Category: Tandem Talk

Tandem Talk February 2018

Welcome to the First Edition of Tandem Talk for 2018.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that the lovely, mild summer we are having has presented you with multiple opportunities to get out on the bike.

Recent Rides

Rec Rides

There has been one Rec Ride so far this year.

In February, 6 tandems and 5 bikes rode from VisAbility to Garvey Park and back. The ride was 31km, with some lumps and bumps and twists and turns around the Ascot foreshore, as well as a bit of a sprint on the way home. It was great to have some new people along for this ride, as well as some familiar faces back after a long break.

Our next Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 18th March. Note that this is the third Sunday, and not our usual second Sunday ride date. We will cycle from Bayswater Train Station to Nedlands and back.

Club Rides

There were two Club Rides in February.

On the first Sunday of February, 5 tandems and 6 bikes left VisAbility to meet up with riders in the Life Cycle for CanTeen On-Road ride, on the Shelley Foreshore. We spent some time there learning how to ride as a group and how to roll-through the peloton, with everyone taking a turn at the front in an organised manner.

The WATCAC Club Riders have varying levels of experience and expertise in riding as a group, but I think everyone learnt something useful. As a number of WATCAC members will be participating in the Life Cycle ride, is was also important to let the other cyclists get used to riding with tandems in the mix.

The remainder of the ride was taken up practicing our new skills on the way to Point Walter and back to VisAbility via South Perth.

Last weekend 5 tandems and 6 bikes headed out again. This time from Bayswater, with the aim of practicing our group riding, and riding over 100km. The weather was mild and taking turns at the front makes the ride a lot easier for everyone. As we headed south along the Kwinana Freeway PSP I couldn’t help but admire how slick we looked, all in our new jerseys and working together as a team.

In the end we rode 112km. Everyone’s recording devices were slightly different, so it was fun listening to random shouts of “I’ve done 100!” as we went along the South Perth foreshore.

Congratulations to everyone who achieved their first Century!

The next Club Ride will be on Sunday, 4th March.  Check your email or Facebook for details

Mountain Bike Rides

As part of the preparation for the 2018 LifeCycle Off-Road, there will be regular, planned rides out on the trails around Perth on the second Saturday and last Sunday of the month.

If you are interested in having a go on the Mountain Bikes please have a chat to Roland or one of the committee members.

Christmas Night Ride

It seems ages ago now, but for those of you who couldn’t make it here’s a short run down on the Christmas Night Ride.

On a balmy Friday evening 16 WATCAC members and friends put on their best Christmas finery, attached musical, flashing, reindeer antlers to their helmets and lots and lots of lights to their bikes. Seven tandems and two single bikes then made their way from Hillary’s to Connolly to see the Christmas lights in Prairie Dunes Place. Every house in this street decorates their front yards with enough lights that I’m sure it could be seen from the International Space Station to raise money for Guide Dogs WA. As we walked up and down the street it was interesting to note the different descriptions provided by the tandem pilots. Erin wanted details about whether the lighting was warm or cool; Anthony gave a great commentary on the size, shape and colour of the decorations; however, by about half way through my description sounded more like this…“there are some lights, and some more lights, and lots of lights…:  Sorry Dee.

The smell of a BBQ full of sausages lured us back to Roland’s house, where we agreed that the Christmas decorations, and Roland’s Christmas shirt, were the best in Perth. Thank you for hosting us Roland.

Pilots Needed

WATCAC has been contacted by a couple of vision impaired females, hoping to get into cycling.  If you are available to pilot for a rec ride or two please let me know. We will run a mini-clinic before heading out, so don’t worry if you are feeling a bit rusty.

Skill Rides and Fitness Rides – A Change to Club Rides

As our Club Riding group has grown and diversified it has become apparent that we need to cater to a variety of skills and fitness levels. To do this, we are going to trial alternating skill focussed club rides with fitness focussed rides. (much like we accidentally did in February).

The skills rides will focus on developing riding skills, such as rolling-through, riding to a cadence, hills, cornering etc. Anthony has kindly offered to lead us through this, and we will also look to inviting other experienced tandem cyclists and coaches to help.

The fitness rides will focus on speed and distance, which should get easier as we become more skilled riders.


They’re here and they look great.

Almost everyone who ordered a jersey has theirs by now, but there are a few extras still available. Great value at just $60, let me know if you want one. $20 gets you a pair of matching socks to complete the kit.


Membership Forms

Your WATCAC Committee have now finalised the new membership form and nomination process as per the Australian Council for Not-for-Profit Charities Constitutional Model Rules. We advised members at the AGM that WATCAC have adopted the Model Rules as our updated constitution. With this comes the need for updated process such as the nomination for NEW membership process.

Updated membership forms were emailed on 20th Feb and are available from the Membership page.

Returning Members: Please complete the membership only section of the new forms, when paying your fees, as this will update your details and WATCAC then complies with the new Constitution. Please pay your fees by 31st of March 2018 to remain as a financial member – after this date you will be required to complete the full new member nomination process.

New Members: Please complete the full membership nomination form as per instructions in the attached document.

If you have any questions or difficulties with the form, please don’t hesitate to contact Trevor or Haylee.

Membership Fees

As approved at the AGM, membership fees have increased to $40 per year from 2018. Your membership now includes a Tagissar ICE (In Case of Emergency) Sticker, while stocks last.

2018 Membership fees are due by 31st March.

When paying fees into the WATCAC account by bank transfer please write “Membership Subs” and your name in the narration. Banking details appear at the end of this newsletter.

Tandem Hire

WATCAC will be recalling all Hired Tandems for mechanical assessment and servicing. Hab will be in touch with current hirers.

Bike Loan Fees

Bike loan fees run from 1st Feb to 30th June and 1st July to 30th Nov, at $50 per period.

If you have a WATCAC Tandem on loan, please contact us about renewing your loan or returning the bike.


Have you ‘Liked” us on Facebook yet? Our page can be found here.

We will use the page to promote WATCAC to the wider community, post notifications of upcoming rides (in addition to your regular emails) and report on rides and other events. We will endeavour to do this while maintaining the privacy of our members. Talk with a committee member should you have any concerns.

WATCAC Website

After a long time in a dark, dusty, neglected corner of the world wide web, we are bringing the WATCAC website into the 21st century.  (Love your work Beau, but it’s time to renovate) Some changes have been made already, but there is more to be done.

When you have a moment, please check out and send feedback on accessibility, what needs to stay, what needs to go and what needs to be added.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

4th March                             WATCAC Club Ride (Skills) Details TBA

10th -12th March                LifeCycle On-Road Ride for CanTeen

18th March                          WATCAC Rec Ride– 8:30 from Bayswater Station

25th March                          WATCAC Club Ride (Fitness)

Happy and Safe Pedalling,


Christmas Ride 2017
Christmas Night Ride: Peter and James, David, Debbie and Kerry, Trevor, Adriana and Anthony, Dee and Jennifer, Connie and Sue

Tandem Talk December 2017

Welcome to this special supplemental Tandem Talk.

There were quite a few items that came out of Sunday’s AGM, so I thought it would be useful to catch you up on what’s happening in the world of WATCAC.


Thank you to all who attended the AGM, and participated in the day to day running and ongoing governance of our little association. Anthony did a great job of thanking everyone who had done anything for the club over the past year. However, we were remiss in not thanking him for his continued time, effort and passionate support of WATCAC, in his (ongoing) role as President. Thank you, Anthony.

Recent Rides

Today’s Rec Ride prior to the AGM was a fun affair, and the usual WATCAC adventure.

It started with a bit of mix and match between pilots and stokers to make sure that everyone got to join in. Everyone = 7 Tandems and 3 single bikes. Anthony piloted for Peter, who re-joins us after a couple of years decades. Paul stepped up to pilot for Adriana and Roland piloted for Erin as both Kate and Trevor are recovering from injuries and unable to ride at present.  Erin has earnt the badge of Most Adaptable Stoker and claims the record of the most ever pilots – now sitting at about 8.

We headed out of Rayment Park in Lathlain only a little behind schedule and made our way to Windan Bridge. Getting around Claisebrook continues to be a challenge.  Today we opted to go around Claisebrook Cove and under the western side of Trafalgar bridge, rather than attempt the steep climb over the hill. This involved weaving between bridge pylons, bollards and the water’s edge, which all navigated safely, only to be confronted with pea-gravel and soggy grass on the other side.  Those on the mountain bikes whooped with joy while the rest of us pushed on through.

Elizabeth Quay provides another set of challenges, with meandering tourists and photo opportunities.  Again, we negotiated this safely and with many cheery “good mornings”, only to come across the very well attended Pram Walk. There were a lot of prams, and toddlers, and toddlers with prams and scooters and bikes, all going in the same direction as us. (I have to confess here that this event had popped up in my news feed, but the only attention I gave it was to think “Urgh! No thanks!” and I didn’t think to check the date.) There was more, cheery calling of “Bikes Passing” and “Please keep left” and “Have a nice day” as we high tailed it over the Narrows to South Perth.

The South Perth run was good until just before the Causeway, where we came across a Walk for Juvenile Diabetes.  We were truly outnumbered, and weren’t going to win that one, even with our effusive charm – so we tactically made another detour up to Canning Highway and into Vic Park.

Finally, road works on Albany Highway resulted in one last detour (and a U-Turn for some) before we all made it back to our start point, all at roughly the same time.  Gold Stars for everyone handling the challenges and obstacles without incident and a big thank you to our domestics for keeping us all together and safe.

Future Rides

MSWA Ocean Ride

The MSWA Ocean Ride is this Sunday- 26th November, departing from Fremantle Esplanade from 6:30am.

Several WATCAC Members are signed up for the 100km and the 50km rides. There’s a spare stoker seat on Roland’s bike if you are interested in trying the 50km route (hint – it’s the same as the 30km route with an option extra 10km out and back.) Contact me or Roland if you are game to give it a go.

Club Ride

We have one final Club Ride scheduled for Sunday 3rd December.  In line with the request for an earlier start, but being mindful of public transport availability, we will depart from Bull Creek Station at 7:45 am and do the sprint to the services at Safety Bay.  Get your Strava Segments sorted.

Christmas Night Ride


That means it’s time to get out your best Christmas gear, dress your bike with lights and tinsel and come join us for the WATCAC Christmas Night ride.
Where: 4 Newport Gardens Hillary’s

When: Friday 8th December 6:30 pm for 7:00 pm departure

What: A leisurely ride to enjoy the sights and show off our bikes, followed by a BYO dinner

Rudolph Roland will lead us along the sunset coast as the sun sets, followed with a tour of the best Christmas Lights in the district. We will finish off at Roland’s, who has the VERY BEST Christmas Light Display (at least according to all our stokers) for dinner.

Note that we aren’t heading out until the sun sets this year, and dinner will be when we get back, at around 8:00.  You might need to plan for a late afternoon snackle if you are the type that gets hangry.
Summer Training

In preparation for the LifeCycle On-Road for CanTeen, which will involve several 100km plus days, back-to-back, some of us will continue cycling over the usual summer break.  Connie is putting together a training plan so let her, or your WATCAC Committee, know if you want to join in.

There are also mountain bike training rides planned for the second Saturday and last Sunday of the month for the LifeCycle Off-Road. Details can be found here. Let me know if you want to participate and need help with a bike and/or pilot.


Planning for our new jerseys is well underway and we may even have them to you by the start of next year.

We are going with a “middle of the range” jersey from Black Chrome. It will be a little more fitted than our current jerseys but not as firm fitting as the pros wear.  This, Performance Fit Jersey, features silicone grippers on the sleave hems and the rear hem, a full-length zip, 3 rear pockets and is made from a soft, lightweight fabric that is aerodynamic, breathes well and is comfortable. The jerseys come in men’s and women’s sizing, from small to 5XL. We are only offering short sleaved jerseys this time.

The design on the jersey will be the same as our current jersey, with a few updates.  We have transposed the green and the purple colours.  The bulk of the jersey will still be white, but green will be the secondary colour, which should keep the non-Dockers supporters happy.  The logo has been tidied up and corrected and the font has been updated. After feedback from the AGM we have added the WATCAC website address to each sleave and across the centre-back pocket. The words “Supporting Vision Impaired Cycling” have also been added to the back.  The design is still up for review but get in quick if you want to suggest any changes. A picture of the design appears at the end of the newsletter.

Finally, there is an option to add matching, cycling socks to our kit.  They feature; Airtech fabric specifically developed with small air channels that offer optimal breathability and aerodynamics, an internal textured compound to keep the sock firmly in place and a high quality coolmax foot for increased comfort in all weather conditions.

We are aiming to get the jerseys to you for under $70 each and the socks are $20 a pair (apologies to those who I told $10) Please contact me with your order ASAP.

End of Year Housekeeping

Membership Fees

As approved at the AGM, membership fees will increase to $40 per year from 2018.  This is the first increase in many, many years. Your membership now includes a Tagissar ICE (In Case of Emergency) Sticker, while stocks last. 2018 Membership fees are due by 31st March.

Bike Loan Fees

Bike loan fees run from 1st July to 30th Nov and 1st Feb to 30th June, at $50 per period.

If you have a WATCAC Tandem on loan, please contact us about renewing your loan or returning the bike.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

26th November                 MSWA Ocean Ride – Fremantle to Hillarys: 30, 50, 70 and 100 km Rides.

3rd December                    WATCAC Club Ride – 7:45 am from Bull Creek Station

8th December                    WATCAC Christmas Night Ride – 6:30 pm from 4 Newport Gardens, Hillary’s

10th -12th March                LifeCycle On-Road Ride for CanTeen

Happy and Safe Pedalling,


Jersey Design Draft
New WATCAC Jersey Design Draft
AGM Ride
WATCAC AGM Ride at Perth Bell Tower


Tandem Talk November 2017

Welcome to the Spring Edition of Tandem Talk.

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

There have been two Rec Rides since the last newsletter.

I say Rec Ride, and that is what they could have been, but both were attended by our riders who like to go a bit further and a bit faster.

On the September and October rides, 4 tandems and 3 single bikes completed a relatively speedy 45km loop from VisAbility back to The Kettle for coffee. I recommend their Chai Spiced Fruit Toast.

Our next Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 19th November, to coincide with the AGM. Check your email or Facebook for details.

Club Rides

There have been five Club Rides since the last newsletter (not counting the two “rec rides”)

Anthony and Roland looked after our riders in September so well that I have no idea of who was there or where they went. In the absence of any rumours or tall-stories, I can only assume that the rides went smoothly and without incident.

Trevor took on the mantle of ride leader for the first Sunday in October and dug through the archives for a route up into the Kalamunda foot-hills.

In the second October ride the WATCAC peloton rode 60km around the river to Fremantle and back. Jean and Jerry, newbies to tandem riding, joined us on the Fremantle to Vic Park part of the journey and hopefully will be along again.

We snuck in a third ride in October, to meet with Jenny and Steve from LifeCycle. Five tandems and 8 single bikes cycled 60km around the Swan and Canning River foreshores. (more on this later)

The next Club Ride will be on Sunday, 5th November. Check your email or Facebook for details

Mountain Bike Rides

As part of the preparation for the 2018 LifeCycle Off-Road, Roland is planning regular rides out on the trails around Perth on the second Saturday and last Sunday of the month.

If you are interested in having a go on the Mountain Bikes have a chat to Roland or one of the committee members.

Community Rides

LifeCycle Off-Road for CanTeen

On the first weekend of October 5 WATCAC members took their mountain bikes and joined the LifeCycle for CanTeen Off-Road ride. Anthony, Haylee, Paul, Roland and myself, with around 40 others, spent 3 days cycling the Munda Biddi trail from Pemberton to the Tree Top Walk in Walpole.  We covered 200km with over 1000m of ascent through sand, mud, clay, gravel and water. It was an amazing few days in (and I may be a bit biased here) the best part of the world.

The event was the 6th Off-Road weekend for LifeCycle and the entire affair was well organised with transport, food and water and facilities on the trail and at the end of the day. Unfortunately, some of the Munda Biddi in this region would be extremely difficult to take a tandem through, but we arrived back home inspired to find more trails and tandem friendly tracks.

LifeCycle On-Road for CanTeen

Before there was the LifeCycle Off-Road event, there was the LifeCycle On-Road weekend.  And Jenny had us signed up to the 18th edition before the off-roaders had even got off the bus in Pemberton.

Being on-road, this event can accommodate tandems, and it would be great for WATCAC to be there in force.  As mentioned earlier, a group of us rode out with two of the LifeCycle organisers a few weeks ago, as they wanted to experience riding in a bunch with tandems.  We were on our very best behaviour and got the tick of approval from them (you’re welcome 😉)

Details are as follows:

When: Sat 10th to Mon 12th March

Where: Bassendean to Busselton

How: About 110km per day (can be more, or less, depending on what group you ride in), fully supported and staying overnight in local recreation centres.

How Much: No more than $275 for all accommodation, transport and food.  Minimum fundraising requirement of $200 for CanTeen.

WATCAC has been offered discounted registration, and will also be subsidising registrations.  Please talk to a committee member very soon if you want to be part of this event, as a cyclist or volunteer.

Further information can be found here.

Refresher Clinic

Last Sunday we ran a clinic for our existing riders to help them increase their comfort, skills and endurance on the bike. Here are a few of the points covered.

Bike Comfort

If you are going to spend more than an hour or so on the bike you need to be comfortable. This means looking like a “serious cyclist” as it turns out that a lot of that extra gear isn’t just a show of pretentiousness. It actually serves a purpose. Just as you wouldn’t wear your gardening gear to the pool or your swimming gear to yoga (ewww), you are best off wearing your cycling gear when on a bike.

Most important are the points of contact between you and the bike; your hands, bum and feet.

Gloves serve several functions; they help absorb the vibration from the road, they protect your hands from gravel rash should you come off the bike, and they keep the sun off the backs of your hands.

Knicks (or cycling shorts) with a good chamois (padding), are essential if you are going to ride frequently or far. If you feel self-conscious you can find underwear style knicks, that will fit under your shorts. Finding a chamois that is right for you is a case of trial and error, but the more panels in the knicks the better the fit will be. You may also want to invest in chamois cream, especially if you are planning on riding a couple of days in a row.

Cycling shoes aren’t designed to make you look like a tap-dancing duck, that’s just an added bonus. They are designed to help deliver all the power from your legs, through the pedals, to your bike.  The sole of a cycling shoe is a lot, lot stiffer than your normal gym shoes. The laces are also safely tucked away, or done away with altogether. And if you are riding clipped in, you get to pull the pedal up, as well as push it down – making your pedalling stroke twice as efficient. Just as important, you don’t have to worry about your feet coming off the pedals. Our V.I. stokers have commented that they can “feel” the bike much better, and aren’t surprised by gear changes when riding clipped in.

Nutrition and Hydration

Eating and drinking for cycling can make a big difference to how you feel on the bike.

Based on my data, one hour of a club ride will burn over 500 Cal; that’s a third of what I burn in a day without exercise. Your numbers may be different, but the ratio will be about the same.  Fail to replace that energy and you will “bonk”, or hit the wall, or just find the rest of the ride difficult and unpleasant. It is important to eat before you go on a ride, and to snack every hour.  There are lots of products out there specifically designed to be small and light and to go in the back pocket of your jersey, but bananas, jam sandwiches, muesli bars and good old jelly beans also work.

Hydration is just as important, if not more so.  You will sweat on the bike.  But due to the evaporation caused by the wind passing over you, you may not realise just how much fluid you are losing. Aim to drink one bottle (700ml) of water for every hour on the bike.  If you are carrying two bottles, put hydrolytes in one – Gatorade or Staminade powder is a good option as you should also be replacing the salts you are losing. If grabbing for your bottle while riding isn’t your thing, have a look at investing in a camel-back.

If you have any questions about how to make cycling more enjoyable, please ask.  There is a wealth of experience in WATCAC and we can all learn from one another.


Planning for our new jerseys is well underway.  With a bit of luck, we will have samples for you to try at the AGM.  Your feedback, before we go into manufacture, would be greatly appreciated.

Annual General Meeting

​​The WATCAC AGM is scheduled for Sunday 19th November 2017​ at Rayment Reserve, 17 Lathlain Place, Lathlain (opposite the Kettle Café).

We’ll be heading off for a 25km ride at 8:30 am followed by the AGM at 10:30 am.

You’ll be pleased to know that most of the committee positions have been filled, so there won’t be that awkward silence when we ask who wants to be treasurer or secretary.  Don’t let that stop you from putting your hand up if you want to be involved.

Due to changes to the Associations Law we need to make some changes to our constitution, and pass a few other motions. For that we need a quorum, so please plan on attending. (yes, Trev, I know I don’t have that exactly right.  I’ll let you explain on the day)

NOTE: Only financial members can vote, or move & second motions

Christmas Night Ride

Following the success of our night ride last year, we will once again wrap up the year with a Christmas Night Ride. I know it’s a busy time of year but keep the evening of Friday 8th December free.

Details are still being finessed (check Facebook and your email for updates) but we will be riding along the coast from Hillarys as the sun sets, around 7:15pm. Dust off the bike lights and decorations and your best festive attire for an evening of Christmas lights, fun and fellowship.


WATCAC now has its very own Facebook page, which can be found here.

We will use the page to promote WATCAC to the wider community, post notifications of upcoming rides (in addition to your regular emails) and report on rides and other events. We will endeavour to do this while maintaining the privacy of our members. Talk with a committee member should you have any concerns.

Please “like” and “follow” us.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

5th November                    WATCAC Club Ride – 8:30 from Bull Creek Station

12th November                 WATCAC Club Ride

19th November                 WATCAC Rec Ride and AGM – 8:30 from Rayment Reserve

26th November                 MSWA Ocean Ride – Fremantle to Hillarys: 30, 50, 70 and 100 km Rides.

3rd December                    WATCAC Club Ride

8th December                    WATCAC Christmas Night Ride – 7:00 pm depart from Hillarys

10th -12th March                LifeCycle On-Road Ride for CanTeen

Happy and Safe Pedalling,


Rec Ride
Recreational Ride photo at the Kettle

Tandem Talk August 2017

Welcome to the Winter Edition of the Tandem Talk.

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

There have been two Rec Rides since the last newsletter

A sunny day in June saw an awesome turnout of seven tandems and four single bikes – that’s 18 riders in total! We started in Vic Park, made our way through the Burswood peninsular and turned east onto the PSP that runs along the southern side of the Swan River. A section of this path runs between the river and Ascot Racecourse. One day I would love to cycle it as a field of horses race down the back straight. We followed the river all the way to Garvey Park where some took up the opportunity to indulge in the biggest scones I have ever seen. Delicious.

For the return journey, we took the path along Tonkin Highway and Leach Highway. The temptation of a long, wide, straight path, after the twists and turns and ups and downs of the riverside path, was too much for some (or maybe it was the scones). Either way, the trip home was quite a bit faster than the ride out.

The June ride was so good four tandems, led by Roland on his single bike, did it again in July. Unfortunately, Connie and Sue only made it partway, due to a broken chain.

The August ride was cancelled due to bad weather.

Our next Rec Ride is scheduled for Sunday 10th September. Check your email or Facebook for details.

Club Rides

There have been five Club Rides since the last newsletter. At least I think that’s right. It got complicated.

On June 4th, ten riders (4 tandems and 2 single bikes) did the Jandakot loop from VisAbility and on June 18th eight riders (3 tandems and 2 single bikes) completed the Thomas the Tank ride from Bassendean through the Swan Valley.

There was a “bonus” ride on the last Sunday in June, when Erin with Trevor, Kate with Roland, Adriana with Anthony and Haylee and Paul rode from Vic Park to Mandurah to visit the Blind Citizens WA 2017 State Forum and promote WATCAC. By the time the team had returned home they had cycled 100km, a first for Erin and Kate. Well done.

I can’t remember if it was because people were still worn out from the week before, or if it was due to bad weather, but the first Club Ride for July was cancelled. Let’s say it was due to the weather.

Then it gets complicated. There were attempts to get lots of distance in the legs in preparation for the Rapha 100 ride at the end of July, but there was also a lot of other events going on and the wintery weather wasn’t making it easy. The second scheduled ride for July got shifted to a Saturday afternoon and saw a small contingent (two tandems and one single) brave terrible weather to head back south along the freeway.

The last weekend in July was the Rapha 100 Challenge Ride. See below for this epic tale, sure to go down in the WATCAC history books.

August has been kinder to the Club Riders, and there is a smidge of spring in the air. The two August Club Rides were well attended and, to the best of my knowledge, passed without incident.

The next Club Ride will be on Sunday, 3rd September. Check your email or Facebook for details

Mountain Bike Rides

In addition to WATCAC Rec Rides and Club Rides, the Fandango Mountain Bike Tandems have been getting a work out on the trails, with several members training for community mountain biking events. It seems that riding in the wet is a lot more fun when there is mud involved.

If you are interested in having a go please let one of the committee members know.

Community Rides

Rapha 100 Ride

The Women’s 100 is an event designed to inspire cyclists across the world to come together and ride 100km on the same day. This year, over 7,000 women took part in organised rides all around the globe. I have to add that most of them were in the northern hemisphere, where it was the middle of summer.

On a very wet July day, while it was still dark, three tandems and one single bike from WATCAC gathered with a group of other keen cyclists and prepared to participate in Perth Integrated Health Group’s (PIHCG) supported 100km ride. As mentioned before, due to an unseasonably wet July, the preparation had not been brilliant.

David and I had decided to forgo the early start and meet the group around the 60km mark in Nedlands. But Adriana and Anthony, Kate and Roland, Connie and Sue and Haylee were at the Canning Bridge start point, and ready to do the full 100km.

Kate was so ready and eager to complete the challenge that she leapt onto the bike with too much enthusiasm, launching herself over the saddle and ending up on the ground on the opposite side of the tandem, unfortunately collecting the back wheel of Connie and Sue’s tandem on the way down.

Bruised, battered and bewildered, Kate nevertheless picked herself up and started the ride with everyone else. At 2.5km Connie and Sue called it quits, unable to ignore the buckle in their back wheel any longer. They spent the rest of the morning watching the torrential rain from the comfort of their sofa hugging warm mugs of coffee.

At Point Walter, others in the group noticed that Kate’s injuries were probably much worse than originally thought, and she abandoned the ride. Kate and Roland spent the rest of the morning at Fiona Stanley Hospital Emergency Department with Kate getting some serious darning done on her derrière.

Adriana and Anthony and Haylee continued the ride and met David and myself at the planned rendezvous point outside Steve’s in Nedlands. By this stage everyone was very wet and very cold and the ride leader decided to shorten the ride and head straight back to the Canning Bridge start point. I think if you add up all our individual distances ridden that morning, we may have made it to 100km…. just.

While this seems like a litany of disasters it must be said that PIHCG did a great job of looking after everyone and running this event. I can recommend with confidence all the community rides that they organise throughout the year.

In the de-briefing and analysis of the day’s events the WATCAC committee has come up with two key points:

  1. Our initial, introductory clinics should be followed up with clinics to update the skills of our current riders
  2. We need to cater to our members who want to extend their riding capabilities, wherever that may be.

Read on for more information.

Refresher Clinic

Scratch below the surface of WATCAC and you will find a wealth of experience and knowledge. We are planning on bringing that knowledge to you in the form of a refresher clinic – or more of a “come and share” day – with pointers on training, recovery and nutrition along with some gentle reminders of things we know, but may have got a bit lackadaisical about.

We are still in the planning phase, so let us know what you want, when you want, and how. Does after a Rec Ride suit you? Or on a week night?

Check your email and Facebook for details and updates.

Challenge Rides

In a similar vein of continual improvement, we are hearing the need to support our members in achieving their cycling goals. Whether it’s getting on the bike more often, going further, going over hills or going faster, we all like to feel that we are doing better.

To this end WATCAC will be planning some Challenge Rides. The committee has come up with the goals of riding 30km non-stop for our Rec riders, and 100km for our Club riders but maybe you want to do something completely different. Cue Spice Girls “So tell us what you want, what you really, really want!”

On these rides, you will be fully supported. There will be designated leaders, coaches and tail-end Charlies, all making sure that you can do the 50km MS Ocean Ride, or the Rapha 100, or ride across Australia (or Italy). Cmon! Get creative. There’s a couple of blokes (one vision impaired and the other with partial paralysis) currently training to take a recumbent tandem from the lowest point of Australia, at Lake Eyre, to the highest point, at Mt Kosciuszko!


WATCAC now has its very own Facebook page, which can be found here.

We will use the page to promote WATCAC to the wider community, post notifications of upcoming rides (in addition to your regular emails) and report on rides and other events. We will endeavour to do this while maintaining the privacy of our members. Talk with a committee member should you have any concerns.

Please “like” and “follow” us.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

3rd September                   WATCAC Club Ride

10th September                 WATCAC Rec Ride

17th September                 WATCAC Club Ride

30th Sept to 3rd Oct           Life Cycle Off-Road for CanTeen (Pemberton – Walpole & Beyond)

14 – 15th October             The Beverley Heroic Bike Weekend for All Bikes

18th October                       Ride to Work Day

22nd November                 MSWA Ocean Ride – Fremantle to Hillarys: 30, 50, 70 and 100 km Rides.

Thank you

Finally, most of you are probably aware that in early July our son was diagnosed with cancer. We are nearing the end of his treatment now and everything is pointing to a very positive outcome. I would like to take this opportunity to say a great big thank you to everyone for your support at this difficult time, especially to Roland and Anthony for taking on the Ride Coordinator’s role, Dee for her understanding, to those who have jumped onto the front of the Perkins for her (just don’t get too comfortable there) and for the committee. I never imagined when I decided to volunteer as a pilot for WATCAC that I would find such an amazing group of people. Thank you.

Happy and Safe Pedalling,



Rapha 100 Ride
Adriana and Anthony on the Rapha 100 Ride, trying to outrun the rain

Tandem Talk May 2017

Welcome to the Autumn Edition of the Tandem Talk.

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

There have been two rec rides since the last newsletter:

In April 4 tandems and 1 bike (yours truly) cycled from Bayswater Train Station into the city and back. Along the way, we negotiated “Trafalgar Bridge” at Claisebrook (RANT “part of the PSP network, but you can’t ride your bike across it – don’t get me started”), the Weetbix Kids Try-Athlon at Elizabeth Quay (thanks, we found a better way around, sans pavé*) and a rather steep hill with the added bonus of several speed-humps and a gate at the top (sorry, my bad. Wrong turn).

Amazingly, everyone stayed upright, but this demonstrated how important good communication is. None of the stokers, even those with good vision, could see the gate at the top of the hill. All they got was a whole pile of swearing from the pilots when we saw the gate. End result was stokers pushing harder, thinking they needed to get up the hill, and pilots trying to stop before crashing into the gate.

After all that excitement, it was time to find a coffee and then head to the City of Bayswater Have-A-Go day, where Dee was heading up the Swish display. Swish is like table tennis, except you push the ball under a barrier in the middle of the table, rather than bounce it over a net. It’s good fun and can be very competitive. Talk to Dee if you would like to know more.

Our May rec ride was a much more sedate affair. Numbers were down a little, due to a clash with Mother’s Day, and an iffy weather forecast. But the rain held off and it was only windy on the way home. Three, all female, tandem pairs and one male domestique – which seemed appropriate for Mother’s Day- cycled South along the beach, from Cottesloe Station to Coogee Beach and back again along the railway line, with no incidents to report.

Our next Rec Ride is on Sunday 11th June, departing from VisAbility at 9:00 and heading East along the river to Garvey Park.

*sans pavé =without cobblestone

Club Rides

There have been four club rides since the last newsletter.

On the 19th March 2 tandems and 2 singles completed the “Thomas the Tank” ride in the Swan Valley while some other members participated in the Giro d’Perth as part of Bike Week.

April 2nd was a big day – The Five Dams Challenge was on! While none of us are quite mad enough to do this event on a tandem, it’s 214km with 2,000m of climbing after all, some of our members took up the Three Dams Challenge, which is only 145km and probably one less hill. The rest of us (two tandems and 4 singles) took up the Five Domes Challenge, cycling a loop from VisAbility that took us past the Dome cafes in East Vic Park, the airport, Bassendean, Maylands and Vic Park. There was a coffee stop at the airport and Vic Park but we managed to cycle past the others without stopping.

Two weeks ago, 3 tandems and 3 singles extended themselves by “time trialing” along the Kwinana Freeway from Murdoch to the services near Safety Bay Road. Think straight and fast and non-stop for 30km. After a short recovery, we headed back into a fresh northerly breeze stopping, appropriately, at Fiona Stanley Hospital for a well-earnt coffee. Congratulations to those who improved on their speed and/or distance and resisted the lure of a train ride home.

Last Saturday several of us warmed up for the Spin Challenge with a 50km ride around the southern suburbs. Despite the forecast, the rain and wind held off.  Some in the bunch even declared it a 21-carrot ride, although this was mostly due to the fact that a truck had lost several bags of carrots along Karel Ave and we had fun dodging the squashed and broken remains.

The next Club Ride will be on Sunday, 4th June, leaving from VisAbility at 8:30.

WATCAC Pedal and Paddle

The last day of April was a beautiful sunny day and, in the morning, 22 WATCAC members and friends assembled at Adachi Park for the inaugural Pedal and Paddle. Eight tandems and 6 single bikes rolled out, following the Swan-River-Ramble along the banks of the Swan River, past Ascot Racetrack, over Tonkin Highway, through Bayswater and Maylands and crossing the river again at Windan Bridge, past Belmont Park Racecourse and back to our start point – just over 20km.

Once back to Adachi Park we traded our bikes for kayaks and paddled upstream to a sizeable island in the middle of the Swan River. For many this was a great opportunity to try out something new, and to discover a new part of Perth. It was also a chance to say, “The one at the back’s not paddling!”. The synergies of working out the upper body after a ride are obvious, and I wasn’t nearly as sore as I thought I would be.

I can’t believe I have lived all my life in Perth and didn’t know Black Swan Island (or Kuljak Island) existed, so I had to look it up on Wikipedia Kuljak_Island . It is about the same size as Heirisson Island (where the Causeway crosses the river) and was built as part of the Ascot Waters Development to give an undeveloped appearance to the river from Tranby House. The island is now a habitat to many birds and has walk-trails and picnic areas.

The day was capped off with a yummy lunch of fajitas, prepared by Paul and Jo, who with Haylee, also supplied the kayaks and the idea for this wonderful day. A huge thankyou to them, and everyone involved in making this happen. I’m sure it will be in the calendar again for next year, if not before.

Community Rides

WATCAC Members have participated in several community rides over the past few months.

Anthony, Haylee and Forrest completed the 3 Dams Challenge. After surviving the atrocious conditions of last year’s Around the Bay I don’t think they see anything as a challenge.

Trevor rode the Over 55s Cycling Club 4 Dams Challenge, completing 170 km in 7 hrs 8 mins, excluding stops, and climbed 2,100 metres in perfect weather. There were 17 riders that participated in this ride, including one female and several septuagenarians. Impressive.

The MSWA Night Ride, organised by Perth Integrated Health Cycling Club, was on a Friday night last month. Adriana & Anthony, Deanne & Jennifer, and David scrambled to get to Applecross on a Friday night, but then enjoyed riverside views of this beautiful city at night, cycling 40km around Applecross, Salters Point, South Perth and Como. Although some of the directional signage was difficult to see in the dark, this is another fun, well organised event that I can recommend to our members.

It does a lot to raise awareness about WATCAC when we are seen at these events. And one of the Associations goals is to “Integrate blind and vision impaired cyclists into mainstream cycling”. If you would like to take part in any event such as these, and need help with resources and/or logistics please talk to a committee member. We can help.

868 Gourmet Café Spin Fundraiser

Last Sunday four tandem teams participated in the inaugural 868 Gourmet Café Charity Cycling Event. Brad, the café manager, very generously organised the day and donated all the proceeds to WATCAC. Money was raised from the sale of raffle tickets, with the winner taking home a Western Force Jersey signed by the 2017 squad, as well as from encouraging people to compete on stationary Watt bikes supplied and run by Brad from the Exercise Institute.

The Watt Bikes measure the power you can generate on the bike, which is a good indication of how well you can get yourself (with your bike) up and over a hill. Western Force players, Harry Scoble and James Verity-Amm came and had a go. Despite numerous attempts, we weren’t quite up to the same standards as these two professional, elite athletes. Maybe next time…

In addition to the Watt Bikes, WATCAC had four of our road bike tandems set up on stationary trainers. We demonstrated to a friendly and supportive crowd, how fast we could make the pedals go around. We also had fun swapping the stokers and pilots around on the bikes.  Anthony and Erin even found time to make a little video about WATCAC.

Unfortunately, due to the poor weather, we didn’t get the tribes of MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) coming through, but there are plans to repeat the event during the Vid Park Street Festival later in the year.

A huge thank you to Adriana & Anthony, Erin & Haylee, Kate & Roland and Dee & Jennifer for giving up their time to participate in this, and to all who came down and stood in the rain to support us.

New Jerseys

All the jerseys from our last order are gone (save for 1 XXXL sleeveless and 1 M Sleeveless) and the ones that have been worn regularly are looking a bit old and sad. There will be a new order placed soon. So that we can plan, please let me know if you want to order a new jersey, and what size you need.


Thank you to everyone who has paid their Membership Dues and for your continued support.

Membership fees ($30 per year) are now overdue and bike hire fees ($50 for 6 months) are also due if you pay 6 monthly.

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.

Your membership fees help cover the cost of maintaining WATCAC’s fleet of bikes, and the trailer to store and transport them in. Being a financial member also means that you are covered by our insurance should anything untoward happen on an organised WATCAC ride or event.

If your contact details need updating, please complete the WATCAC Membership form and give it to a committee member or email to A copy can be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here: Membership Form

ICE – In Case of Emergency

As part of our duty of care to WATCAC Members, we are now offering Taggisar ICE Stickers to all members. These stickers have a unique QR Code that you can register your personal details against, such as emergency contact numbers and medical information. With one of these stickers attached to your helmet or bike or anything that you carry with you all the time, your ICE information can be accessed should you be unable to communicate it.

If you are a financial WATCAC member please contact me to get your Taggisar ICE Stickers.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

4th June                WATCAC Club Ride

Departing from VisAbility @ 8:30a.m.

11th June              WATCAC Rec Ride

Departing from VisAbility @ 9:00a.m.

18th June              WATCAC Club Ride

Departing from Bassendean @ 8:30a.m.

25th June              Cyclo Sportif – Swan Valley

Blind Citizens Conference, Mandurah

Swearing makes you stronger

And finally, researchers have confirmed that swearing during tasks, such as cycling uphill, boosts performance. The results of the study were presented recently at the British Psychological Association meeting in Brighton. The findings may not come as a surprise to those who have let rip with profanities to spur themselves on. Stephens, the paper’s author, recalls a friend of his who took part in a tandem bike ride from Reading to Barcelona to raise money for a mobile chemotherapy unit. “Swearing was a prominent feature of them powering up the Pyrenees,” Stephens said.

Keep it M rated, but feel free to swear away to get yourself up that hill – especially if there is a closed gate at the top of it.


Happy and Safe Pedalling,


Dome Ride
Dome #2 – Perth Airport. Connie, Dee, Sue, Roz, Jennifer, Paul H and Ian
Peddle and Paddle 1
Peddle and Paddle – Zel and Connie and Margaret paddling on the Swan River
Peddle and Paddle 2
Peddle and Paddle – Lunch Time
868 Cafe 1
Team WATCAC ready to Spin at the 868 Cafe Charity Cycling Event
868 Cafe 2
Brad (Exercise Institute), Haylee, Adriana, Erin & Jimmy, Brad (868 Cafe), Kate & Lucy, Anthony, Dee, Jennifer and Roland

Tandem Talk March 2017

Welcome to the first Tandem Talk for 2017.

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

What a way to start the year off – A record 19 riders joined us for the first ride of 2017 – 7 tandems and 5 singles rode out from VisAbility on an overcast February day. From there we headed along the South Perth foreshore and Kwinana Freeway to Canning Bridge and around Heathcote before stopping for a coffee in Applecross.  Debbie and Kerry went on ahead to the coffee stop and managed to secure a table for 19 at the right place even though it had changed name over the Christmas break – Great job girls.  An overcast day, threatening rain, turned into a sunny day while we chatted over coffee and I know of at least 4 people who got sunburnt on this ride, myself included. Slip, Slop Slap folks.

Our next Rec Ride is on this Sunday (12th March), leaving VisAbility at 8:30 and heading East around the river via Ascot and Maylands.

See below for a very special ride planned for April.

Club Rides

There have been three Club Rides since December’s Tandem Talk.

Our first ride for the year was one to remember – The Luminocity Ride.  This ride warrants its own heading, so read on for more information.

The second ride, on Feb 19th, landed on one of the hotter days this February. We left VisAbility with 3 tandems and 2 singles, but the heat, coupled with riding too close to members’ homes, resulted in us losing a few along the way.  The temptation of a cold shower and air-conditioning proved too much for some; possibly the smarter ones in the group.

Last weekend was even warmer than the previous ride. Even still, 2 tandems and 3 singles made their way from Bassendean to Nedlands and back again. If we hadn’t needed to detour around the works at the Causeway underpass, we may have been able to say G’Day to Justin Bieber as he jogged around the Swan River foreshore. Alas, the best I can report is that the ride was uneventful.

The next Club Ride will be on Sunday, 19th March, leaving from VisAbility at 8:00.

Luminocity Night Ride Perth

For some of us the year started with a relatively easy ride around Perth – the distance was 65km, but there were 3 planned stops complete with entertainment and refreshments, and we had 6 hours to complete the ride in.  There was very little traffic, a well signed and marshalled route and we even had some members of the WA Police Force riding with us.  Getting sun-burnt wasn’t even an issue.

The catch?  We left The Bell Tower at midnight on Saturday and got back as the sun came up the following morning.

It has been a very long time since I last stayed up all night, and it took me a good week to get over the “jet-lag”, but I would definitely put my hand up for this event again.  It was incredibly well organised and lots of fun.  I still can’t believe that BWA managed to get VOLUNTEERS to stand on street corners at 3:00am just to direct us home.

Billed as part of the Perth Fringe Festival there was a great assortment of people riding and all of them had put in a lot of effort to be visible.  So many glow-sticks!  As we came across the Causeway, looking east along the Swan River Foreshore at Burswood, all I could see was a long line of lights as the riders snaked towards Windan Bridge.  One gentleman had come straight from the “Opera in the Park” event, cycling in his three-piece suit.

There was a silent disco in Kings Park, mocktails and more dancing at UWA and a welcome coffee at Deep Water Point.  Some curious party-goers in Applecross yelled at us “What are you doing? It’s three o’clock in the morning!” All I could think of to reply with was “A bike ride”.

The WATCAC group, comprising of two tandems and 5 singles managed to stay together for the entire ride and rolled over the finish line at 4:30a.m., just as the sun was starting to come over the horizon.  And what a beautiful sunrise it was.

WATCAC Ride and Paddle – Save the Date

On Sunday 30th April (the fifth Sunday in the month) there will be an opportunity to try out kayaking as well as cycling. The day is still a work in progress, but save the date.

We will start and finish at Adachi Park, near the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Abernethy Road, Ascot.  Transport will be arranged from a nearby train station. From there we will go on a relaxed ride around the river before returning to the park for a paddle and a BBQ lunch.

Adachi Park has Japanese themed gardens and a tea house, children’s playground, dolls house made from Bristile Bricks (former factory on the adjoining land). Adachi Park is named after Belmont’s Sister City, Adachi in Japan. There is also a Belmont Park in Adachi. WATCAC Treasurer, Trevor Maslen, was instrumental in establishing this park.

Thanks to Paul and Jo, we have a fleet of kayaks so there will be ample opportunity to have a go. It’s up to you; do it all, just ride, just paddle, or just sit by the river and put the billy on.


Thank you to everyone who has paid their Membership Dues and for your continued support.

Membership fees ($30 per year) and bike loan fees ($50 for 6 months) are due by 31st March. 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.

If your contact details need updating, please complete attached WATCAC Membership form and give it to a committee member of email to  A copy can also be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here: Membership Form


Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

12th March          WATCAC Rec Ride

Departing from VisAbility @ 8:30a.m.

17-26th March    Bike Week

Lots and Lots of events

Let me know if you need help participating in any of them

19th March          WATCAC Club Ride

Departing from VisAbility @ 8:00a.m.

19th March          Giro d’Perth

Departing from Wesley College from 7:00a.m.

2nd April                WATCAC Club Ride – TBA

2nd April                2017 5 Dams  and 3 Dams Challenge

7th April                Bridges Night Ride for MSWA

Departing from Perth Integrated Health, Applecross @ 18:30

9th April                WATCAC Rec Ride – TBA

30th April              WATCAC Ride and Paddle, Adachi Park

13th May              City of Armadale Gran Fondo


Things Roadies Lie About

Finally, I found this article by Kath Bicknell on the SBS Cycling Central website.  While it is “tongue-in-cheek” there is an element of truth to it.  Enjoy.

Website: things roadies lie about

Text included below.

Happy and Safe Pedalling,


All Lit Up and Ready to Ride Out on the Luminocity Ride; Callum, Paul, Phil, Erin, Jennifer, David, Haylee, Adriana and Anthony


Things Roadies Lie About

By Kath Bicknell


Cycling Central

4 Mar 2017 – 10:08 AM  UPDATED 4 Mar 2017 – 10:09 AM

There are a lot of things to love about road riding and the people who do it. But some of the things roadies say are as reliable as a sticky tape repair job on a nice carbon frame.

  1. They haven’t been riding much lately (also referred to as “I’m not that fit at the moment”)

If they’re on a bike, in the bunch, and not so out of breath they can say these words, chances are they’re riding more than most of the population.

Be particularly wary of someone who says these words then snakes you on a hill. Some of our best muscle adaptation comes with an improved training:recovery ratio.

  1. It’s a recovery ride

Unless recovery means surges, the odd sprint and a light but constant sweat. It might be a recovery ride for some people, but for others it’s a huge achievement just turning up. Be kind to those people so they keep coming back.

  1. It won’t be an early start

I’m not sure if this is something limited to bigger cities where traffic is an issue, but 5:45am is an early start. 7:00am is an early start. Anything before 10:00am is an early start.

  1. They don’t want your croissant

I bought two croissants the other day so I’d be sure to eat at least half of one. I was hungry after that morning’s ‘early start’. I got about a quarter of that croissant. It was like watching a tornado.

  1. The state of your bib shorts

Telling someone about the state of their bib shorts takes courage. Most riders will find it easier to say nothing than tell you yours are see-through or it’s not the done thing to wear underpants. Besides, it’s not something easily yelled from behind when you don’t know the person in front.

There is only one time you should wear undies under your bib shorts: when you’re standing in front of a mirror trying to ascertain whether or not they are see-through. (Patterned undies work best in this situation.)

  1. Their new piece of equipment is the best piece of equipment

Take this with caution if the rider a) has recently changed sponsors or is best friends with the distributor b) is the distributor c) hasn’t had the opportunity to use a range of better products yet or d) has bib shorts you’re building up the courage to talk to them about.

  1. They’ll pass all the calls

“Pass the calls, pass the calls, pass the calls,” came the rider briefing the other day. “OK,” said everyone.

“Can you guys please pass the calls,” came a voice from the back of the bunch part way through the ride.

“Seriously, why is nobody passing the calls?” said the person next to me.

If someone points out a hole, some debris, a lane change, an anything, PASS THE CALLS. It’s the difference between an excellent bunch and a non-aspirational one. You might know the roads, but that new rider at the back of the bunch sure doesn’t.

  1. This is the last hill

It’s never the last hill. Just keep pedalling suck down on an energy gel or that saliva that’s creeping out of your mouth. Hold on to the fact other people have got through this ride and surely you will too. Besides, it’s just a recovery ride, right?


To be clear, I’m not claiming roadies can’t be trusted. Or that these traits are shared by every rider in every bunch. But there’s something about the road cycling culture that can induce a lack of perspective even in the most rational of people.

If someone says they haven’t been riding much lately, it’s just a reco ride and won’t be an early start, only take these words at face value if you know this rider well.

Otherwise, plan for a steady effort, have an alarm clock at the ready, be prepared for an extra hill or two, and throw some extra food in your jersey pocket, just in case. The ride will be much more enjoyable that way. And the sunrise is always worth it.

Tandem Talk July 2016

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 or hand it to a committee member. A copy can also be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here:

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 or myself on

Happy and Safe Pedalling


Tandem Talk November 2015

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 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 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


Tandem Talk September 2015

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:

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 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


Tandem Talk May 2015

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 (, 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 ( 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

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

WATCAC members are already registered for the Giro D’Perth (The back lane bike odyssey) and the Freeway Bike Hike. Email 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 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

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


Tandem Talk September 2014

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 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


Tandem Talk April 2014

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

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 Let me know if you want to join this event:

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

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

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:

Helmet Fitting
Helmet Fitting

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Tandem Talk July 2013

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.

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 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.

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

Tandem Talk May 2013

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 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.

Tandem Talk April 2013

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.