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Tandem Talk December 2016

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

Recent Rides

Rec Rides

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

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

Club Rides

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

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

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

WATCAC Christmas Night Ride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Around Central Park

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


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

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

More Christmas Lights

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

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

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

Senses Deaf-Blind Camp

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

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

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

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

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