Volunteer Captains
(Front Seat Riders)
For Tandem Bike Riding

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


Saturday 21 June 2014

Well, yesterday was a quantum leap forward for Tandem Bike Victoria and in particular for this old but still not worn out cyclist. Yes after many many years in retirement from competitive cycling, I was about to take part in competitive cycling again in a para-cycling Time Trial race. 

The day started out not looking too flash on the run up the Calder Hwy to Harcourt as it was rather wet and windy.  However, surprise surprise. When we arrived in Harcourt the rain stopped and there was very little wind but it was a tad cold. 

Justin and I jumped out of the van, unloaded the Cannondale tandem bike and set it up on the trainer. Justin downed a hot coffee while I munched on a couple of sandwiches to stoke up the old boiler in preparation for the 20 km Time Trail in which we were due to kick off on at 1:28 pm.

We wandered up to the registration area and acquired our number 73 which Justin pinned to the back of my jersey and Justin jumped on to the tandem to do a 15 min warm up to get his heart rate up. Being a heartless cyclist I didn't need to go through this process. LOL 

The Para-Cyclists were called to the starting line and we were queued up behind Casey and Renee on the lean and mean green machine. The time keeper sent Casey off one minute ahead of Justin and I who were raring to go. 

It was now our turn to get the countdown and on zero we were off like a Bondi Tram. It wasn't long before we were into the hill climb which I found to be a tad longer and steeper than I had expected. Never the less, we motored up it without too much problem passing a few other cyclist along the way. Although there were a few short descents, most of the 10 km to the turn around were mostly uphill. Being on a long tandem bike we had to slow to a crawl at the turn around. 

On the return leg we were expecting to be passed by the B-grade cyclists on their flash carbon TT machines so we kept the pedal to the metal to the finish line. We certainly generated some fast speed on the descents and we crossed the finish line at 60 kph plus. We were surprised that we were not over taken by any other cyclist over the 20 km journey.

We managed to average 31.8 kph in an unofficial time of 40:18 mins for the 20 km Time Trail.  (MapMyRide Stats)

A special mention about Casey and Renee. They were  going like a rocket and stumbled on a cyclist with a brake problem and they stopped to render her assistance sacrificing their own ride. 

It would be great if we could get some more tandem bike riders involved in para-cycling. its not too hard and its a whole lot of fun.

Hope to see you on a ride very soon.


Saturday 31 May 2014

It was a cool but clear morning when Barry Bailey, John, Rocky and Peter (me)  met up at Southern Cross station and boarded the 7:10 am Albury train along with a couple of our tandem bikes. Much to our surprise there were two other flash looking tandems being loaded onto the train. These tandems and their riders were off to Seymour.

We were travelling to Wangaratta to meet up with Dave and Barry Smerdon who are a tandem bike team from Albury NSW. The train trip was very pleasant and we arrived in Wangaratta on time. We located Dave and Barry S who were waiting for us at the front of the station. We made a few last minute adjustments to our two person machines and then we set sail to Everton along the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail.

The weather forecast for this district was for rain developing but we were very lucky with the climate as we had blue sunny skies for the ride and we made it through the 27 km journey to Everton without incident. John and Barry B set the pace on Barry’s flying Duet tandem and they left us in a cloud of dust. Rocky and I were motoring along slightly off the pace with Dave and Barry S hot on our tail.

We all met up at Everton and after a pit stop and refuel we hit the trail again and branched off the main trail onto the rail trail to Beechworth. After a few short down hills it wasn’t too long before we got into the serious stuff of climbing the 16 kms to Beechworth which I found was a bit of a struggle along with Rocky who hadn’t done a lot of riding in recent times. 

We came across another cycling group who were also heading for Beechworth. This group were finding the going a bit tough as they were resting on the side of the trail. 

Meanwhile John and Barry B had disappeared out of sight and I think they were in a big hurry to get to the famous Beechworth Bakery to dine on their very tasty delights. Rocky and I eventually made it up the hill to Beechworth and man was I very happy to see the old Beechworth Railway station as this meant there were no more hills to climb.  

We turned off the trail and onto the main street in Beechworth and made a B-line for the bakery were we met up with the awesome twosome of John and Barry B. It wasn’t too long before Dave and Barry S also arrived at the bakery. We all ordered our lunch and sat outside munching on our pies, pasties and delicious cakes. We washed this delightful food down with various beverages of juice, flavoured milk and coffee.

Now that our taste buds and worms had been serviced it was time to climb back on board our trusty sweat wheels and make our way back down the hill to Everton. We stopped at the old Beechworth railway station in transit for a photo shoot before continuing on our way.

The downhill ride was fantastic and a real buzz and we reached Everton in no time flat. Of course the awesome twosome were first to the bottom closely followed by Rocky and I and Dave and Barry S not too far behind.

We took a short break at Everton and prepared for the dash back to Wangaratta. I was sort of hoping that we could have rode back together as a group but with an ice cold beer waiting for them at the Sydney Hotel back in Wang, John and Barry B took off at a rate of knots burning up the bitumen behind them. Rocky and I couldn’t match these guys for speed in the early part of the return journey but we eventually caught up to them not far out of Wang. They must have run out of steam.

We all ended up at the pub and downed a couple of beverages before the Melbourne boys made our way to the local Pizza shop to purchase our dinner. Dave and Barry S headed back to the station.

We made it back to Wangaratta station just in time before the 6:15 pm train arrived so we loaded our tandems onto the train and made our way to our seats armed with our pizzas. Barry B and I shared a huge family pizza with the lot and Rocky and John had a small pizza each. Man, were these pizzas absolutely delicious and really satisfied our hunger. Munching away on those pizzas helped us pass the time away on the trip back to Melbourne as well as the free live inflight entertainment provided to us by a faith healer.

This lovely lady performed some rituals on Barry B and Rocky claiming that they would regain their eyesight soon after this session. However, I saw Barry B the following day and much to our disappointment there was no change to Barry’s vision.

There was a minor drama before we left Wangaratta. Dave had misplaced his wallet which naturally caused him and Barry S some stress. However, after a lot of searching, Barry S found Dave’s missing wallet which had fallen down between the seats in Dave’s car. This was of course a relief to all concerned.

Although we were down in numbers because of the predicted inclement weather forecast, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and it was so good to catch up with Dave and Barry S again. The conditions for cycling were almost perfect and the food was to die for. The comradery between all of us was fantastic and I am personally looking forward to our next ride together.

It was satisfying to me to see the improvement in Rocky’s cycling ability and we are hoping that he can join us on many more cycling adventures.

(Story by Peter Fletcher)


It was a nice sunny morning when four tandem bike teams met up at Federation Square in Melbourne and prepared for a ride along the Main Yarra Trail to Dykes Falls. One of our captains had his watch set to Adelaide time as he was half an hour late which held up the group for a while.

We had two new cyclists join us for this ride.  There was Alan who was the captain on my tandem and there was Bindi who was the stoker on Maree’s tandem.

Anyway, we eventually set off on our journey along the Yarra like farmer Browns cows but we soon all met up again. Alan, my new captain and new member was very impressive as it didn’t take him too long before he became a real tandem master. Everything was going well with our ride until we arrived at a closed section of the trail in Abbotsford.

We had to climb a heap of stairs together without tandems to detour around this section of the trail. There is a coffee shop at the top of the stairs which became a good place for morning coffee and a snack. Our next stop was the Abbotsford Convent where most of the group had lunch while Alan and I rode back into the city as Alan had a lunch appointment with his family and he needed to collect his bike which was back at Federation Square.

Well, after Alan departed I jumped on the train with my tandem and alighted at Victoria Park and rode down Johnston Street back to the Convent to meet up with the rest of the group. After lunch we headed off to Dykes Falls in Abbotsford and we then turned around and motored back to the city via the Main Yarra Trail. However, thanks to Rich we had an additional very steep staircase to negotiate. None of our awesome foursome tandem teams complained about the extra exercise and just got the job done.

Bob and Ron steam rolled their way back to the city at a very smooth pace as Ron’s taxi driver would be waiting for him on their return.

We were lucky with the weather for this event and it felt so good to have four tandem teams on this ride.

Thank you to our awesome volunteer captains, Alan, Bob, Maree and Richie for giving us blind/vision impaired cyclists the opportunity to take part in this event. 

Thank you also to our wonderful bunch of stokers who came along on this ride. 

Hope to see you all on a future Tandem Bike Victoria ride.


18 May 2014

Although a tad disappointing having only one tandem bike in today's event, it was truly great to see nine single bikes join us on this ride. Bob (Captain) with Ron (Stoker) on Bob's fast red Duet tandem set the early pace but the steam roller team ran out of steam and drifted off the pace.

Dave, Andrew and Wil took over at the front of the pack along with the old greyhound (me) and set a cracking pace.

Aided by a good tail wind, it wasn't too long before we were relaxing with food and a beverage at Tour d Cafe in Mordialloc.  After recharging our batteries we made our way back to the city via Spuntinos at Port Melbourne. There was a bit of a head wind on the return journey but the team still managed to average around 30 km/h which really impressed me.

A tremendous effort by all the girls and guys from Melbourne Cycling and I thank you for joining us on today’s ride

Tor of course was outstanding again looking after the rear of the pack and I thank him for a job well done.. Hope to see you on a future ride.


Sunday 11 May 2014


Three tandem bike teams consisting of Tracie & Barry, Belinda & Kim and Peter (me) & Vicky as well as Daniel on a single bike rolled out of Federation Square on route to Williamstown via Southbank, Docklands and Footscray Road cycle paths.


We made it to Williamstown without incident although we had some fun negotiating our way through the large crowds of pedestrians in the city.


The weather was very kind to us with a blue sunny sky and when we arrived in Williamstown we headed straight for the famous fish & chip stop near the pier to order our lunch. Yes of course it was fish & chips and we sat outside and tucked into our tasty delights. Man they were good. We decided to wash our lunch down with a delicious ice cream which went down very well.


After lunch it was time to climb back on board our two wheeled bicycles built for two and ride down to Williamstown beach for a photo shoot. Port Phillip Bay looked magnificent with the blue sky above and the water was so calm it would have been good to go water skiing. The Melbourne CBD skyline was visible across the Bay and there were a few ships anchored in the bay.


We met up with some British tourists walking along the beach and they very kindly volunteered to take our group photo.


We mounted our bikes again and we set sail back to the city having to make a few un-scheduled stops due to saddle issues with two of our stokers who hadn’t ridden a bike for some time. Yes you guessed it. They were suffering from a sore bottom. We made a few modifications to Kim’s seat which helped a little bit but the damage had already been done.  


Poor Vicky was also feeling the effects of being out of the saddle for over a year and she was so happy to get off the bike when we reached Flinders Street station. The other two tandems took the shorter option of Southern Cross station to give Kim some quicker relief from her suffering.


Apart from our stokers ending up with rear end problems, this was yet another great day in paradise on a bicycle with beautiful weather, yummy food and most of all, awesome company.


Thank you everyone for coming along and helping to make this event another very memorable occasion. I am looking forward to the next time we meet.  

Next Tandem Bike Ride

The Trail is not suitable for tandem bikes

Tandem Bike Ride
Gippsland Plains Rail Trail

Saturday 28 June 2014

Starts at Traralgon Railway Station at 9:00 am

 Peter Fletcher on 0407 848 181 for details

There was a lack of interest in this event

Tandem Bike Ride
Pakenham to Warragul and Loop Return

Saturday 5 July 2014

Starts at Pakenham Railway Station at 9:30 am

 Peter Fletcher on 0407 848 181 for details

Tandem Bike Ride
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail and Mt Buffalo Ride

6, 7 & 8 September 2014

Starts at Wangaratta Railway Station at 10am

 Peter Fletcher on 0407 848 181 for details

            Tandem Bike Ride                   Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail

Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 October 2014

Starts at Traralgon Railway Station at 9:00 am

 Peter Fletcher on 0407 848 181 for details

Coming Events

Tandem Bike Victoria in association with

Melbourne Cycling 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