clear, that was the last Around the Bay for these 5 riders.

Haylee


Around Central Park

In July, Deanne travelled to San Antonio, Texas for a RP event. Having got that far she took the opportunity to travel around the US and even organised a bike ride with InTandem, around Central Park in New York. (Dee is very busy and I have had to stalk her on Facebook to get this information. However, I am sure she would be happy to add more detail if you ask her.)

AGM

Thank you for all those who attended the AGM. The meeting ran smoothly, with all current committee members re-standing and re-elected. The WATCAC Committee for 2017 consists of:

  • Anthony (Hab) Collier – President
  • Haylee Clarke – Secretary
  • Trevor Maslen – Treasurer
  • Jennifer Musgrave – Ride Coordinator, Vice-President
  • Erin McGlew – Committee Member
  • Sue Price – Committee Member

More Christmas Lights

WATCAC member and pilot, Roland, likes Christmas. A lot. So much so he decorates his front garden in a “tour-busses drive by to look at it” kind of way. This year he is kindly using this to raise money for WATCAC. Take the family to 4 Newport Gardens, Hillarys and look out for the decorated tandem out the front
– for the Wise Men perhaps?

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

  • 4 th Dec Ocean Ride for MS
  • 11 th Dec WATCAC Christmas Night Ride
  • 4 th Feb Luminocity Night Ride Perth http://luminocity.org.au/ for details.
  • 5 th Feb WATCAC Club Ride (and every 1 st and 3 rd Sunday)
  • 12 th Feb WATCAC Rec Ride (and every 2 nd Sunday)

Senses Deaf-Blind Camp

On Sunday 20th November WATCAC helped out at the Senses Deaf-Blind Camp at Woodman Point Recreational Reserve, offering Tandem Bike Riding as an activity for all the participants. We ran two clinics of 2 hours each. Both were well attended.

Thanks must go to Anthony, Haylee and Paul H for auditing our fleet of tandems prior to the clinic and performing all necessary maintenance to bring the bikes up to spec for the day. We had nine tandems available for use on the day, and they were all fully utilised. Fifteen WATCAC volunteers gave their time for the morning, as pilots, domestiques and Coach & Match-Maker Extraordinaire. This number includes Peter, Corey and Phil, who are brand new to our group.

It was a perfect day; warm and sunny with a light breeze and we soon had a 3km circuit mapped out and a group of nervous but excited people ready to go; some we had seen at previous camps and others, like the lady I rode with in the second group, had never been on a bike before. For me, the day was summed up by her reaction. On our first, orientation lap, she was very nervous and constantly instructing me to be careful. By the third lap of the big circuit she told me it was “Exhilarating!”. Lack of time and energy (on the part of the volunteer pilots) was generally what prevented us riding for longer. One participant instructed his pilot to cycle to a Freo Pub!

Everyone had a great morning and left with huge, silly, grins on their faces. We look forward to welcoming some of the participants on future WATCAC rides.


Happy and Safe Pedalling, and a wonderful Christmas to you all.

Jennifer

Tandem Talk July 2016

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Jul 282016

Welcome to the winter edition of Tandem Talk. I hope you are staying warm and dry and managing to get out for a ride or two on the cool, crisp days.

Here’s a bit of a run-down on what’s been going on in the world of WATCAC.

Recent Rides

Rec Rides
The April Rec Ride saw 4 tandems and 4 single bikes ride from VisAbility to Nedlands and the revamped tea rooms on Matilda Bay. This is a lovely ride along the South Perth Foreshore and the path alongside Mounts Bay Road, where it’s not uncommon for us to spot a dolphin or two.

In May our Mother’s Day ride saw several family groups join in the ride before meeting Mum for lunch. Five tandems and 3 singles cycled from Bayswater station, over Windan Bridge and along the South Perth Foreshore to the Narrows Bridge. We stopped for coffee at the Bell Tower before heading back to Bayswater.

Unfortunately, the June ride was cancelled due to poor weather. Hopefully we will have fine weather for a repeat attempt this Sunday (10/7). Join us at Bull Creek Train Station at 9:00am for a ride along the Canning River to Kent St Weir. Let me know if you need help with a bike and/or pilot.

Club Rides
There have been four Club Rides since the last Tandem Talk in March:

In April one ride was replaced with the Freeway Bike Hike and the second ride was cancelled due to rain.

In May there was one ride from Guildford, following Tonkin Highway through the new Gateway Project to Roe Highway. 3 tandems and 2 singles participated, with some riders returning via the Armadale train line and the more adventurous coming home via the Kwinana Freeway. The second May ride saw WATCAC members participating in the Armadale Grand Fondo.

The first weekend in June saw 3 tandems and 4 single bikes complete the Tonkin/Roe loop from Guildford. The second ride in June was much depleted due to injury and illness but the few of us remaining did a shorter ride from Vic Park. This turned into a fairly wet ride, not due to rain, but because of flooding underneath the Causeway that was deep enough to soak our shoes. Thankfully we only encountered this at the very end of the ride.

This morning a small group headed out from Vic Park while those in the know stayed home and out of the rain.

Our next club ride is scheduled for Sunday 17th July.

Community Rides

Freeway Bike Hike
Adriana and Paul, Erin and Trevor, Deanne and Jennifer with David and Forest took part in the Freeway Bike Hike this year, starting out from Elizabeth Quay as the sun came up to do the 60km route. It was great to be part of this community ride. To ride on the freeway is exhilarating, and fast – lots of wide road and no bollards or cross roads to worry about. What really struck me was how quiet the freeway was, even with one direction still open to traffic. Crossing over Mt Henry Bridge, on the top side, as the sun came up over the Darling Scarp was magical. At one point, as Deanne and I were heading back towards Perth along the Mitchell Freeway, the pack had stretched out and there was no one in front of us and no one behind us, so that we couldn’t tell that we were part of an organised bike ride. We both had a little moment of questioning what we were doing – cycling down the middle of the freeway! Surely we should have been on the path?

It’s been a few years since I have participated in the Freeway Bike Hike but I found the event to be well organised. Because of the staggered start times we didn’t see the riders participating in the shorter distances. This meant that we weren’t spending half the ride trying to avoid slower and less experienced riders, making it much safer. Put it in your calendar for next year.


Bridges Night Ride for MS
A relatively new event on the calendar (this was only the second one) the Bridges Night Ride for MS is a community ride run by Perth Integrated Health Cycling Group (PIHCG). Run on a Friday Evening the emphasis is on having a fun, sociable ride while raising some money for a good cause and enjoying some of the most picturesque parts of this city. 10 WATCAC members (3 tandems and 4 singles) took part in this year’s event.

Setting out from Centenary Park in Waterford we meandered around the Canning and Swan River, completing a distance of 40km. Everyone had put as many lights as possible on their bikes, with some even digging into the Christmas decorations (Sue). Once again we found ourselves at Elizabeth Quay, where we stopped for a photo op, and managed to win a voucher for dinner at Sopranos Italian Restaurant in South Perth.

Armadale Grand Fondo
Bribed with our dinner voucher, PIHCG twisted our arms into joining their Armadale Grand Fondo. A timed event, Erin and Roz, Deanne and Jennifer and David opted for the 40km piccolo route down on the flat while Anthony, Haylee, Paul and Forest took on 80km of hills.

It was really heartening to see a group of about 20 riders use this event to “graduate” from the She Rides course, a Cycling Australia initiative aimed at encouraging and coaching novice, women bike riders.

Both PIHCG events were very well organised with a lot of attention to rider safety. I would encourage you to consider entering any of their events that suit your ability.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides
10th July Rec Ride Departing from Bull Creek Station at 9:00
17th July Club Ride TBA
11th Sept Lancelin Hell of the North
9th Oct Around the Bay in A Day, Melbourne

Membership: Is Your Information Up To Date?

Do we know how to contact you to keep you informed of rides and events? More importantly, do we know who to contact in the event of an emergency (or a minor bingle)?

We are currently updating all our membership data and contact information, including Emergency Contact information. If you who haven’t yet done so, please fill in your details on the attached WATCAC Membership form and email it to watcac@googlegroups.com or hand it to a committee member. A copy can also be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here: watcac.org/about/membership.

Hopefully we will never need to use your next of kin information, but the issue was highlighted recently when one of our most experienced and competent members tangled with a pedestrian while out on a ride. Despite alerting the pedestrian to his presence she still stepped out in front of him, leaving Anthony with broken bones, cuts and bruises. We all wish Anthony a speedy recovery and hope to see him back out on the bike soon.

WATCAC Jerseys

There are a limited number of WATCAC jerseys still available for purchase, so if you didn’t get one the first time around, or yours is worn out, $60 will get you a new one.

Sizes available are:
M Short Sleeve (2)
M Sleeveless (1)
L Short Sleeve (1)
L Sleeveless (1)
XL Short Sleeve (1)
XXXL Sleeveless (1)

First in best dressed.

Fund Raising

Trevor the Treasurer has done the budget, and like budgets everywhere, we are in deficit. Maintaining a fleet of tandems (and the trailer) to keep them safe and in good working order, unfortunately costs money. While some of our members help out by selling chocolates (lots and lots of chocolates) our expenditure is still forecast to exceed chocolate consumption. In particular, we are planning on upgrading the WATCAC website to make it more accessible and a better tool for attracting new members and keeping you up to date with what WATCAC is doing.

The committee has been discussing various fund raising options but we would like your ideas. Have you come across a successful fund-raiser? Would you prefer to help out and support a movie night, a quiz night, a raffle or something else? Let us know.

You can contact all of us by using info@watcac.org or myself on Jennifer@winthropdc.com

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk March 2016

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May 132016

Welcome to the first edition of Tandem Talk for 2016. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break. I had a great holiday that now seems like a distant memory. Did you know there are only 277 days left until Christmas 2016!

A lot has been happening – better go put the kettle on.

Recent Rides

Rec Rides

There have been two Rec Rides so far this year, and both have been well attended.

Recreation Riders at Elizabeth QuayIn February 11 of us (5 tandems and one lone bike) cycled from Bassendean to South Perth, returning via Elizabeth Quay, where we stopped for the obligatory photo on the new bridge. (see below) We celebrated Deanne’s birthday at Gelare in South Perth and it was great see Paul and Sheldon after a long absence.

In March 9 riders (4 tandems and 1 bike) headed to Castledare for the Retina Australia WA Family Fun Day. We cycled from VisAbility along the train line to Cannington before following the Canning River path from Kent St Weir to Castledare via Riverton Bridge. One of the things I love about cycling with WATCAC is being made more aware of my surroundings by having to describe them to our VI members, and I hope I have gotten a little better at this. I have a growing list of “things I never thought I would say” and on this ride “There’s a miniature train, a diesel, on the tracks by the river and Darth Vader and some Storm Troopers are riding on it.” got added to it. *

* For the record, “The cheese is on the left and the g-spot to the right” still tops this list. Said during a shopping stop in Harvey during a South West tour several years ago. G-Spot was the name of an ice-cream (gelare) place there.

Club Rides

Club rides have been a bit thin on the ground for the start of the year as several of our members have been overseas touring Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and India. More on this later.

In February 4 members (the ones who had been slacking and not training for some big, overseas adventure) eased themselves back into the saddle with a shorter than normal ride from VisAbility to Mt Henry and back, via the newly opened Elizabeth Quay. Later in February 7 other riders explored the Swan Valley and got in some practice in preparation for the Freeway Bike Hike, with Paul H ably substituting as pilot for Adriana while Hab is pedalling around India.

Despite the best of intentions of getting some further training in before the Freeway Bike Hike, both March Club Rides were cancelled due to a lack of attendees. Tandem pairs are still getting out on other, non-WATCAC rides however.

Community Rides

Santos Great Bike Ride

In November last year I reported that some of our members participated in the Santos Great Bike Ride. This ride takes you around the Swan River; Perth to Fremantle via the western suburbs and back to Perth along the Kwinana Freeway. In Mosman Park there is a significantly large hill. The Santos Great Bike Ride of 2015 can be marked down in history, not only as the 10th time that Adrianna and Hab have completed this ride, but as the FIRST TIME that they made it up this hill without getting off the bike. Tremendous work!

Yarloop Ride

In January a group of 150 riders cycled 100km to Pinjarra to support those affected by the devastating bush fires there. Adrianna & Hab, Trevor, Paul H, Forest and Haylee participated in the ride, which raised $12,000 for the Lord Mayors Distress Relief Fund.

Adriana writes:
It all started in Guilford with a group of us sitting around at a cafe after a ride having coffee, Haylee read out an article on her IPhone that said a ride was being organised to raise funds for the people at Yarloop, Forest said “let’s do it” and before we knew it we were signed up for a 140km ride….

So on Saturday 23 January the five musketeers, Hab, Adriana, Haylee, Paul H, Forest, plus Trevor the cling on, met at Murdoch train station. The carpark was buzzing with riders of all descriptions. A big photo shoot was organised then it was time to head off. (You can find that photo here: www.therove.com.au )

Being the sensible group that we were, we opted to go in the medium pace 25 km/hr group and not the fast pace 32 km/hr group. Little did we know that we were amongst professional long distance riders and our average speed over the first 70kms was 34 km/hr, boy we were glad that we chose the slow group. I must admit though that it is easier to ride at that pace when you are in a large group of riders.

Before we knew it we had arrived in Pinjarra and it was straight to the Pinjarra bakery for morning tea, yum, yum, yum, the iced coffee was fantastic and more importantly, a cheque was presented to the Fire Chief.

It was time to get back on the bikes and the weather was warming up. In view of this we decided to just do the 100km circuit which headed back to Mandurah train station. The groups split into two, the main group headed back to Murdoch train station, another 70 km, one of our trusty musketeers, Forest, took up the challenge and completed the 140 km journey. It was a very hot ride back so the rest of us were relieved just to do 30 km back to Mandurah where we boarded the lovely cool air-conditioned train back to Murdoch.

It was a great ride and a fantastic fundraiser for the people of Yarloop.

Giro d ‘Perth

This is a wonderful Bike-Week event that involves following clues on a map to lead you to new, hidden parts of Perth. Beau and Janelle borrowed one of our MTB tandems to take part in the Giro d ‘Perth last Sunday. Beau said “As always it was good fun and we found a cool new cafe in Grand Lane in the city. I enjoyed riding on the back seat and it was a distinct advantage to be able to read a map whilst riding.”

Holiday Rides

Cycling in Thailand in Laos – Trevor:


In February, I participated in two cycling tours in Thailand and Laos. I arrived in Chiang Mai on my own for two nights before meeting up with my tour. I enjoyed some time at the Tiger Kingdom and participated in a half day Thai cooking course.

The first cycling tour of 14 days with Exodus Travel started in Chiang Mai with an international group of sixteen. We were provided with ‘Specialised’
mountain bikes but of course we did not ride all of the time. The small buses were used to transport us when it was not suitable to ride, mostly relating to time constraints or very mountainous terrain.

After a day cycling around some sights in Chiang Mai, we departed the next day for Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, visiting the White Temple, on the Way. We stayed overnight in the ‘Golden Triangle’ and visited the very interesting Opium Museum. It was there that we caught our first glimpse of the mighty Mekong River.

We crossed a Friendship Bridge into Laos and stayed overnight at Huay Xai.
We then travelled towards northern Laos and stayed overnight in Luang Namtha, Udomxia and Pak Beng. At one stage we were only 18 kilometres from the China border. After 6 days continuous, of very hilly cycling, we spent a welcome 10 hours relaxing on a boat on the Mekong River from Pak Beng to Luang Prabang. We spent two nights in Luang Prabang and cycled out to the spectacular Kuang Si Falls (waterfall)

After leaving Luang Prabang we stayed overnight in Van Vieng and then onto the Lao capital, Vientiane, a vibrant city that still had some of the French influence from the time that the French controlled Indochina; before the Communists took over. After an overnight stay, we headed back to the Thailand border and caught the overnight sleeper train back to Bangkok. On arrival at Bangkok we took a boat ride along the rivers and canals and visited the Wat Pho (reclining Buddha) and the Grand Palace. The tour finished at the hotel after breakfast the next day.

We had completed 560 kilometres over some very hilly terrain and some rough, but sealed roads, particularly in Laos.

Onto my next experience. I had arranged, through Homestay.com, to stay with a family in the Bangkok suburbs for two nights and was able to experience home life in a genuine Thai environment. My host introduced me to her Buddhist Enlightenment Centre where we both performed an activity for the children and parents attending; this simulated tandem riding (pilots and
stokers) with the blind and vision impaired. Great fun. There is no tandem riding in Thailand that I could find.

Afterwards, I commenced the second tour; a 4-day cycling tour of Central Thailand with Spice Roads. Two ladies from Canada were on this tour. The terrain was mostly flat but we cycled ‘off-road’ a little more. It was quite hot cycling in the afternoon; especially after big lunches but fortunately we only had to cycle 30 kilometres a day. En-route we saw many different crops and fruit growing. We stayed in Kanchanaburi for two nights in two resorts that were right on the River Kwai, on the edge of the jungle.
While there, we walked over the ‘Bridge Over the River Kwai’; visited the POW Cemetery; the Burma Railway Museum; and had a ride on the Burma Railway train. It was a very interesting history of how Prisoners of War were used by their Japanese captors, to build this railway, in the Second World War.

We then travelled to Ayutthaya, which was the capital of Thailand until 1400 and cycled around many temples and ruins.
We cycled 120 kilometres over the four days, on this trip, before returning to Bangkok.

I spent one more night in Bangkok central and then flew home.

These type of holidays are definitely more than just a cycling experience.
The bike is the just the means that you need to be able to feel close to local people and their countries. As a result of this trip and previous tours in South East Asia, I have gained much knowledge of their history, customs, food and lifestyles.

Trevor Maslen

Next issue – Cycling in India with Hab and Haylee

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

3rd April Freeway Bike Hike Elizabeth Quay
8th April Bridges Night Ride Centenary Park
10th April Rec Ride Departing from VisAbility at 8:30 am
17th April Club Ride Departing from Success Hill at 8:30 am

Membership

Thank you to everyone who has paid their Membership Dues.

For those of you who haven’t please fill in your details on the attached WATCAC Membership form. A copy can also be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here: watcac.org/about/membership

We are currently updating all our membership data and contact information, so even if you have paid your dues ($30) already, please complete the form and return it via email. The same applies to our life members.

Membership fees ($30 per year) and bike loan fees ($50 for 6 months) were due at the start of the year. Payment can be made by bank transfer to WATCAC
BSB 306-035
Account Number 4196458
To help with tracking payments, please use your surname in the payment description.

In Case of Emergency – ID Options
One of the reasons the committee is asking you to fill in the membership form is so that we have current, emergency contact details for all our members. It is also a very good idea to carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you when out cycling, along with any medical information you may deem necessary to communicate to emergency service providers. There are several ways to do this. You can

  • put an information card in your pocket
  • use an ICE (in case of emergency) screen on your phone
  • put emergency details on a sticker inside your helmet
  • wear a RoadID bracelet – this is a simple rubber wrist band with an engraved plate where all your details are placed. Think of a sexy Medic-Alert type bracelet. I have one if you want to have a look at it, or go to www.roadid.com Approximately $25 per band
  • use Taggisar ICE Emergency Stickers – a sticker using QR Codes to store vital information about the individual as well as medical information which can be retrieved by others using any form of QR Scanner (found on every smartphone or available App). $9.95 for 2 stickers.

New Committee

Thank you to all who attended our AGM at the end of last year. A big thank-you also to outgoing committee members Paul Metcalf (Treasurer) and Jo Burgess (Committee Member)

The WATCAC Committee for 2016 consists of:
Anthony (Hab) Collier – President
Haylee Clarke – Secretary
Trevor Maslen – Treasurer
Jennifer Musgrave – Ride Coordinator, Vice-President
Erin McGlew – Committee Member
Sue Price – Committee Member

You can contact all of us by using watcac@googlegroups.com or myself on Jennifer@winthropdc.com

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Kate and Roland's Good Ride

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Dec 082015

Novice stoker Kate and her pilot Roland participated in the Landcorp sponsored “Good Ride”. This annual fundraising ride from Perth to Bunbury – with a shorter option for riders not up to the whole trip – raises money for a variety of causes. This year the objective was to raise sufficient money to complete the development of a modified bungy trampoline for people who couldn’t otherwise experience the joy of bouncing. Another member, Beau, participated also. For footage of Kate and Roland (and Beau if you look closely), see the video below.

Tandem Talk September 2015

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Dec 012015

Recent Rides
Sorry folks – I can’t believe it has been 3 months’ since the last newsletter… Let me update you with what’s been going on.

For our Rec Riders, 13 riders (5 tandems and 3 single bikes) revisited the Bayswater- Lake Monger Loop in June, which we may have to finesse yet again to locate a coffee stop that can accommodate us all. In July 12 of us (4 tandems and 4 singles) rode along the lovely Canning River from Bull Creek to Kent St Weir on a very chilly morning. A variation to the route on the way home located not only the Clontarf Miniature Railway but a miniature BMX track. Once Hab and Adriana had spotted this they were over the grass in a flash and lined up for the first jump! Turns out, the mountain bike tandems have enough clearance to negotiate the crests and dips of a BMX track. The Cannondale, not so much. Video of our escapades can be viewed here:
https://youtu.be/tnLRvy0NVFA

Unfortunately the August ride was cancelled due to bad weather.

Club rides have suffered a similar fate to the August rec ride, with 3 of the last 7 abandoned due to bad weather. The rain also played a part in the ride on July 5th (Vic-Park – Jandakot loop). It wasn’t wet but it had been raining and the tarmac was damp, with loose sand and twigs washed over it, causing at least some of the seven flat tyres experienced over the morning. Paul and Forest had one puncture each, Hab and Adriana also stopped to change a tube and then had to do it all again when the valve on the second tube broke clean off. But Trevor took out the prize with one puncture repair before he even left home and two on the road, at which point he took the option to phone a friend and get a lift to Sassy Cookie. It was a long day out but everyone maintained their good sense of humour and we all parted friends.

In other Club Rides 9 members and friends (3 tandems and 3 single bikes) rode Bayswater to Mt Henry and back on Aug 2nd and 10 cyclists (3 tandems and 4 singles) completed the Jandakot loop without a single mechanical incident on Aug 16th.

Upcoming WATCAC Rides

  • 6th September – Club Ride – Father’s Day Western Suburbs Explorer. Departing from VisAbility at 8:30 am
  • 13th September – Rec Ride – Matilda Bay Meander. Departing from VisAbility at 8:30 am
  • 20th September – Clinic – Location dependent on numbers. Please advise if you, or someone you know want to attend
  • 27th September – Club Ride – To Be Advised.

Upcoming Community Rides

  • Sat 17th Oct – Gravel Grinder Challenge – Moora to Watheroo 57km and 88km
  • Sun 18th Oct – Ocean Ride for MS – 50km Fremantle to Hillarys
  • Sun 22nd Nov – Santos Great Bike Ride – 52km Around the River

Let us know if you hear about any other community rides that you want to be involved in.

Tandem Riding Clinic
A clinic for new pilots and stokers is planned for the morning of Sunday 20th Sept. If you know of anyone who is vision impaired and wants to try out cycling please encourage them to come along. Similarly, if you want to encourage a friend or family member to pilot for you bring them along.

At the time of going to print we are planning on hosting Retina Australia at this clinic, much as we have done for SENSES in the past. Details are yet to be confirmed and the location will depend on their numbers. If you can volunteer as a pilot for this event please email WATCAC@googlegroups.com and let us know.

Mountain Bike Clinic
The second Mountain Bike Clinic was held on a perfect afternoon in July – cool but sunny with just enough rain the in the morning to damp down the dust without making it muddy. Jason from Rock N Roll did another great job of coaching us over logs, rocks and other obstacles and leading us through some tight corners and climbs. I think that those of us on the single bikes were more nervous than those on the tandems and the stokers demonstrated tremendous courage and trust in their pilots. It was an exhilarating day and despite talk of needing protective gear and/or superhero capes no skin was lost and only a few bruises were sustained.

Be sure to let a committee member know if you would like to participate in any future mountain biking events.

SW Tour
Planning for the SW Tour is almost complete and I can tell you that the accommodation looks fabulous and there are rides for all abilities planned for each day. If you have already expressed an interest in coming along you will be emailed with the details shortly. If you want to come along and haven’t let Jo know yet then do so quickly as places are limited.

The Tour will be based in Busselton from Friday 23rd Oct to Monday 26th. WATCAC are subsidising the trip so it will only set you back $50 for accommodation.

We Care About You
A lot of thought is put into planning our ride routes to make sure that they are safe for all to ride but, just like using a car or walking on a shared path, riding a bike can be risky and accidents happen. Should something happen to you we would like to be able to contact someone dear to you to let them know what’s going on.

For future rides we will be asking you to supply emergency contact details and it is recommended that you carry similar information with you. To help out a dymo labeller will be available prior to our next few rides so that you can stick emergency contact information inside your helmet. If you have an issue with WATCAC recording and keeping such information please let a committee member know.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk November 2015

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Nov 302015

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

Mountain Bike Clinic 4th July

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Jul 212015

On the fourth of July, a group of WATCAC members attended a mountain bike clinic with Rock and Roll MTB at the Camel Farm out back of Kalamunda. Hab and Adriana, and Beau and Hayley gained some good experience with the new MTB tandem. Hab and Adriana particularly impressed everyone with their ability to get around the cross country course. Great fun and hopefully the first of many MTB expeditions. Thanks to Paul for organising the event so well.

Tandem Talk May 2015

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Jun 072015

Recent Rides
Rec Rides are held on the second Sunday of every month. They are about 25km long, at a pace that doesn’t leave anyone behind and there is always a coffee stop before heading back home. The mountain bikes have been coming out of the trailer for our rec rides and are a heap of fun – just ask Adriana. Be sure to let us know if you want to have a go on one*.

The March Rec Ride saw newcomers Pierre and Eleanor (on their tandem) and Michael (on recumbent) join us on a ride from Vic Park to Deep Water Point and return. Our group numbered 12 in total – 4 tandems and 4 singles. Michael has a recumbent tandem and has offered to bring it along to future rides should anyone want to try it out with him.

The April Rec Ride was cancelled, but the May Mothers’ Day Ride was blessed with glorious weather. Three tandems and 4 single bikes left Bayswater train station on a new ride following the train line and Mitchel Freeway to Lake Monger. We did a loop around the lake before stopping in Leederville for coffee and heading back. This route could become a regular one, and we may even venture as far as Herdsman Lake for those who want to get in a few more Ks.

Club rides are held on the first and third Sunday of the month. They are 50 km long, a little bit faster than the rec rides and have the coffee stop at the completion of the ride. Having said that, two of the last four club rides were cancelled due to poor weather, and one of the other rides had the dubious distinction of being the first WATCAC ride in history to not include any tandems. (You have no idea how sad it makes me just writing that.) I can report, however, that 4 tandems and 4 single bikes completed the Guildford loop on May 3rd and were suitably rewarded with a great morning out, including coffee and banana bread.

Our next Club Ride is scheduled for June 7th and the Rec Ride for Sunday June 14th. Put it in your diary. If you are not receiving the email notifications of these rides but want to take part in them please let me know.

*Fun Fact: the wheels on the mountain bikes are the same diameter as the wheels on a Land Rover Discovery. And that’s with proper tyres, and not the silly, low-profile ones.

Member News
Not all our members are scared of the rain and several of them have been out and about participating in other organised rides:

  • Several tandems completed the Freeway Bike Hike. Kudos to them for braving strong winds and an exceptionally early start.
  • David and Jennifer caught a break in the weather to do the inaugural MS Night Ride around the Swan and Canning Rivers on April 10th. This was fun, very well organised ride and I would strongly recommend putting it on your calendar for next year.
  • Hab and Adriana, with Haylee and Paul, took part in the Northam Cyclo Sportif event on the Sunday before last – That was the weekend Perth received record rainfall accompanied by a strong, cold easterly breeze. Proof of their lunacy bravery can be found below.
  • The passage of three years helped member Beau Tang to forget the depth of pain associated with Bicycling WA’s 5 Dams ride – which led to a rash rash promise to participate with a friend who was looking for a teammate. Beau’s 2 man team completed the epic 240km ride in 9hrs and 35 minutes. Actually it wasn’t that bad. Beau had a good time and saw lots of mates and… two tandems competing in the 3 Dams event. Definitely do-able for a tandem!
  • Beau spent 4 days on the Bibbulmun Track around Kalamunda and Mundaring with some of our friends who have Usher’s Syndrome, a condition which results in gradual deterioration of both vision and hearing. The track was quite tough in parts and the three Usher’s walkers showed a lot of determination to go the distance. The weather was great and the views over the dam’s waters and the river valleys were spectacular. Lots of fun and laughs were had in the group of 8 walkers.
  • Congratulation to Erin on her recent wedding.

Mountain Bike Clinic – from Paul Metcalf
As you are aware, the Club invested in two new hard-tail mountain bike tandems last year.

MTB on a tandem is a lot of fun, but much more technical than riding a bike on the tarmac. So, in order to get our members equipped and confident on our new bikes, the Club is running some training sessions for all those interested in taking the MTBs out into the Perth Hills and further afield.

The courses are run by very experienced coaches from Rock N Roll MTB School (http://www.rockandrollmountainbiking.com.au), and are pitched at one of two levels:

  • Beginner – for those who are new to off-road riding
  • Intermediate – for those who have already completed the beginners course and/or are already confident taking their bike off-road on tracks rated Green or higher.

Whilst completion of the courses isn’t compulsory for hiring the Club bikes, at the same time MTB (particularly on a tandem) is a dangerous sport, and I would therefore very much urge anyone planning on taking the bikes out, to have completed at least our Beginners’ course first.

After having run our last Beginners session earlier in the year, I am currently seeking expressions of interest for our next Intermediate course, to be held in the afternoon of Saturday 4 July 2015.

If this sounds like something for you, and you think you have the requisite skills, let me know via email (paulm@kelstewart.com) quick in order to book yourself a spot on the course.

SW Tour
Committee Member, Jo Burgess has been busy planning a weekend away for WATCAC members, staying in Dunsborough region over 16th to 18th October. Our last weekend away on Rottnest was a heap of fun, and this one should be too. There will be rides planned for those who want to do a lot, and for those who want to do a little, as well as lots to see and do off the bike.

So…. While you have your calendar out marking off the WATCAC rides and Mountain Bike clinic, turn all the way over to October and mark this one in too.


Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk February 2015

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Mar 012015

2014 AGM and Christmas Ride

The WATCAC AGM and Christmas ride was well attended. Five tandems and two single bikes enjoyed a tranquil, riverside ride from George Burnet Park, over Riverton Bridge to the Shelley foreshore and return. Thanks go to Trevor for scouting out such a great route.

The WATCAC committee for 2015 consists of:
Anthony (Hab) Collier – Vice President
Paul Metcalf – Treasurer
Trevor Maslen – Secretary
Jennifer Musgrave – Committee Member
Jo Burgess – Committee Member

After years of leading out the front of the peloton, Greg Madson stepped down as President of WATCAC, leaving a rather sizeable hole that is yet to be filled. Adriana also stepped down from the committee and I am sure all of you have noticed the absence of emails notifying us of upcoming rides. (See further on for our ride calendar for 2015)

A simple “Thank You” is hardly sufficient recognition for the hours put in by Greg and Adriana over the years to keep WATCAC on the go, both figuratively and literally. Greg and Adriana your contribution is appreciated beyond measure.

The minutes from the AGM and all reports are available in full and in alternative formats (audio, large print, Braille and electronic formats) on request.

Recent Rides

There has been only one ride since the start of the year.

On Sunday 8th February 5 tandems and 5 singles completed the Vic Park-Jandakot ride. It soon became obvious who had continued cycling over the Christmas break and who had been slacking off a little, but we all finished together and slightly overwhelmed the poor people at Sassy Cookie as 15 hungry and tired cyclists rolled in.

Our next Club Ride is scheduled for Sunday 22nd February and the Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 8th March. Put it in your diary now!

Member News

Over the summer break some of our members were out adventuring while the rest of us relaxed and overate.

Five Americans, one Canadian, 2 Scots and an Aussie cycle into a bar in Cambodia… Only the Aussie eats the deep fried tarantula. No joke! Trevor headed back to Asia in January and spent two weeks cycling from Saigon to Bangkok with Spice Roads Tours; a journey of over 550km cycling and even more temples. His itinerary, including the tarantula incident, can be found below.

Earlier in December Paul and Jo took their tandem on the Great Victorian Bike Ride, from Albury to Lilydale, Victoria, where they battled storms and dirt tracks and a high speed blow-out, yet still managed to come out smiling. Great work guys.

Meanwhile, our treasurer, Paul has been riding the “feed, burp, change, sleep” cycle. Congratulations to Paul and Bree Metcalf on the birth of their daughter, Beatrice, in January.

Bike Week

You’re invited to join in the fun of Bikeweek (14-22 March), WA’s annual celebration of bikes and bike riding.

There’s a huge range of events for people of all ages and abilities, whether you ride a little, a lot or you haven’t pedalled in years.

Just about anyone can ride a bike, so bring out the pushbike and gear up for family friendly rides, kids’ bike activities, a two wheeled treasure hunt, pedal powered film screenings and much, much more.

Check out the full event calendar on bikeweek.com.au.

WATCAC members are already registered for the Giro D’Perth (The back lane bike odyssey) and the Freeway Bike Hike. Email jennifer@winthropdc.com if you want to join in.

Membership for 2015

A quick reminder that WATCAC membership fees for 2015 are now due.

Renewing your membership provides:

  1. Continued participation in a great range of rides and events organised by the Committee for 2015. On the books for this year are:
    • Track Cycling clinics for both new and experienced riders who are interested in trying their skills out on the track,
    • Mountain Bike Clinics, and hopefully several rides, to take advantage of our fantastic new suspension tandem mountain bikes,
    • A Club trip into the south of WA, probably later in the year. These have always proven very popular in the past and are a great way to get out on two wheels and enjoy some regional wine tasting scenery (!)
    • Of course, our ongoing regular Club rides (fortnightly) and Recreational rides (monthly)
  2. Some level of insurance against personal injury or accident while riding. Whilst this is currently up for review, in 2015 the Club expects to provide some form of insurance coverage for our riders. We will advise the details of this once it is finalised later in the year.

Membership fees ($30 per individual/ $50 for bike hire) go towards insurance and admin costs (the website, post office box address etc.), plus the maintenance and servicing of our fleet of around ~16 tandem bikes and trailer, available for use by our members.

In paying your membership fees, please consider that our membership fees raise around $700 per year, when the Club tandem/trailer maintenance and admin costs average around $2500 a year! The shortfall is covered through fundraising activities undertaken by one/two of our most dedicated committee members, who generously donate their time and money in support of the broader Club membership. Any donations to help support Club operations would be most welcome, and are also tax deductible as a donation to a registered charity.

Please contact Paul Metcalf on watcac@googlegroups.com or 0416 72 66 57 for information on how to pay your membership fees.

Many thanks for your ongoing support and we the Committee look forward to seeing you on many of the rides in 2015.

Tandem Talk November 2014

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Jan 132015

Recent WATCAC Rides

November Rec Ride

November Rec Ride

Ok, is it just me, or has it rained EVERY SUNDAY over winter? Once again rides were cancelled due to bad weather, including the October Rec Ride and around half of the Club Rides. However moving the November Rec Ride forward by a couple of weeks seemed to please almost everyone and we had a fantastic turnout of 7 (SEVEN!!) tandems and 5 singles, for a ride from Vic Park to Mt Henry Bridge and return. That’s 19 people that descended on Gelare in South Perth for coffee and banana bread.

Amazingly we managed to start the ride all together and on time, and we even finished all together even though some chose to do the loop around Canning and Mt Henry bridges clockwise while others went in an anti-clockwise direction.

See below for details on the Christmas/AGM ride. Hope to see you out there.

Other Rides
In other rides Hab, Haylee and Paul completed the Around the Bay in a Day ride in Melbourne – an awesome 210km. All their preparation paid off handsomely to the point that they all confessed to enjoying riding over 200km in one day.

Closer to home Dee and Jennifer participated in The Ocean Ride for MS, from Fremantle to Hillarys on another wet Sunday. This year the ride started on The Esplanade in Fremantle which made the start of the ride a lot easier, without having to negotiate the corners, train line and chicanes at South Beach. The 30km option isn’t much further than the regular Rec Rides and it is relatively flat. Why not think about giving it a go next year?

As part of the Ride to Work celebrations Hab and Adriana gave a presentation on WATCAC at the QEII Ride to Work Breakfast.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bike Clinic

Mountain Bike Clinic

As you know, WATCAC, with the help of a Lottery West Grant, added two mountain bike tandems to our fleet this year. In order to provide the best (safest) experience of mountain biking, several members gave up a Sunday to take part in a mountain bike clinic – some of our pilots on their own bikes and others trying out the new tandems. Paul M organised the clinic with Jason and Mark from Rock and Roll Mountain Biking and from all accounts they did a fabulous job.

Adriana said “Jason and Mark were very knowledgeable and very respectful of the group, particularly towards Greg and me. It was a great experience as I wasn’t sure what to expect and how the mountain bike tandems would handle. The bikes were great, definitely a very different motion and so much harder than riding a road tandem.”

Out on the track

Out on the track

And Haylee, who participated on her mountain bike added “What a great morning. I’ve added skills to my mountain biking rather than just riding and trying not to stack it!”

Those who participated are still grinning. Thanks must go to Paul for all the planning and work he put into the clinic. Stay tuned for further details. There will be more.

WA Deaf-Blind Camp
Once again WATCAC were invited to help out at the WA Deaf-Blind Camp. Once again we were happy to help and blown away by the courage and determination shown by those who chose to sign up for the tandem riding activity.

Ten volunteers showed up at Ern Halliday Recreation Camp early on a Sunday morning to introduce ten very keen people to cycling. The main problem was that we only had 8 tandems. After a brief introduction and basic instructions from Hab, translated into signing by many more volunteers, they were all off, cycling along the Hillary’s coastline on a beautiful, sunny day. Most of the WATCAC volunteers went out twice to make sure that everyone got a go.

The morning went by all too quickly but everyone left with smiling faces and we may have even recruited a new member or two. Anything is possible on a bike.

Member News
Beau recently accompanied some of the deaf-blind guys that we’ve met at the Senses events on two hikes on the Bibbulmun Track. The first was a three day walk from Balingup to Donnelly River, the second was planned to be a 3 day walk from Pemberton to Northcliffe but was unfortunately cut short due to an illness in our party.

He reported that the “walking was fun and they are a good bunch of people. Near Donnelly River the track ran near the Munda Biddi for a while. Whilst I enjoyed the walking, I couldn’t help thinking that a mountain bike would be faster and more fun! I’ve put that one on my list.”

For Your Diary
Please keep the morning of Sunday 14th December free for our final ride of the year and AGM. We will be departing from George Burnett Park on Manning Rd, Karawara at 9:30am sharp for a mystery ride, returning by 11:00 for complimentary coffee and cake and a few formalities. It would be great to beat November’s record of 19 riders.

AGM – Committee Positions Open
WATCAC doesn’t run without a dedicated group of volunteers, some of whom have given many years of service and are due a break. 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.

Running Late?
As a courtesy to other riders, who all have full weekends and may need to be back home by midday to feed the hamsters and bottle their home brew, please arrive to rides before the scheduled departure time. In fact, plan to get there 15 mins early so that you have time to adjust the bike to fit, put on your helmet and pump up the tyres.

If for any reason you find yourself behind schedule please contact someone in the group to let them know. Thanks.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk September 2014

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Jan 132015

Recent WATCAC Rides
Cue the sound of a cold, whistling wind blowing tumbleweed down a deserted street.

The Rec Rides of May, June, July and August were cancelled due to bad weather, illness and bad timing. Finally a group of six riders headed out in the September sunshine to ride from Bull Creek train station along the Rossmoyne foreshore to Kent Street Weir and back. The first, beautiful spring weekend had enticed every man and his dog (specifically about 30 Great Danes) out for the day. The coffee queue was long but worth the wait and it provided a sneaky rest for legs that hadn’t pedalled for some time.

The Club Rides have fared better, with two rides a month, alternating from Guildford and Vic Park with five to thirteen riders on each ride. Did you know that 5 out of 6 club riders prefer banana bread for post ride carb-loading?

There are only three more Rec Rides left for 2014, including the Christmas/AGM ride. Hope to see you out there.

Other Rides

WATCAC jerseys in Corfu

WATCAC jerseys in Corfu


Some of our members have been ranging far and wide in search of better cycling weather and a change of scenery. Forrest followed the Giro D’Italia on the road and on the TV of some Italian taverns. Paul and Jo cycled through parts of Germany and Jennifer and David took a barge and bike tour from Venice through northern Italy.

Haylee, Hab and Adriana tackle the Lancelin Hell of The North where apparently it feels like you are going uphill even on the flats.

Haylee, Hab and Adriana tackle the Lancelin Hell of The North where apparently it feels like you are going uphill even on the flats.

WATCAC has also been represented in several BWA Cyclo Sportif events including the one in York and the Lancelin Hell of The North ride. Well done to Hab, Adriana, Haylee, Paul, Paul, Margaret and Jo (and anyone else who I have missed). Hab, Haylee and Paul are in training for the Around the Bay in a Day ride in Melbourne.

The Ocean Ride for MS, from Fremantle to Hillarys is on again on Sunday 19th September. WATCAC has a team of two riders signed up at the moment. Contact jennifer@winthropdc.com if you want to join.

Trailer Tales
Mike Davies of Ken Peachy Caravan Repairs has done an excellent job of repainting, de-rusting and waterproofing our trailer and we are now mobile again. As part of the process WATCAC applied for a grant from Belmont Rotary Club and we were invited to present at one of their meetings. Trevor, Greg (with guide-dog Nicholas) and Jennifer attended the meeting. Greg gave a great run-down on what we do but Nicholas stole everyone’s attention.

The trailer can be admired at any of our Rec Rides.

AGM – Committee Positions Open
WATCAC doesn’t run without a dedicated group of volunteers, some of whom have given many years of service and a due a break. 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.

Running Late?
As a courtesy to other riders, who all have full weekends and may need to be back home by midday to feed the hamsters and bottle their home brew, please arrive to rides before the scheduled departure time. In fact, plan to get there 15 mins early so that you have time to adjust the bike to fit, put on your helmet and pump up the tyres.

If for any reason you find yourself behind schedule please contact someone in the group to let them know. Thanks.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk April 2014

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Jun 022014

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

WATCAC at Giro d'Perth 2014

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Apr 032014

WATCAC at the Giro d'Perth 2014

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

Once again, WATCAC members participated in the Giro d’Perth, a fantastic fun treasure hunt/odyssey through Perth’s forgotten roads and laneways. The 2014 team consisted of David, Jennifer, Deanne, Hayley, Adriana, Hab and Hab’s mystery woman. I think she looks French, don’t you?

Tandem Talk February 2014

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Mar 192014

2013 AGM and Christmas Ride
The WATCAC AGM and Christmas ride was well attended. Five tandems and two single bikes completed the Rec Ride from Winthrop around the Canning River to Kent Street Weir for a quick coffee before returning to Winthrop for the AGM.

Seventeen members attended the meeting.

The WATCAC committee for 2014 consists of
Greg Madson – President
Adriana Lepore – Vice President
Paul Metcalf – Treasurer
Trevor Maslen – Secretary
Jennifer Musgrave – Committee Member
Jo Burgess – Committee Member

Adriana Lepore’s dedication and hard work in volunteering for over 10 years as a committee member was recognised with a life membership.

The minutes from the AGM and all reports are available in full and in alternative formats (audio, large print, Braille and electronic formats) on request.

Recent Rides
There have been two Rides since the start of the year: One Club Ride and one Rec Ride.

The club riders started early to avoid the heat. 2 tandems and 5 singles started the Vic Park-Jandakot ride. However Paul and Margaret were sent back early to save a table at Sassy Cookie due to mechanical problems.

The first Rec Ride for 2014 started from Vic Park with 3 Tandems and 5 singles doing a loop around the foreshore to Mt Henry Bridge and back. It was great to welcome new pilot Steve and stoker John. Special mention must be given to John who did more kilometres on his first tandem ride than he had ever done on a bike before.

Our next Club Ride is scheduled for Sunday 16th February and the Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 9th March. Let’s see if we can get more tandems than single bikes out there!

New Tandems
Several new tandems will soon take pride of place in the WATCAC trailer.

At the end of last year Dr Brian Moon very generously donated a near new Cannondale flat bar tandem that he and his wife failed to make good use of. In addition, WATCAC was able to purchase Vicki Dilley’s racing Vetta at a very good price. Finally, our Lottery West grant towards two brand new mountain bikes has come through.

Your committee is very busy working out the best possible specifications for the new bikes as well as sourcing people to collaborate us in a mountain bike tandem clinic and planning a South West tour where we can take full advantage of these new machines. Stay tuned…..

Member News
Over the summer break some of our members were out adventuring while the rest of us relaxed and overate.

Trevor did a cycle tour of Vietnam of which he wrote:
“What an experience. Not only the cycling but the cultural experience, also.

Glad I did some training though, as we had Mountain Bikes and some very bad surfaces to contend with.

There was a group of 8: 2 Male 33 year old Canadians; 1 Female 33 year old Swiss; 1 Female 51 year old Kiwi; Father and son 46 & 17 from Adelaide: 1 Male 30 year old from Sydney and me, but I managed to give them all the heave ho, especially up short hills!

We climbed two Mountain Passes.

  • Hai Van Pass is 10 km long, climbing 1,000 meters at 10% took me 55 minutes no respite but I got up it
  • Dèo Ngoạn Mục is 30 km long, climbing 1,600 metres at 8% took me just over 3 hours, no respite but I got up that too

Not bad for an ol’ bugger like me eh? Cycled over 600 km between Hanoi and Saigon.

Despite riding on shocking road/path conditions between millions of motorbike riders none of us got injured. None of us had any stomach troubles either. Our Tour Leader gave us good advice on what and where to eat and drink and risks. It is amazing that we even walked across roads without getting hit; but although they don’t not drive as fast, it takes a great deal of nerve crossing the roads by foot let alone riding a bike between them.

Ate Vietnamese food the whole time so I looked forward to my barbecued steak tonight!”

And Paul, Margaret and Jo travelled to south for the Albany Half Triathlon. Jo writes of their adventures:
“For the second year, members Paul Fennell, Margaret Gibson and Jo Burges took part in the Country WA Builders Albany Half Triathlon on 4 January 2014.

Their team, aptly named Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad (given Margaret competes in the swim and cycle leg; not the run … yet) had a successful weekend albeit a couple of small hiccups encountered that were serious at the time, however can now be laughed at.

A smaller event (approximately 450 competitors and teams) than the similar distance Busselton and Mandurah Half Iron Men, Albany is a picturesque and challenging course.

Margaret began the day, putting in a solid swim ably assisted by Jo in the kayak giving instructions where required e.g. turn right now or you’ll end up in Antarctica. For those who have competed in Half Iron Men previously, this swim leg is two laps of an inverted triangle and includes an exit from the water on the first lap, a run around a marker approximately 10 metres from the water’s edge and then a re- entry. The team’s runner Donna assisted Margaret through this process.

It was then onto the cycle leg … Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad have become legendary for their extensive transition period, entertaining the audience with flamboyant throwing off of swimming gear and the transition into cycle wear including drying of feet and cuddles for other team members before setting off.
Unfortunately on this occasion, about three turns of the peddles into the ride, the chain got irretrievably caught and stopped Paul and Margaret dead in their tracks. The tandem was immediately upside down with several onlookers concluding “DOOM”. This was not to be the case, with the call being made ‘let’s get this chain ripped out’ and a technician quickly assisting to cut the damaged links out and putting a joiner in to keep them going. Even with the hold-up and the fact that the course has a climb up Mt Adelaide in the first kilometre, Paul and Margaret managed to achieve a personal best time for their 90km cycle by a minute from last year.

The teams runner Donna finished the day with the 21km run that included close on 4 km on the beach.

We have already registered for next year’s event and encourage others to consider it. The organisers are fabulous and very accommodating of the varying requirements of those on tandems. Both 2013 and 2014 had stellar elite athletes competing including Matty White and Katie Bevilaqua. The venue is wonderful and a spectator’s delight with Middleton Beach offering a fabulous vista for the swim and run legs in particular, and Albany in early January … a wonderful reprieve from the Perth heat … roll on January 2015.”

Giro D’Perth
For the second year running the Giro d’Perth (The backlane bike odyssey) will be part of Bike Week. A few of us rode last year and it was lots of fun. This year they should have ironed out the crinkles and it will be even better.

Held on Sunday 16th March this event involves a bike, a map, and clues. Distances vary from 11-31km, not including wrong turns and getting lost. The start time is 8:00am from a secret location somewhere in the City of Vincent. Registration is $28 each for a team of up to 4 people.

Toby, the organiser, has generously said he will give back $13 to WATCAC for every WATCAC tandem registered. Further information can be found on http://www.girodperth.com.au. Let me know if you want to join this event: Jennifer@winthropdc.com.

Freeway Bike Hike
The Freeway Bike Hike for Asthma is scheduled for Sunday 23rd March, with starts as follows:

  • 6:30am Langley Park 80km $97.50
  • 7:30am Kwinana 30km $55.00
  • 9:00am Currambine 30km, $55.00
  • 9:00am Bullcreek Shops 10km $45
  • 10:15am Stirling 10km $45

All rides finish at Langley Park. If you would like to participate please organise to collect your tandem from Adriana’s prior to the event.

Membership for 2014
If you are a former member and have not renewed your membership yet, contact a committee member and sign up for 2014. In addition to being able to join our rides and activities like the Tour de Rottnest, members are able to take our tandems on 6 month loans and benefit from the support and coaching that we provide. It’s still great value at only $30.

Tandem Loan Fees
On the subject of membership benefits, if you have a WATCAC tandem on loan but have not paid your loan fee, please contact a committee member to arrange payment.

And that’s just about everything, I think.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Tandem Talk November 2013

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Nov 022013

MTB Tandems
WATCAC has received a grant of $9000 to purchase some mountain bike tandems. That should be fun! Well done Greg Madson for organising the successful application.

Recent Rides
After a long, wet winter it seems we finally have this window of perfect cycling weather before the summer Easterly wind starts up for real.

There have been two Rec Rides since the last newsletter: In September a group of four tandems and one single bike rode from Bassendean to Swan Valley Oasis where we sat for much, much longer than we should have, regaled by James’ tales of his two month cycle trip through Africa. What an amazing adventure! We also welcomed Adriana back from her travels in Italy.

In October the Tandem Circus lived up to its name with 5 tandems and one single bike all seeming to find different ways to get from Bayswater to Gelaré in South Perth, while dodging participants on the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes. Everyone arrived at the designated end points around the same time, and with smiles on their faces so it was all good. Special mention must be made of David and Nathan looking particularly stylish while riding in matching, long, stripy socks.

The Club Rides and riders have been a bit thin on the ground lately, finding all manner of reasons not to get up on a Sunday morning to go cycling. However, I am sure once we all have our matching kit we will be eager to hit the cycle-paths and show it off.

Our next Club Ride is scheduled for Sunday 3rd November and the Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 10th November. Hope to see you there.

Shirts
THEY’RE HERE!!!
Our beautiful, bespoke Italian Cycling Shirts have arrived. If you ordered one (or more) it will be available for collection at our next few rides. If you didn’t order one and are now feeling left out, we have a few extras but you had better get in fast.

A huge thank you to Adriana for all the time and effort put into organising this.

Member News
Member Beau Tang attended stoker Leon Larkins’ wedding to Caroline Barnes in their home town, Russell New Zealand. Beau commented “What a beautiful place and fantastic wedding. Tough cycling country though, narrow winding roads and no flat roads – none – it’s all up or down here.”

AGM – SAVE THE DATE Sunday 1st December
The WATCAC AGM is scheduled for Sunday 1st December at David and Jennifer Musgrave’s home, 52 Sutherland Cres, Winthrop. Details are still being worked out, but we will start with a Rec Ride from Bull Creek train Station (or Winthrop) around the Canning River returning to Winthrop for the AGM, a BBQ and a swim, so pack your bathers. Check your email for further information.

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Tandem Talk September 2013

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Sep 252013

Recent Rides
None! Well, hardly any. It’s been quite a wet winter and it appears that our riders aren’t very keen on braving the elements when they could be curled up in bed.

Our last Rec Ride was early July; a rather impressive affair involving 5 tandems and 3 single bikes riding from Vic Park to Crawley. We were pleased to welcome some new riders along from the June Clinic and out of 16 wheels there was only one puncture.

The August Rec Ride was cancelled due to bad weather. Our next Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 15th September to Swan Valley Oasis. This time of year, between winter wind and rain and summer heat and strong easterly winds really is the best time for riding, so dig out your riding gear and plan to join us.

The Club Riders have shown themselves to be just as delicate as the Rec Riders, and two of the scheduled four rides were cancelled due to inclement weather. Five of us braved the cold in July to complete the Vic-Park Jandakot loop and last weekend Deanne, Jennifer and Trevor explored the riverbanks between Vic Park and Guildford.

Member News
Deanne and Jennifer recently joined the Gosnells Bicycle User Group (Go BUG) on one of their leisurely Saturday morning rides. This group of very friendly, relaxed cyclists meet at the clock tower in Gosnells at 7:30am every Saturday. Unfortunately we were unable to stay for the coffee stop, which I think means we committed the biggest sin possible in the cycling world. We were also the only drop-bar bike in the group and the only cyclists in lycra. That said, we were made to feel very welcome and we plan to return. The emphasis of this group is SOCIAL. There were frequent stops to make sure everyone stayed together, and the earlier start time compared to WATCAC rides in no way indicated an earlier home time. Jillian Woolmer co-ordinates the rides and she can be found via the Facebook Group “Frocks on Bikes Perth”.

Fund Raising
Please consider placing a box of chocolates at your workplace for fundraising. Adriana would love to hear from you if you can help. A big thank you to Steve Green for raising $50 selling chocolates at his workplace

Shirts
Our Shirts have been made and should be delivered very soon. I can’t wait to see us all out riding in them.

Fit Your Lid
Next time you get out on the bike take a moment to check how your helmet fits.

  • Your helmet should sit level on your head, and the front of the helmet should cover most of your forehead. If the helmet tilts back and exposes your forehead, it’s not going to protect you.
  • Connect the chin strap, and tighten it so that it’s snug beneath your chin-you should barely be able to fit a finger between the strap and your chin.
  • Finally, find the plastic disks that connect the strap coming from the back of your helmet to the strap from the front. This should fit to make a V just below your ears, with the front strap heading straight down in-front of your ear.
  • Push the helmet back on your head. Can you move the helmet more than an inch? Tighten the straps in front of your ears (loosen the rear straps so that the V points still sit just below your ears). If you can push the helmet forward, adjust the straps behind your ears. In the end, you shouldn’t be able to move the helmet more than an inch in any direction.

Of course, if you have taken a tumble or your helmet has been subjected to any kind of impact (say, from being dropped), you should consider replacing it.

Have a look at the following video for more information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aci99b1soBQ

Helmet Fitting

Helmet Fitting


Happy and Safe Pedalling
Jennifer

Tandem Talk July 2013

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Jul 102013

Recent Rides
There have been two Rec Rides since the last Tandem talk.
On Mother’s Day those of us that got a leave pass, and those that were forced to go cycling with their Mum enjoyed a very pleasant cycle from Bayswater to Matilda Bay. There were six tandems in all, and one single bike. David and Nathan were able to sneak away to join us for morning tea at Matilda Bay. The trip back to Bayswater was fairly swift as some in our group needed to get to Mother’s Day lunches.

The June Rec Ride was a bit of an adventure. Four tandems and Hab on his own bike (missed you Adriana) cycled from The Association along the South Perth foreshore and over the Narrows. It tried to rain on us between the Narrows and the Causeway, but we were undeterred and cycled on to Calisebrook, crossing the river at Windan Bridge before heading back home. Breaking with tradition, our coffee stop ended up being at the end of the ride at Sassy Cookie. This was a very scenic ride, following close to the banks of the Swan River, Near Trinity College and the Burswood Golf Course it would seem that the path is a little too close as we had to negotiate some rather large puddles. More on that later….

There have been 3 Club rides since the last newsletter; two leaving from The Association and taking the Roe Highway-Kwinana Freeway loop and one ride in the Swan Valley. On all rides there was a mix of tandems and single bikes as well as a mixture of familiar and new faces. If you would like to give one of these longer rides a go please talk to a committee member. I can tell you from my own experience that you will be well looked after. No-one gets dropped from our little peloton.

Clinic
Another beautiful sunny autumn day saw a large contingent of WATCAC members turn out to achieve our mission of providing opportunities for vision impaired members of the community to cycle.

Seven members of the Sense of Adventure Group from The Association lived up to their name and gave tandem cycling a go. In addition another vision impaired lady was also able to come and have a go with her supporters. In all there were 21 people taking turns to do laps around George Burnett Park, Karawara. For some it was their very first time on a bike but with some great instruction from Hab, Beau, Greg and others everyone left with a smile on their face.

Surprisingly Greg didn’t manage to deter anyone when he told of his experience of overtaking a semi-trailer that had pulled out in-front of his tandem when he was training for the Paralympics. The computer on the tandem was maxed out at 100km/hr at the time!

As I write this it looks like we will have every red tandem available on the road, and a few extras to boot for our next Rec Ride, as a direct result of this clinic.


Member News
Whilst there are no wheels involved, Beau and new WATCAC pilot Roz have been helping a group of people who have Usher’s syndrome (hearing and vision impairment) in their preparations for a planned Bibbulmun Track walk with some training hikes in the hills behind Kalamunda. The Usher’s crew includes some of the people we met at the two cycling events we have organised with the Senses Foundation.

Beau volunteered to help with the marshalling of the Midland Cyclo Sportif and spent an enjoyable morning in the sunshine with his arm out saying, “turn left here guys” over, and over, and over again.

Long-time WATCAC supporter Janelle Graham had an early morning stack resulting in 4 cracked ribs and a punctured lung. Happily, she is now on the mend and itching to get back on a bike.

Also in the wars is Life Member Ron Anderson, proving that ladders are more dangerous than bikes. We wish him a speedy and full recovery from his recent misadventure.

Wet Days, Large Puddles and Bike Maintenance
Just a friendly reminder that members have a responsibility to maintain the tandems on loan, and that other members spend valuable time looking after our red tandem fleet. Before starting a ride it is common sense to make sure that there is air in the tyres, that the wheels are turning freely and that the brakes and chain are in good order.

On days when it is wet, or the road is damp, a lot of sand and grit can flick up onto the frame, into the chain, brakes and cogs. Please take a moment to clean your bike and give it a bit of oil and love after riding it. I let the bike dry out a bit and then go over it with an old, soft banister brush to get the sand off the frame. A brush designed for cleaning mag wheels does the smaller gaps. Hab recommends using a cheap de-greaser and then applying the garden hose. Finish by checking the tyres for foreign objects and cuts, and applying a bit of oil to the chian. Household (sewing machine) oil is fine.

Your bike will thank you next time you get on it.

BWA Membership
For those of you who ride outside of the planned WATCAC events it is worth considering becoming a member of BWA (Bicycling Western Australia). You membership includes premium bike crash insurance cover for anywhere in Australia and New Zealand, discounted entry to BWA events, subscription to the bi-monthly magazine Ride On, representation in the community and the latest cycling information and news.

Membership for individuals is $109 per year ($93 concession) with family memberships available from $143. Go to http://www.bwa.org.au for more information and to register online

Fund Raising
Please consider placing a box of chocolates at your workplace for fundraising. Adriana would love to hear from you if you can help.

Stay tuned for news of our movie date. We are hoping to bring you a feel-good family event and are holding out for the right movie.

Shirts
The shirts have been ordered and are currently being manufactured in Italy. Matching knicks are also available for those who really want to look the part.

Happy Pedalling
Jennifer

Recent Rides
April was hot and, so far, May has been wet and windy but WATCAC Members have shown it takes more than a bit of unseasonal weather to keep them off their bikes.

On a calm and balmy April Sunday 7 tandems and 3 single bikes joined in the Recreation Ride. I’m pretty sure that qualifies as a peloton. (Question; just how many bikes does it take to make a peloton?) Regardless of what you call our group (suggestions please) I’m sure we drew quite a bit of interest as we made our way from Bassendean to Oasis, in the Swan Valley.

It was fun trying to fit 17 people around the big round table at the café stop but we managed and it was fantastic to see such a great turn-out to welcome 5 new riders. What is even more remarkable was several regular riders absent, so we can expect bigger things in future rides. I’m imagining the stir we will create when there are 10 to 12 tandems going down the cycleway, all in our fantastic new jerseys.

Oasis Ride
There have been 2 Club Rides, on 21st April and 5th May. An intrepid pair of ladies, who found WATCAC online, joined 2 other tandems on both rides. On both occasions we rode the Vic Park-Jandakot loop, the second time thankfully with fewer punctures and flat tyres. The reward of coffee and cup-cakes at Sassy Cookie has been sufficient motivationto get us all up and over the last hill and erase the memory of South Perth head-winds.

Member News
On Sunday the 14th of April, WATCAC member Beau Tang left his bike in the shed and volunteered to help with the running of BWA’s 3 and 5 Dams Challenge. In a long but rewarding day, Beau manned checkpoints at Mundaring Weir and Cockburn Central, ferried other volunteers around the Darling Ranges and helped to pack up the event village.

Beau says, “We need some tandems to give this a go. The Three Dams’ course is 150km, but it is no race. The last bike came in at 8hrs something which is a very leisurely pace. There is plenty of time to train for 2014. It would certainly be easier than helping out as a volunteer!”

For Sale
The club has two of the red, flat-bar tandems up for sale at $300 each. Both bikes have recently been serviced and are in good condition for their age. Please email Greg Madson info@watcac.org by May 31st if you would like to purchase one.

Future Events
There are several longer rides and trips planned in the future, including a possible ride in Mandurah with our South West members, a December trip to Busselton as well as a return to Rottnest next year.

Last year’s trip to Rotto was thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part (except perhaps for Debbie and Kerry who took a tumble) with the main complaint being that it was just too short. Please let committee members know if you want to participate in, or help with, any of these events.

Fund Raising
This year the committee is working hard to purchase two new mountain bike tandems as well as servicing the current fleet of tandems, including replacing all the wheels. This is being done so that you, our members can enjoy safe, reliable bikes and to provide diverse cycling opportunities.

This involves spending money. Some of it will come from grants, but a major part of our fund-raising comes from a couple of our dedicated members selling chocolates. If you are able to put a box of chocolates for sale in your workplace please contact Adriana.

Another initiative for this year is a movie night. Details so far: it will be at the Windsor Cinema, Nedlands, in late August. It goes without saying that the more tickets we sell the more money we make, so start making a list of family and friends that you can peddle tickets to.

Shirts
Great News! After some instructions getting lost in translation, quite literally, our new cycling jerseys are ready to be manufactured in Italy. WATCAC will be covering the cost of design and freight (we decided we couldn’t quite justify going to Italy to collect them in person), so the final cost to our members is only $70 per shirt.

Please email Adriana (just hit reply to this email) and let her know how many shirts you want, whether you want your shirts with short, long or no sleeves and what size you need. If you’re not sure of your sizing there are sample shirts to try on at our rides. (Ladies we have decided just to go with the men’s sizing so you may need to recheck your size) Finally make sure you get your order and payment to WATCAC (cash, cheque or direct deposit) by MAY 31st.

The shirts will have the words “Out of sight, Out of mind” on the front and there will be a stylised picture of a tandem with the letters WATCAC above the picture on the back. It is a typical cycling shirt with three pockets at the back and a full zip down the front. The main shirt colour is white, with aubergine and dark green trim.

It will be great to see everyone in the new shirt when we are on our Recreation rides, Club rides and when we join in Community events, it is a great way to promote tandem cycling and increase awareness.

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