Category: Tandem Talk

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!

Facebook

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,

Jennifer

 

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.

Membership

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 info@watcac.org. 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.

strong-language-swearing-makes-you-stronger-psychologists-confirm

Happy and Safe Pedalling,

Jennifer

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.

Membership

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 info@watcac.org.  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,

Jennifer

LuminocityRide2017
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

Source:

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 watcac@googlegroups.com or hand it to a committee member. A copy can also be downloaded from our website under About >> Membership, or click here: watcac.org/about/membership.

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

WATCAC Jerseys

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

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

First in best dressed.

Fund Raising

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

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

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

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer

Tandem Talk 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 WATCAC@googlegroups.com and let us know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy and Safe Pedalling

Jennifer