Category: Tandem Talk

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