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Tandem Talk October 2020

Welcome to another edition of Tandem Talk. Highlights of this edition include Q&As from two members, well-deserved congratulations to three members, welcome and well-done to WATCAC (Western Australian Tandem Cycling Advisory Council) newbies and news of exciting events to come.

 

WATCAC Tandem Clinic

On Sunday the 30th of August, 7 new stokers including 6 vision-impaired, and 9 new pilots attended the first clinic run by Connie. In addition, old hands Darren Stevens (stoker) and Paul Garwood (pilot) came along. We can’t count them as newbies but it was nice to see them.

The clinic went very smoothly – I don’t remember any stacks – and we’ve gained a number of new members from the attendees, some of whom have already put in tandem loan requests.

Thanks to all of the members, stokers and pilots, who came along to help with the clinic and the catering and a very big thank you to Connie who did a great job running a clinic for the first time.

 

WATCAC Rides

Dundas Rd East Route
Dundas Rd East Route

Who was it who offended the weather gods? Lots of rides have been cancelled lately, four in fact but we did get out on the road for a couple.

2 August Club Ride

Attended by 5 tandems and 5 single bikes and following the Dundas Road East route. The ride starts at Lathlain then past Curtin to Shelley Foreshore, Karel Ave to Roe, Dundas Extension and return via Abernathy 60km flowing path and roads. I have it from a reliable source – Jennifer – that it was fun.

27 September Recreation Ride

After a successful tandem clinic a bunch new members participated in and survived their first recreation ride. A gentle, introductory ride, on flat cycle-paths and shared paths they were told. Well it was short and flat, but the hordes of riders, walkers, dogs, kids, skaters and cars on road crossings made it quite a challenge which our new riders met with courage and determination.

First recreation ride for new members
First recreation ride for new members

Well done and a big welcome to Narelle, Jayde, Tracey, Christine, Susan and Markham. Additionally, Jennifer’s and David’s friends, Patrick and Yew Li came along and enjoyed the ride.

 

Trevor in the Spotlight, not to Mention Erin and Kylie

Trevor receiving WADSA Volunteer of the Year award
Trevor receiving WADSA Volunteer of the Year award

If you read the profile of our treasurer Trevor Maslen in the last edition of Tandem Talk, then you’ll know of his long term commitment to WATCAC and of the many contributions he has made to WATCAC and to support vision-impaired cyclists. Well you’re not alone because Trevor has now been recognized as the WA Disabled Sports Association’s Volunteer of the Year. Fabulous Trevor, and well-deserved.

Also getting a mention at the awards were WATCAC’s Erin McGlew and Kylie Forth who were members of the Team of the Year, Lost at See the silver medal winning team at the World Blind Fleet Racing championships way back in 2019.

 

Member Profile – Meredith Prain

Meredith Prain at the Great Victorian Bike Ride with Jennifer and David
Meredith Prain at the Great Victorian Bike Ride with Jennifer and David

Question. How long have you been tandem cycling and how did you start?

Answer. I started four years ago, but haven’t been on a tandem this year. I started as I work with people with deaf-blindness and WATCAC came to a deafblind camp where I had a go. I had only recently moved to Perth so it was a great way to get to know people and I came to really love being out on the tandem.

Question. Tell us about your favourite kind of cycling activity?

Answer. I’d have to pick two options. Cycling with friends (but getting a decent number of kms under our wheels, e.g. 50+) and stopping for a coffee in the middle or at the end, and multi-day rides, ideally with interesting scenery.

Question. In your dreams, if you could cycle with anyone in the world other than your current riding buddy, who would that be and why?

Answer. Jacinda Ardern, so I could ask her about leadership…… however Roz and Jennifer are pretty hard to beat as pilots!!

Question. When it comes to hilly or flat routes, what kind of riding preferences do you have and why?

Answer. Flat. I don’t mind hills too much, and ideally would like a mix of both, but if I had to choose just one I’d choose flat as it’s less dangerous.

Question. How do you like to support WATCAC?

Answer. Paying annual membership even though I rarely ride now. Contributing to fund raisers. Attending any events that I can.

Question. When you’re not cycling, what’s your favourite past time?

Answer. Making music and watching live music.

Question. What is your favourite food and who cooks it?

Answer. Oh I love ALL food. There is a great Lebanese restaurant that I’ve really been missing during COVID-19. They do great falafels and shanklish pies.

Question. What is your favourite movie and why is it your favourite?

Answer. The Empire Strikes Back. I never get sick of watching it. Great characters.

Question. If you won $3m in Lotto, what would you do with the money?

Answer. Set up a National assessment and training centre for people with deaf-blindness – and have a few nice holidays.

 

Member Profile – Beau Tang

Beau with long-time tandem buddy Leon descending Mount Buller
Beau with long-time tandem buddy Leon descending Mount Buller

Question. How long have you been tandem cycling and how did you start?

Answer. I think that I first turned up to a WATCAC tandem clinic in 2002, it might even have been 2001. I’d been riding by myself for a while but it was a bit lonely, then out of the blue I thought maybe the Association for the Blind – as it was called then – might do something with bikes and need a hand. They put me onto WATCAC and that was it.

Question. Tell us about your favourite kind of cycling activity?

Answer. I’ve tried lots of things. I only tried riding at the velodrome once and that was enough. I participated in the cyclo sportif series – often on a tandem – over several years and that was hard work but fun. It’d be hard to single out any one activity but the common denominator is the enjoyment of fellowship and good times shared with my rider mates.

Question. In your dreams, if you could cycle with anyone in the world other than your current riding buddy, who would that be and why?

Answer. That would be Leon on a tandem. It’s been years since we rode together and I miss it and him. We had some great times and fabulous adventures including being the first tandem to finish the Three Peaks ride in 12.5 hours. We’re still best mates but we’ve both moved on to water-borne activities and I doubt that he’ll ever come back to riding.

Question. When it comes to hilly or flat routes, what kind of riding preferences do you have and why?

Answer. Definitely hilly although it’d probably kill me now. I love the scenery in the hills and the challenge of getting up and over. Probably the most enjoyable was a three day tour around the Snowy Mountains with Janelle an old friend of WATCAC, beautiful scenery and surprisingly little traffic except for a flock of sheep being driven across the road. I wouldn’t call the Three Peaks ride enjoyable, but Leon and I were exhilarated to finish and there was a great sense of accomplishment.

Question. How do you like to support WATCAC?

Answer. I like to help out in general ways with clinics and so on, and have spent some time on the committee but what I have enjoyed the most was taking VI riders into the mainstream. I spent something like 14 years riding with Leon primarily, and to a lesser extent with Janet Shaw, taking a tandem out in various bunch rides around Perth. It was a real buzz to see the (mostly) positive reactions to the tandem and to show them what we could do.

Question. When you’re not cycling, what’s your favourite pastime?

Answer. Rowing, I have to confess that it has supplanted cycling as my favourite sporting activity. It is a very technical sport requiring a mix of big muscle movements and small precise technical movements. My challenge is to improve my technique and I’m loving the learning process. My rowing club has a good group of competitive rowers and I really enjoy the squad training and camaraderie, and that really delicious tiredness you get at the end of a hard row.

Question. What is your favourite food and who cooks it?

Answer. Mum’s rissoles are the best; the secret ingredient is soy sauce. It always tastes better when someone else cooks for you! The favourite that I cook is a lamb curry, slow cooked over 6 hours with lots of coriander, mint and chilli – it’s even nicer after a couple of days in the fridge.

Question. What is your favourite movie and why is it your favourite?

Answer. The Shawshank Redemption is my favourite because it is about friendship and because of the way the plot twists and turns and slowly develops, and I’d love to be as cool as Andy Dufresne.

Question. If you won $3m in Lotto, what would you do with the money?

Answer. I’d give some to my Mum and sister, take Gabby to visit Machu Picchu and Japan and buy some new toys. Beyond that, I don’t need or want much, so I might struggle with the rest and would probably give some away, perhaps in the form of a new tandem or two?

 

Tandemonium

Tandemonium – Perth’s Inaugural Tandem Muster for Road Safety. Save the date: Saturday 21 November 2020 08:00-11:00 at Millpoint South Perth, on the southwest side of the Narrows Bridge cycle path.

Hosted by Western Australian Tandem Cycling Advisory Council (WATCAC), the inaugural tandem muster is being held with the support of the Minister for Road Safety and the WA Road Safety Commission. The road safety message being promoted at the event is made possible through funding from the Road Trauma Trust Account.

There’s a whole bunch of other stuff about WATCAC but you know that already. Click here for more details of how you can participate and help out in what should be a great fun event.

#Tandemonium #ShareTheRoad #LookOutForOthers #MightBeAMate

 

Annual General Meeting

Sunday 6 December 2020 10:00-11:30am at Riverton Pavilion (adjoining Riverton Reserve), Noongar Way, Riverton.

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again!  Our meeting will form part of a Rec Ride, departing Rayment Reserve, Lathlain, at 08:30 and riding south to Shelley then on to the Riverton Pavilion for a refreshment break, catch-up and the AGM.

WATCAC is seeking assistance from members with skills including organisational, accounting/financial, community group governance, minute taking, fundraising, promotion/communication and bike maintenance.  With these skills, we aim to form a diverse and representative committee to run WATCAC.

Some of the roles envisaged in the coming year may also suit those who are unable to commit to committee involvement but would like to support the organisation in these or other ways.  If you can’t join us on the ride, please come along to the meeting, catchup and stay tuned into WATCAC.

 

Till next time, cheers.

Beau.