Volunteer Captains
(Front Seat Riders)
For Tandem Bike Riding

 Contact Peter Fletcher on 0407 848 181 or email at: tandembikevictoria@gmail.com  



Saturday 11 April 2015

During the week I received an email from Richie Penson asking me if I would like to join him on his Avanti tandem on yesterdays Tenax Ride down to Mordialloc and maybe on to Mornington. Well as that sounded like a plan to me as it was right up my alley I immediately jumped at this opportunity.

The only problem I could envisage was that we had to be in Port Melbourne for a 7:30 am start. However, Richie and I had arranged to meet up at Southern Cross station at 6:45 am to ride the flying Avanti down to Priscilla Jones Café in Port Melbourne to meet up with the rest of the Tenax Ride Group which fortunately all went to plan.

When we arrived at the Priscilla Jones Café which is the starting point we met up with a few of our friends like Sarah and Mai from Melbourne Cycling who were also going to join us on this ride. Richie and I were the only tandem bike cyclists in this group amongst all the really fabulous road bikes.

Well starting time ticked over and we were sent on our way in various groups of cyclists according to their riding ability. Richie and I decided to try our luck with the 30 km/hr group and it was not too long before we were being overtaken by the Hammer Group who were really burning up the bitumen at a sizzling hot pace. So Richie and the Old Greyhound (Me) decided to tack on the back of this group and see if we were able to match it with the super-fast hammers. Well we surprised ourselves as we found that not only could we match it with them but we were also able to motor past them with some additional effort.

Man this was the fastest ride that I had ever done down to Mordialloc as we were hiking along at speeds between the high 30’s to the high 40 km/hr. The only time we had to slow was when we got hemmed in behind a slower bunch of cyclists or for a red traffic light. I had smashed a few of my personal records on Beach Road between the city and Mordialloc but mind you that I was sitting on the back seat of a tandem bike with Richie really in great form.

When we arrived at Mordialloc we took a short break to refuel and do some socialising with the Tenax Ride Group. This group are a great bunch of friendly cyclists. Richie and I created some interest in tandem bike riding and in tandems bikes which was very pleasing.

A small bunch of the Tenax Ride Group was going to soldier on to Mornington so Richie and I decided to join them. So it was back on the saddle and off down Station Road to Carrum and then back onto the Nepean Highway to Frankston. We were now riding at a more leisurely pace and on arrival at Frankston we diverted off the Nepean Highway on to Baden Powell Drive which we followed back around to join back up with the Nepean Highway. This was a more interesting route rather than the traditional Olivers Hill route.

When we arrived at Mornington we headed for a small coffee shop off the main road where we stopped for a short coffee top-up and a bite to eat.

After our short break it was time to re-mount the Avanti tandem bike and point it back in the direction of the big smoke in Melbourne. We took a while to get our legs back into action again so we were just in cruise mode on our way back to Frankston. We sat in behind Sally, Scott and Brenton for a while and then took our turn out in front with Scott.

It wasn't too long before we were on our way down Olivers Hill into Frankston and we began to give it our all on the downhill run when we had to brake to avoid running into the rear end of some cars that were unintentionally preventing us from having some fun speeding down Olivers. However, we soon reached the cycle lane where we were able to let it rip for a short while.

We took another short break at the BP in Frankston to re-group before proceeding onto the Tour d Café at Mordialloc to top up with water before riding back to Melbourne.

After our short pit stop, it was back onto our two wheeled machines and back onto Beach Road for our ride back to Priscilla Jones Café in Port Melbourne. This was also a leisurely ride until we reached Beaconsfield Parade where Scott and us got our machines wound up for a short sprint for a bit of fun.

On arrival back at Priscilla Jones Café we ordered our meals and drinks for lunch before saying our goodbyes and riding off in different direction to our respective abodes.

This was an awesome day out on the tandem bike with Richie and the Tenax Ride Group and I cannot wait until the next time I get the opportunity to do it again.


Sunday 29 March 2015

This day started out with an early morning meet up at Federation Square at 8:15 am. Although it was a tad chilly, the forecast for this day was very promising for our cycling venture.

Earlier in the week we were going to have five tandems on this ride which included an outstanding recumbent tandem. However, we had one of our tandem cyclist’s withdraw from this event through injury and another had something else to attend to on the day.

So we had to make a few changes to our captain and stoker combinations given that we now only had four tandems remaining in this event.

There was Bob McPherson (Captain) with Heidi Lewington (Stoker) on Bob’s Duet tandem, Arron McGowan (Captain) with Ranjesh Prakash (Stoker) on Aaron’s Cannondale express, Geoff Robinson (Captain) with Peter Fletcher (Stoker) on Peter’s Avanti tandem and Josh Scott-Jouir (Captain) with Rocky Berlingeri (Stoker) on Josh’s awesome recumbent tandem bike.

Bob and Rocky were meant to be riding together as well as Josh and Heidi but Heidi had trouble with the setup on the recumbent so Rocky and Heidi had to swap places.

Tim Fidler also joined us on his conventional bike on this ride but he decided to bail before we reached Frankston.

We were a bit late starting out but it didn’t take us long to get into the swing of things once we got underway. However, when we started riding down Beaconsfield Parade Port Melbourne we came across a road closure due to a Triathlon event being run between Elwood and Kerford Road. This caused us to have to take a few detours to avoid this problem and Bob led the way and did a great job of getting us back on to the Beach Road at Brighton.

It was the green light to stretch our legs and although this was meant to be a medium paced ride, Aaron and Ranjesh put the pedal to the metal and set a cracking pace which had the rest of us having to up the ante to keep up with the Cannondale express.  

The ride along Beach Road was absolutely magnificent with the sun shining, clear blue skies and almost no wind to speak of. Port Phillip Bay looked a real picture with a number of sailing boats making their way along the coast.

Apart from a few red lights, we had a non-stop ride through to Mordialloc where we stopped at Tour d Café for a short break and refuel.

The team soldiered on down Station Street towards Carrum and all was going to plan until a foolish driver with a P-Plate decided to cut across the cycle lane and try to do a left hand turn in front of Geoff and myself while we were at full tilt. If this driver had not have changed his mind and abandoned his left turn we would have smashed into him. This dangerous encounter took the wind out of our sails and we lost some of our mojo.

The remainder of the ride to Frankston went without any more problems. Prior to crossing the kananook Creek Bridge and entering Frankston, Geoff and I rounded up and sprinted past the boys on the Cannondale express.

Most of us decided to take on the challenge of climbing Oliver’s Hill in Frankston. We all managed to get up this steep incline apart from Bob and Heidi. But it was a gutsy effort by Heidi to give this challenge a good crack given the fact that this was the longest ride that she had tackled.

Aaron and Ranjesh decided to do a few extra kilometres during a sightseeing tour of Frankston after the descent down Oliver’s Hill and missing the turn-off to the Visitors Centre.

Josh and Rocky also decided they could do with a couple of additional kilometres on the recumbent tandem so they continued on towards Mornington before they realized that they had gone too far so they eventually hooked a U-turn and made their way back to the Visitors Centre.

Geoff and I also had a minor issue when we arrived at the Visitors Centre. Geoff did not like the way the council had positioned a bollard in the middle of the pedestrian crossing so he shirt fronted it with the Avanti Tandem but unfortunately for Geoff, the bollard remained firmly in position.

By the time we all arrived at the Visitors Centre the worms were beginning to attach our stomachs as it was midday so some of us ordered a lunch pack from the café at the Visitors centre. This lunch pack was very delicious but not really good to eat while out on the bicycle. For $10 we got a piece of flake, potato cake, dim sim and a heap of chips as well as a soft drink.

After our lunch we mounted our thoroughbred tandems and headed back to Melbourne via a short stop at Tour d Café at Mordialloc.

Josh and Rocky as well as Geoff and I managed to get a puncture before reaching Mordialloc. Josh got his flat entering Mordy and we got ours at Carrum.

This put us a tad behind schedule as Geoff was meant to be cack in Melbourne by 2:00 pm. Anyhow, we endeavoured to make up as much lost time as possible so we got stuck into it on the way back. Arron and Ranjesh led the way and they were really honking along setting a cracking pace leaving Geoff and I in a cloud of dust.

We managed to catch up with them at Elwood but only because they waited for us. Geoff and I got the jump on them in Elwood and we decided to crank up our pace thinking that Aaron and Ranjesh would not be able to catch up with us again. But those confounded red lights slowed us down and allowed the Cannondale express to round us up and pass us down Beaconsfield Parade St.Kilda and they beat us back to Port Melbourne. I tell you, this Aaron and Ranjesh combination really rock on that Cannondale express.

This was not a race and this event was supposed to be a medium passed ride. But in the end it was an all-out race to the finishing post. Well done to Aaron and Ranjesh who did a splendid job on their tandem all day and were a real pleasure to ride with.

Well, we managed to lose Josh with Rocky and Bob with Heidi somewhere along Beach Road but they made it safely back to Federation Square for coffee after at the end of the ride.


This was a great day out on our two wheeled bicycles built for two. We could not have wished for better weather for cycling and the ride down to Frankston always seems to come up with something different each time we do it which always makes it a great adventure as well as an ideal workout on the bike.

The short but sweet ride up Oliver’s Hill never seems to get any easier and continually presents a challenge. The ride back down Oliver’s is always an adrenaline rush on the rear seat of a tandem because you never know if you are going to get safely down to the bottom at full tilt.  

Thank you to our wonderful volunteer tandem bike captain/pilots who did an awesome job and a special thanks to Josh and Geoff for joining us for the first time on a tandem bike ride.   

A very special mention for Heidi who had never cycled more than 40 km in a day previous to this 100 km ride. Congratulations Heidi for completing your first serious 100 km tandem bike ride.


Story by Peter Fletcher

Next Tandem Bike Ride

To Be Announced

Coming Events

Tandem Bike Victoria in association with

Melbourne Cycling who host many cycling events each week. These events vary in distance and speed as well as cater for people of all abilities.
Melbourne Cycling are a very inclusive cycling group and therefore tandem bikes are very welcome and encouraged to take part in any event that are suitable for tandem bikes.

To participate in a Melbourne Cycling event  simply click here to access the Melbourne Cycling website for details of coming cycling events.

Tandem Bike Victoria Partnerships 
Tandem Bike Victoria is pleased to announce that Melbourne Cycling and YHA Cycling are both tandem bike friendly and are also inclusive to people with blindness and low vision. These organisations welcome people with blindness and low vision to join them on various rides compatible with tandem bikes.
You can access the Melbourne Cycling website by clicking here to view current and future rides and events.
You can access the YHA Cycling website by clicking here to view current and future rides and events.

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Coming Events
Click here to view coming cycling events

Tandem Bike Victoria Group Site
Click here to access the Tandem Bike Victoria (TBV) Group Site.

You can post your own comments and read comments posted by other members and get involved in discussions with other TBV members. You can also keep up to date with whats happening in tandem bike land and the cycling world as well as the groups activities.

If you would like to join this group please send an email to: tandembikevictoria@gmail.com

 Life Be In It

Peter Fletcher,
Jan 12, 2013, 10:08 PM