WATCAC Website Upgraded

The WATCAC website has been upgraded to include the new branding with updated logos and colours and a cleaner look & feel.

We hope you enjoy using it.

Below are the before and after images:

WATCAT Website Old
WATCAT Website Old
WATCAC Website New
WATCAC Website New

Tandem Talk December 2017

Welcome to this special supplemental Tandem Talk.

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


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

Recent Rides

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future Rides

MSWA Ocean Ride

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

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

Club Ride

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

Christmas Night Ride


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

End of Year Housekeeping

Membership Fees

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

Bike Loan Fees

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

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

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

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

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

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

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

Happy and Safe Pedalling,


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


Tandem Talk November 2017

Welcome to the Spring Edition of Tandem Talk.

Here’s a bit of a run-down on what’s been going on in the world of WATCAC over the past few months.

 Recent Rides

Rec Rides

There have been two Rec Rides since the last newsletter.

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

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

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

Club Rides

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mountain Bike Rides

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

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

Community Rides

LifeCycle Off-Road for CanTeen

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

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

LifeCycle On-Road for CanTeen

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

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

Details are as follows:

When: Sat 10th to Mon 12th March

Where: Bassendean to Busselton

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

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

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

Further information can be found here.

Refresher Clinic

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

Bike Comfort

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition and Hydration

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

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

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

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


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

Annual General Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas Night Ride

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

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


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

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

Please “like” and “follow” us.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

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

12th November                 WATCAC Club Ride

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

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

3rd December                    WATCAC Club Ride

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

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

Happy and Safe Pedalling,


Rec Ride
Recreational Ride photo at the Kettle

Tandem Talk August 2017

Welcome to the Winter Edition of the Tandem Talk.

Here’s a bit of a run-down on what’s been going on in the world of WATCAC over the past few months.

 Recent Rides

Rec Rides

There have been two Rec Rides since the last newsletter

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

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

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

The August ride was cancelled due to bad weather.

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

Club Rides

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mountain Bike Rides

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

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

Community Rides

Rapha 100 Ride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read on for more information.

Refresher Clinic

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

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

Check your email and Facebook for details and updates.

Challenge Rides

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

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

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


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

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

Please “like” and “follow” us.

Upcoming WATCAC and Community Rides

3rd September                   WATCAC Club Ride

10th September                 WATCAC Rec Ride

17th September                 WATCAC Club Ride

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

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

18th October                       Ride to Work Day

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

Thank you

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

Happy and Safe Pedalling,



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

Tandem Talk May 2017

Welcome to the Autumn Edition of the Tandem Talk.

Here’s a bit of a run-down on what’s been going on in the world of WATCAC over the past few months.

Recent Rides

Rec Rides

There have been two rec rides since the last newsletter:

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

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

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

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

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

*sans pavé =without cobblestone

Club Rides

There have been four club rides since the last newsletter.

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

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

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

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

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

WATCAC Pedal and Paddle

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

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

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

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

Community Rides

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

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

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

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

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

868 Gourmet Café Spin Fundraiser

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

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

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

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

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

New Jerseys

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


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

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

Payment can be made by bank transfer to WATCAC

BSB 306-035

Account Number 4196458

To help with tracking payments, please use your surname in the payment description.

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

If your contact details need updating, please complete the WATCAC Membership form and give it to a committee member or email to 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.


Happy and Safe Pedalling,


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