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


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


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 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


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.

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

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

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.

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.

Recent Rides
WATCAC Tandems were out on the streets of Perth for four out of five Sundays in March.

For the first Club ride of the month 3 tandems participated in the Vic Park – Jandakot circuit, neatly avoiding the cycle path works along the freeway and shaving off a few kilometres into the bargain. Hopefully the Leach Highway underpass will be reopened soon. Hmmm.

The second scheduled club ride saw the dedicated among us get out and train in preparation for Freeway Bike Hike, while the less energetic (but maybe more adventurous) took part in the inaugural Giro D’Perth. More on both of these events below

It took until March, but finally the Rec Ride Program got underway. Three tandems and one single bike set out from Vic Park and over Windan Bridge to Maylands Golf Course, returning via Claisebrook Cove and the Causeway. It was a glorious day and a gentle re-introduction to the joys of cycling for those who had taken a break over summer. However there was room for improvement in the half-way morning tea, so if you know of somewhere near Maylands Golf Course that does a good coffee, muffin and toastie let us know.

Giro D’Perth
On Sunday 17th March Deanne and Jennifer and David on his single bike braved the St Pat’s Day crowds in Leederville and joined 500 other cyclists trying to find their way around Perth. We opted for the 19km circuit which took us down to the Hyatt centre before heading up to Parliament house (Could have done with your help here Adge) and through the back lanes of West Perth. It was by no means a fast ride, with lots of stops to check and re-check the map and clues. Along the way we learnt that there is a giant pencil in Colin Grove and there’s a possum, emu and kangaroo at Aston Stables.

Freeway Bike Hike – Report by Adriana
It was a great ride, we set off from our accommodation to the Mandurah train station which was 6.3 kms (had to mention that as Hab and Haylee were disputing the distance, Hab won ) away, nice warm up as it was a freezing start to the ride.

The start at Mandurah train station was very disorganised, no signs to tell you where you needed to go and trying to get through the crowd of bikes with the tandem and not to mention cars and busses in the carpark. Apparently there were not enough trains to get people there and they had to clear the Freeway of cars at 7am when we were supposed to start the ride.

In view of all of that, we were delayed for an hour which lead us to catching the other groups which was a little tricky and not to mention risky as there were bikes everywhere as there were families with little kids riding. Trev and Greg had a better experience from the Northern end.

Apart from all of that we all had a great ride and did fantastic times. The ride ended up at Sassy Cookie where we sat for quite a while and enjoyed the great coffee and treats.

Tandem Clinics
The first clinic for the year was a huge success, with 4 new front riders and 2 new vision-impaired cyclists having a go. There will be a follow-up, Road Skills Clinic on April 7th. We are excited to welcome all 6 new tandem cyclists to WATCAC and hope to have you join us on a ride soon.

Member News
WATCAC supporters Beau Tang and Janelle Graham enjoyed a break from Perth’s summer by taking a 3 day, 315km circuit ride around the Snowy Mountains. Day 1 covered undulating sheep and cattle country with a stop in for coffee and croissants and a beer and pizza finish. Day 2 was a cold wet climb into the clouds of the high country for a very scenic undulating ride across the top finishing with a fast 30km descent. Day 3 was the shortest and hardest day but had the best weather and scenery and finished with a long 14km climb from the river valleys to Dead Horse Gap and Thredbo.

Beau summed up the experience: “Beautiful country, quiet roads. It would be a tough one for a tandem, but not impossible.”

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.

The WATCAC Committee are at present having a new cycling shirt designed for WATCAC as we thought it was time for a change.

The shirts will be made in Italy so the fabric will be of good quality and long wearing.

To enable us to get a good price, we will need to order at least 30 shirts. The Committee are also considering giving a subsidy on each shirt purchased by financial members; amount will be determined by number ordered. At this stage we have been quoted $75 per shirt with short sleeves, long sleeves will cost a little more.

The shirts are being designed as follows:
On the front will have the words “Out of sight, Out of mind” and on the back of the shirt will be a stylised picture of a tandem with the letters WATCAC above the picture. The shirt will be a typical cycling shirt with the three pockets at the back and a full zip down the front.

We would appreciate if everyone could give Adriana an indication of whether or not you would be interested in buying one so we can finalise our order. Sample shirts will be available at the next Recreation ride for everyone to try on for sizing.

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.

Recent Rides
A very hot start to the year resulted in the first Rec Ride being cancelled and only 2 tandems turning up for the first Club Ride. Thankfully last Sunday was cooler and 3 tandems, kept together by Forrest on his single bike, enjoyed a 50km cycle around the Swan Valley. This was even though some riders had been out until the wee hours of Sunday Morning…See below.

A Glowing Event
On the evening of Saturday 16th Feb, 3 tandems and 4 single bikes took part in the City of Stirling Summerset Arts Festival Glow Ride. We met at Scarborough Beach Reserve for a fish and chip dinner before decorating our bikes and ourselves in glow sticks, brightly coloured tape and flashing wigs and Mohawks! Once the sun went down we joined a swarm of similarly attired bikes and riders for a leisurely 10km ride along the beach front and back again.

At the conclusion of the ride a light supper was supplied and prizes awarded for “Best in Show”. The normally “very sexy” black Vetta (Dee’s words), looking quite the opposite covered in glow-sticks and some positively luminous yellow, fabric roses taped to its handlebar stem, caught the judge’s eye and won one of the three prizes.

However, the highlight of the evening was the response from all the passers-by. Cars tooted and waved in a friendly way, and pedestrians smiled and cheered us on. Maybe we should go out in fancy dress all the time? Hab definitely thinks so. Put this one on your calendar for next year.

Giro D’Perth
On Sunday 17th March a new event will hit the back laneways of Perth. Much like our fabulous Rotto Run, this event involves a bike (or a team of 3), a map, and clues. Distances vary from 11-31km, not including wrong turns and getting lost. The start time is 9:00am at Brittanita Park, Leederville. Registration is $60 for a team and closes on 5th March. Further information can be found on 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 24th March, with starts as follows:
7:00am Mandurah 67km, $75
8:00am Currambine 31km, $45
8:15am Kwinana 32.5km, $45
9:00am Bullcreek Shops 14km, $35
9:15am Stirling 11km, $35
All rides finish at Langley Park. Several members have expressed an interest in doing the ride from Mandurah and Currambine. Due to the number of start points, we are unable to support WATCAC Members on this ride. If you would like to participate please organise to collect your tandem from Adriana’s prior to the event.

Live Lighter Great River Ride
Coinciding with our Rec Ride on April 14th is the Live Lighter Great River Ride – a 12km family ride around the Swan River from South Perth. There will be free entertainment and food and drink stalls at the start/finish point, which is the same finish point as those doing the Live Lighter Dams Challenge.
Please email Jennifer@winthropdc.com and let me know if you wish to JOIN or AVOID this event for the April Rec Ride.

South West Tour
Planning is underway for a trip to Busselton at the end of the year. Keep the weekend of the 7th December free. A stop at Simmo’s Ice-creamery is already confirmed.

Member News
Paul and Jo Burges found cooler weather in February by participating in the Great Escapades Tour of Tasmania, cycling from Launceston to Port Arthur. Paul, Margaret and Jo also participated in the very first Albany Half Iron Man.

Jo wrote: “Margaret once again did the swim leg (I kayaked beside her to keep her on the straight and narrow), then Paul and Margaret cycled the 90km (very picturesque leg) in just over 3 hours. We were very fortunate to have an excellent runner join the team who completed his leg in 1 hour 38 minutes (this included a couple of kms on the beach); helping us to complete the Half Iron Man in just over 5 ½ hours.

The organisers were wonderful to us, assisting in every aspect without any hassle. The event was smaller than Busselton approx. 500 entries (including close to 60 team entries) so was a little more relaxed.

They are planning the event again for Saturday 4 January 2014; if anyone is interested it is certainly worth planning towards.”

Rate your Cafe
“Le Croissant Du Moulin” on Railway Road Gooseberry Hill (www.lecroissant.com.au)
They do those French coffees in a bowl – a big bowl – and the escargot pastries are fantastic. Get there early to get them fresh from the oven. Their other pastries look beautiful but I haven’t tried them. It is a tough ride for a tandem to get there, but there is a secret – ride up the Zig Zag. The narrow section of the road is one-way downhill, but if you go early there is little traffic and you’ll have lots of bikes for company. Rated 4.5 beans out of 5 by Beau

Membership for 2013
If you are a former member and have not renewed your membership yet, contact a committee member and sign up for 2013. 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.

Indoor Trainers Available for Loan
WATCAC has recently purchased some indoor trainers for those times when the weather or lack of a pilot prevents you from getting in the miles on the road. Contact a committee member if you would like to borrow one.

It’s Your WATCAC
So, you’ve paid your $30 membership fee, and possibly the tandem loan fee as well. The question is now how are you going to turn that investment into something enjoyable and worthwhile? The answer is to Let Your Committee Know What You Want.
Tell us:

  • WHERE you want to ride
  • HOW FAR you want to ride
  • WHAT SORT of rides you want to participate in (Community Events, Country Tours, Social Events etc)

[sotto voice – there are some fresh, young(er) faces on the committee who believe we can tempt our members into participating in more rides and events. Some of the more mature and jaded committee members think that you won’t care enough to respond…..prove them wrong for me, ……please.]

Gerald Moves On
Our good friend Gerald O’Sullivan now works for the Association for the Blind in Bunbury where he will be continuing his good work both on the bike and off.

Hab Rides the Great Bike Hike
“Bloody amazing” is how Hab rated the event. Hab joined the ride at Dongara to pilot Darren to Carnarvon. Apart from riding a bike built for someone 5 foot 2 – which Hab ain’t – it all went well. The organisers, especially Andrew Budge did a great job and the local people turned out in numbers to support the ride. In Geraldton alone, 500 school kids rode their bikes to escort the hikers in. Highlights included many, many, many cakes baked by the ladies in the CWA and for Darren at least, Hab’s scenery updates which came every 10km or so, “scrubby bush to the right, scrubby bush to the left… scrubby bush to the right, scrubby bush to the left…”. Final word to Hab, “it was a hoot.” For more information and photos, see www.facebook.com/greatbikehike.

Club and Recreation Rides
Our program of rides has continued through the winter although some rides were cancelled. Well done to Hab, Adriana, Steve, Justin, Debbie, Kerry, Amanda, Zeliha, Haylee, Trev, Greg, Forrest, Jo, Paul, Jennifer, Deanne, Paul, Margaret, James and Giles for keeping up the good work. It is especially good to see Kerry back on the bike after her Rottnest spill.

Beau Checks Out the View from the Other Side
Having ridden in may Bicycling WA events over the last several years, Beau decided to volunteer as a helper for BWA’s Hell of the North event at Lancelin. With 135km of undulating roads on a warm day it was a tough day on the road, standing in the shade handing out water bottles and sandwiches was a good option. It wasn’t all easy though, with lots of stacking and lugging to pack up the start village after the event. Once again BWA put on a great event. That was the last event in this year’s Cyclo Sportif series but they will be back again next year.

Southwest Tour
Adriana has done a great job organising this event and Trev has been putting a lot of thought into the route. There has been a great response so far with 14 riders confirmed. Can’t wait.

Tour de Rottnest
Five tandems and 4 single bikes, 14 riders in all participated in WATCAC’s Tour de Rottnest. The first activity was to high tail it to the bakery – of course – for pies, rolls and all that good stuff.

That done, the next item was the Great Rottnest Treasure Hunt and Bike Rally. Splitting into teams, riders rode to different parts of the island to answer questions like “how many tennis courts at Bathurst” and “Identify the mystery objects in the bag – by feel”. Bonus points were awarded at random – Kerry and Debbie got bonus points for stacking it! On a serious note, Kerry cracked a rib, but soldiered on anyway. Get well soon Kerry! In the end, Hab and Adriana may have won, but everyone had a good time.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at Fay’s Bay before catching the bus to the pub for food, drink and good cheer.

Sunday saw most riders do a circuit of the island before heading back to Thompson’s Bay and the ferry home. The weekend was a great success largely due to the efforts of Adriana who organised just about everything. Thanks Adriana.

Five Dams
Fresh from the Three Peaks ride in Victoria, Beau and Leon completed Bicycling WA’s Five Dams ride in April, being the first tandem to do so. This 235km ride runs from South Perth to Mundaring Weir, Churchmans Brook Dam, Wungong Dam, Canning Dam, Serpentine Dam and then home to South Perth. About half of the course is on the Darling Escarpment riding through the Jarrah forests up and down the hills. The boys completed the ride in 10hrs and 16 minutes, but they’re over this long distance thing now and might take it easy for a while. The event was very well run so thankyou and congratulations to BWA.

Quokka Classic Ride
This was a charity bike ride around Rottnest in May. The committee found out about this one too late but it sounds like it will be a great ride so hopefully it will be run again next year.

Club and Recreation Rides
The Tour de Rottnest took the place of the April Recreation ride, but the Club rides have continued with rides to Jandakot, to the Swan Valley and the Canning River. All have been well attended.

Leah got Delirious
Leah Glass who has been riding front seat with Alishia entered the Delirium 24hr cycling event in April and won the female category with 151 laps totaling 558.7km in the 24 hour period. The word awesome is a bit overworked these days, but warranted in this case!

All the Smartest Cyclists Wear Lycra
The committee is looking at options for getting another WATCAC cycling jersey. The last ones were very popular, so stay tuned.

Rottnest Trip Is On!
Pack your boardshorts and bikinis, the Rottnest trip is on. We’ve booked accommodation and the response from members has been great so we should have a good crowd along. Yahoo!

Tired of Looking at the Roads?
The committee is looking into funding options to purchase two proper mountain bike tandems. There are several gravel trails in the Perth hills that would be suitable for a properly equipped tandem, the Kep Track for one. We’ll keep you posted.

Bunbury Tandem Clinic
On the 28th of January, Hab, Trev, Adriana and Beau traveled to Bunbury to conduct a tandem clinic aided by our good friends in Bunbury, Gerald and Tom. Whilst there were no new vision impaired riders Gerald invited a number of young people with autism along with their families and carers. There were some challenges, but the attendees had a good experience and we hope to have set some of them on the path to tandem fun.

How Many Tandem Cyclist Does it Take to Re-wire a Trailer Plug?
The answer is 6. At the aforementioned tandem clinic we realised (well Hab knew all along but didn’t think it was important) that we’d driven from Perth without brake lights and indicators on the trailer because the wires had been pulled from the electrical plug. After the clinic, Trev set about re-wiring the plug. Beau was recruited as off-sider, Hab was nominated to work the brake pedal and indicators, Tom provided the tools and when they were insufficient, was kind enough to drive off and get more, Gerald worked the iPhone to find wiring diagrams and Adriana directed all. With all of that talent involved, short work was made of the task and the team got onto more important issues like going out to lunch.

Victory in Sight

Our Legal Warrior, Trevor Maslen, is on the verge of a great victory in his long running battle to restore WATCAC to constitutionality (is that a word?) After countless changes and consultations with the WA Department of Commerce, our new constitution is ready to be approved at the AGM. Make sure you are there for the vote to make it official and to congratulate Trevor and thank him for his persistence.

A Great Big Thankyou

Member Jennifer Musgrave has two sons, Rohan and Aaron. Whilst on the West Australian Great Bike Ride, the boys raised $500 dollars by selling bracelets to the participants and have donated the proceeds to WATCAC. That is just awesome, thanks boys!

Annual General Meeting

WATCAC will be holding it’s annual Christmas ride and AGM on Sunday 11 December 2011. We are trying a new venue in Maylands which won’t be so windy, fingers crossed. An email has already been sent inviting all members to attend.

Recent Rides

On the last club ride, three tandems and one solo bike rode from Victoria Park to Jandakot and back. Just to show that even the most experienced tandem riders can stack it, Adriana and Hab met some trouble with an oil patch on a roundabout near Jandakot. They got back on the bike and rode home, but Hab didn’t really wake up again until Monday. They’re both a bit sore, but can smile about it now.

On the 6th of November, ten tandems and 2 singles rode from Guildford to Whiteman’s Park and back. That is a lot of tandems. Good work everyone.

Rottnest Weekend

Well the year got away from us and our plans fell through. Never mind, we can go in 2012. Stay tuned for details.

Rate your Favourite Cafe

A bright idea from Hab – let’s share our favourite cafes. I rated my favourite – Antz in Your Pants in Vic Park – as a 9 but then found out that 5 was the top mark. Too bad, Antz coffee is great, I’m sticking with my 9 out of 5. Not to be outdone, Hab has rated Jezebel’s in Guildford as a 9 too. Which is your favourite cafe?

Come and Try Day and New Members

Hab, Adriana and Jennifer helped out at Cycling WA’s come and try day on the 5th of November. There was a good turn out and we’ve enrolled two new members who have already taken a tandem out on loan. Welcome Paul and Sharon.

Dwellingup 100 Mountain Bike Event
Member Beau Tang participated in the very challenging Dwellingup 100 mountain bike event in September.
The course is a killer with tough climbs and long sections of technical single track. A relative newcomer to mountain biking, Beau crashed at least 12 times, but managed to finish tired and sore in 6 hours and 50 minutes.

Round the Bay in a day
Members Hab Collier and Adriana Lepore, participated in the Round The Bay in Melbourne on Sunday 16 October 2011. It was a 6am (3am Perth time) start at Alexander Gardens. Thousands of cyclists took off for the challenging 210 kilometer ride round the Bay in Melbourne. The first 100 kilometers of the ride took us over the Westgate bridge and on to the Freeway to Geelong then down to Queenscliff, the downside was, we encountered rain and very strong headwinds just to make it exciting and test us. On arriving in Geelong Hab and I were a little tired and the thought that we had another 140 kilometers to go didn’t help. we boarded the Ferry for a rest as we crossed the Bay then it was back on the bike for the last 100 kilometer journey to reach the end of our ride. At least we managed to get a tail wind for part of this leg but we did have to climb over quite a few hills, in particular, Mt Martha, she was a beauty. Not sure how we actually managed to keep pedalling, the last 17 kilometers never seemed to end. Then from the silence came a familiar voice telling me we had 1 kilometer to go, by this stage delirium had set in and according to Hab, I asked him six times “how far to the end”. It was challenging to say the least but we did meet and get to ride with quite a few really nice people.

Cape to Cape Mountain Bike Event
Member Beau Tang and long time WATCAC supporter Janelle Graham participated in the 4 day Cape to Cape Mountain Bike race from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturalist. The tough course covered 210km of fire roads, farm tracks, single track, bitumen and beaches. It was a fantastic event and both Beau and Janelle had a great time with Janelle coming third in the Female Masters category. Well done Janelle! Whilst the technical and sand sections of the course would not suit a mountain bike tandem, the gravel roads and fire trails would certainly be worth a try.

Ocean Ride for MS
Members Trevor Maslen, Greg Madsen, Jennifer Musgrave and Deanne Ferris participated in the Ocean Ride for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) from South Fremantle to Hillarys (55kms) on Sunday 23 October. It was better organised and a lot safer this year. Weather was fine with a slight tail wind until the last 7 kms where the ride change direction into a headwind.

Recreation Rides
There was no Recreation Ride in October and the September rides were cancelled, re scheduled and cancelled again, due to inclement weather.

The next Recreation Ride is expected to be on Sunday 6 November and will be from Guildford train Station to Whiteman Park commencing at 9am. Adriana will notify all members shortly.

Club Rides
Due to unavailability of some riders and inclement weather, there have not been any Club rides for some months. However, with better weather just around the corner we are hoping to get back into the swing of things, shortly.

Committee met on 24 October. Items of particular of interest to members:
Due to some misunderstanding about dates for Rottnest, this event is not now likely to occur until the new year. A proposal to possibly apply for a grant for the purchase of two mountain bike tandems was discussed

Our AGM and Christmas wind-up will probably take place on Sunday 11 December, information will follow shortly.

Upcoming Rides

Winter huh? It has certainly put a dampener on things. Anyway, spring is in the air so come out and enjoy it. The next Recreation Ride is scheduled for the 18th of September and the next club ride is scheduled for the 25th. For more details, contact Adriana.

Ocean Ride for MS

October the 23rd will see the second running of the Ocean Ride for MS. Trevor, Greg and Beau and his son David rode in the inaugural event last year and had a great time. The course is a 30km or 50km ride from Fremantle to Hillarys Beach. The course is undulating but there are no mountains and the course does take in most of Perth’s beaches and some great scenery. Definitely a ride that you should consider. See www.oceanrideforms.org.au for details.

Entertainment Books

A big thank you to everyone who purchased a book, we know you’ll get great value from them. As a result of your generosity, WATCAC received over $500 which is very welcome. If you know anyone who has missed out on a book, we still have two left! Contact Adriana or Beau to get one.

Rottnest Weekend

This is still scheduled for the 19th and 20th of November. We’ve had a good response from members and so may have to cap the numbers. Get your $20 deposit to Adriana by the 18th of September to make sure of your spot. We won’t know how much it will cost each member, but remember that WATCAC has budgeted $2000 to subsidise this event for members. Family members are welcome to attend but will not receive a subsidy.

Kep Track Ride

On the 15th of May, member Beau Tang on his mountain bike played guide dog to his good friend and vision-impaired cyclist Leon who was riding a borrowed mountain bike. The Kep track is part of a network of bike trails following the old railway lines that run through the hills east of Perth. After a slow first few kilometres while Leon gained some confidence, the boys completed a 55km out and back ride from Mundaring with Beau riding in front and calling out the trail conditions and Leon using his limited vision to keep station. The only incidents of note being several skidding halts where the track crossed roads caused by excessive speed as Leon’s confidence grew.

Cyclo Sportif Garden Island

The 15th of May was a big day for vision-imaired cyclists as three WATCAC tandems rode the Cyclo Sportif at Garden Island. On a perfect course for tandems, Jennifer and Dee rode the 32km event while Hab and Adriana, and Margaret and Paul rode the 64km event. At the presentations after the event lunch, Adriana won the “le revolver” prize for “feats of strength, daring and chivalry” after being nominated by Hab for her expert drafting (behind Hab) for the whole event. The winner’s jersey looks great! Oh and by the way, 999 other bikes participated too.

Recreation Rides

The 22nd of May was a big one as 4 single bikes and 5 tandems enjoyed a cruise by the river to Matilda Bay for a coffee. During the next ride on the 12th of June, the conversation turned to flat tyres leading Jennifer and Dee to anger the Gods with their “never had a flat” talk. Pop, hiss, guess who got a puncture? The next Recreation ride will be on the 10th of July from Bayswater to South Perth, contact Adriana for more details.

Rottnest Reminder

Remember to keep the 19th and 20th of November free for Rotto!

More Tandem Talk

If you’ve got a tandem or vision-impaired cycling story to tell, tell it to Beau at beau.tang@gmail.com and he might put in into Tandem Talk!

Clackline to York and Back Again

WATCAC members Hab, Trevor, Adriana, Janelle and Beau with friends AJ, John and Forest took the opportunity to get out of the city on Saturday the 23rd of April. Driving out to Clackline, the intrepid bunch had a leisurely 45km ride to York stopping there for a coffee and a snack – in John’s case a pie and sauce – before saddling up for the return.

While they were taking their ease in York, the wind freshened and swung to the south, so the 45km trip back to Clackline was more of a challenge, but everyone made it back in good spirits. Janelle and Beau’s spirits were further raised by lunch and beer at the Parkerville Tavern.

Busselton Half Ironman 2011

Following up from last year’s successful debut, WATCAC again entered two teams in this prestigious event and they performed very well finishing 43rd and 61st out of 246 teams.

Team Out of Sight Deep South consisting of Monica (swimming), Hector (accompanying Monica in a kayak), Gerald and Darren (cycling) and Paul Garwood (running) finished in 5hrs 28mins. Team Out of Sight Metro consisting of Margaret (swimming), Paul (accompanying Margaret in a kayak), Hab and Adriana (cycling) and Steve Atherton (running) finished in 5hrs 43mins.

Additionally vision-impaired athlete and tandem cyclist Jeremy McClure competed in the solo category, exhausting his three guides (one for each leg) in the process. He won the Athletes with Disabilities section in the very very good time of 5hrs 3mins and also received a standing ovation when he was awarded the “Courageous Award” after being judged to be the athlete who displayed the most courage on the day.

Once again, the organisers were very welcoming and very inclusive, allowing our swimmers with their kayaking guides to start ahead of the pack and once again, the commentators and the spectators were vocal in their support. Of the 7 disabled athletes that competed, 5 were vision-impaired and all received a commemorative medal.

Well done to all who participated and thanks to Hab, Adriana and Gerald for all of their work in organising the teams.

WATCAC Members in The 3 and 5 Dams Challenge

On the 17th of April, members Janelle Graham and Beau Tang participated in this event, Janelle taking the 150km 3 Dams option and Beau taking the 235km 5 Dams option. Both options started and finished at Barrack St Jetty.

Janelle and her mate Shirl rode past Mundaring Weir, Canning Dam and Wungong Dam had a riot and could be heard miles away. Riding up the very steep hill out of Canning Dam struggling riders looked on in disbelief as Janelle passed them by singing “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain”.

Beau was to ride on a tandem with his mate Leon, but with a bad case of the flu keeping Leon off the bike, Beau rode his single bike. Unavoidable delays and a flat tyre saw Beau start well behind the main bunch, but undeterred he completed the ride alone in 9hrs 40mins, passing Mundaring Weir, Churchmans Brook Dam, Wungong Dam, Canning Dam and Serpentine Dam.

Well done Janelle and Beau. We’ll get some vision-impaired cyclists out next year!

Rottnest Weekend Update

Plans for the weekend are progressing well. The proposed dates are the 19th and 20th of November. Participants will have the option of making it a day trip on Saturday or staying overnight and returning on Sunday.

The Committee has budgeted $2000 to contribute towards ferry fares and accommodation for members. Depending on the number of attendees and the number of Companion Cards that are available, this will cover 30% to 60% of those costs. Members’ families are welcome to attend but will not qualify for a subsidy.

The accommodation will have cooking facilities but at this stage WATCAC is not planning to do any catering. Last one to the pub is a rotten egg!

Upcoming Rides

The next Recreation Ride will be from Victoria Park on the 22nd of May and the one after that will be on the 12 of June. For more details, contact Adriana.

Trevor has Left the Building

Member and Club Secretary Trevor is off to the USA for the holiday of a lifetime. Among the highlights, he will be looking for the King in Memphis Tennessee and cruising California’s Pacific Highway in a Mustang convertible. Trevor being Trevor, the minutely planned itinerary was developed in one of his beloved spreadsheets!

Entertainment Books for Sale

WATCAC has 50 of these books to sell and they’re going out the doors quickly. For $65, purchasers get a thick book full of discount offers at restaurants, hotels, activities and retailers around Perth. If you use two vouchers for dinner you’ll get your money back. For each book sold, WATCAC will receive $13. To order your copy, contact Beau (beau.tang@gmail.com).

New Format for Tandem Talk
We’re trying a new format for Tandem Talk. Briefer but published more frequently, this new format is aimed at keeping members abreast of recent and upcoming news and events.

Freeway Bike Hike 2011
Four tandems took part this year, 2 taking the 60km option and 2 taking the 30km option. Darren and Gerald – The Southwest Express – completed the 60km in 1hr 27min which must be close to an all time WATCAC record. Adriana and Hab took an extra 10mins but considering the extra years being carried, that was a damn good effort. Well done also to Trev and Shirl and to Les and Alex for completing the 30km ride. Congratulations to everyone that took part.

April Recreation
In windy but fine conditions, 5 tandems took to the roads of the Swan Valley for an enjoyable 24km ride and mandatory coffee stop. An honourable mention goes to Debbie and Kerry who hit the bitumen but got up and still had a great day.

April Club Ride
Poor Trevor and Greg – no mates – but that didn’t stop them from doing the Club Ride solo. Well done boys.

Upcoming Rides
The next recreation ride is scheduled for the 22nd of May and will depart from Victoria Park. For more details, contact Adriana. There is a treat in store for the Club Riders with a ride from Clackline to York scheduled for the 23rd of April. This is a great road and with the cooler weather should be a great day out in the country.

Great WA Bike Ride
Front rider Jennifer and her family took part in this multi-day feast of cycling and socialising in WA’s Southwest around Manjimup. Well done to them all.

Tandem on Mt Buller
In March, WATCAC Treasurer Beau with his long-time friend and stoker Leon entered the Scody High Country Challenge. This annual two day event takes place in and around Mansfield in Victoria. The boys had a great time with a challenging 165km ride on Saturday including a 16km ascent of Mt Buller and a slightly easier 125km ride on Sunday. Mansfield is a great town with pubs and cafes, the countryside is beautiful and the event is well organised. The climb of Mt Buller is do-able on a tandem and less strenuous ride options are available. Definitely well worth doing!

Membership Renewals Are Due
A quick reminder that membership fees for 2011 are due. If you want to continue enjoying the benefits of Membership including insurance cover and participation in our calendar of rides but have not yet paid then please contact a Committee member to arrange payment.

Busselton Half Ironman 2011
Planning is well under way for WATCAC’s second assault on this event. At this stage we expect to have two teams entered each with a tandem for the cycling leg.

March Tandem Clinic
In March, three strong, enthusiastic and experienced cyclists came along to learn more about piloting a tandem. Chris, Paul and Stephen were quick learners and enjoyed the experience. It would be great to get them out on a WATCAC ride, so if you are a back rider and think that you would like to ride more often, then contact a Committee member to see about an introduction. Thanks to Hab, Dee, Adriana, Trevor and Beau for their help in running the clinic.

Thankyou Kirstie Brown
The 2010 AGM marked the official retirement of Kirstie Brown from the post of WATCAC Treasurer which she ably filled for several years. Unfortunately, life has been busy for the rest of the committee so Kirstie has continued in her post until April when the bank and id formalities were finally completed to allow her to hand over the reigns. Thanks very much Kirstie for your contributions to WATCAC over the years. The WATCAC Committee is Hab Collier (President), Greg Madson (Vice President), Beau Tang (Treasurer), Trevor Maslen (Secretary) and Adriana Lepore and Steve Green (Committee Members).

Garden Island Cyclo Sportif – 15th May
The people at BWA have been very welcoming towards us, but they have pulled out all the stops for the next Cyclo Sportif event. The course is flat around Safety Bay and includes riding across the causeway to Garden Island which makes it a perfect course for tandems. Unlike most Cyclo Sportif events, there will be no requirement to ride in a team so there will be no pressure to keep up with anyone – unless you want to. We’ll have at least two tandems on the course so there won’t be a better chance to try a Cyclo Sportif event and enjoy being in an event with 800+ enthusiastic cyclists. A great lunch is included in the entry price. Visit www.bwa.org.au/cyclo-sportif/273/ for more details and contact a WATCAC committee member if you are interested in joining us.

Tandems at the Australian Track Championships 2011
Three of WATCAC’s young vision-impaired riders along with their pilots competed at the Australian Championships at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney in February. For all three it was their first taste of big time competition and they all performed well coming home with a swag of medals. Well done Vicki, Thanh and Jeremy.

Proposed Rottnest Event
The Committee is investigating options for a Rottnest ride in November 2011 possibly including an overnight stay and a BBQ. This event will be subsidised and will only be open to members and their families. Stay tuned for more details.

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