Saturday, 3 March 2012

NSW SMIDDY DAY 3 REPORT

POLKOBIN TO GOSFORD - Day 3

Statistics for the day

Distance: 131.5 km's
Average speed 23.5 kmph
Maximum speed: 61.6 kmph
Elevation climbed: 906 metres
Riding time: 5:36:00
Min Temp: 14 degrees
Max Temp: 19 degrees
Average Temp 15.5 degrees

Amount of times Steely got out of the saddle in three days of riding: Zero

Number of falls: Just the one by Richard Large, who quickly dusted himself off and continued, although I did notice his 'slowing' calls were even louder after his low speed spill.

The number of Queenslander's who did not bring a raincoat: Two, Mr Foster and Mr Steel.

The number of kangaroo"s Mark Latowski has seen since living in Australia for four years : Zero

The number of times Steely did not hold his line: Zero

The number of people I cant understand in the peleton: Two. (The two Scots Mark and Lee)
Riders missing in action: One. Marcel Miller

Riders not going on to complete day four due to having a wedding to go to on Hamilton Island: One. Mark McLeod. (Lucky Barsted!)

Number of punctures on our wettest of days: Zilch, none, zero. Seemingly not possible but you read it here so it must be true.

Number of knee complaints in the peleton: Classified information due to organiser's fear of scaring off future Smiddy riders.

Bravest lady in the peleton: All four girls of course, but Sarah especially because a close friends father, who passed away from cancer, was buried today and Sarah thoughts were with them.

The person most paid out on by Rowan in tonights speeches: Shane 'Kermit' Walsh, for his outstanding flexibility!

The most chainring tattoos on a riders legs: Samuel Mead who somehow got three on each leg and one on his face!

The number of crew doing a good cause for Smiddy. 32 riders and nine road crew.

And finally, the number of times Steely's hips weren't in perfect symmetry: Zero!


Rain drops keep falling on our heads - All day!
Holy crap! I cannot believe the diversity of weather conditions these past three days. Last night the rain started at six-pm and once it started it just did not stop. I mean as in I am now in the comfort of my motel room in Gosford at five-pm the next day and it is still raining! We started in the ride, had morning tea and lunch in the rain, and just for something different we rode 130km's in the rain. Yesterday we got hit with a 40 degree day, while today we started out with the temperature sitting pretty on a mild 14 degrees and not getting any higher than an insane 19 degrees. Once again Doug Misener had mapped a route to be proud of through the beautiful Hunter Valley region, only problem was that due to the rain and misty conditions, not to mention fogged up sunglasses, we actual saw very little at all. Doug assured the group it was beautiful when he drove it in his air-conditioned car on a beautiful sunny day and who are we not to believe him!

The Smiddy riders are legends!
I know this statement will sound strange to some but conditions like today bring out the life in me. It is like the stupider the elements become the more I see life through rose coloured glasses. Anyway throughout todays ride I had plenty of time to watch what was going on around me and within the peleton, and let me tell you what I witnessed made me proud to be associated with this present pack of Smiddy riders. I so wish you could have seen these guys and girls in action. Under the most miserable and dangerous conditions to face a peleton of riders at this given time, they all just knuckled down and without as much as a whimper or a complaint, just got on with the job of knocking off day three with as little fuss as possible. The calls and signals for debris on the roads were loud and concise, the pacing was near perfect today as the stronger riders rode to the limit that helped the weaker riders stay in touch, and the encouragement was forthcoming from nearly every rider in the peleton.

Sharky's tells it how it is/Our road crew are awesome!
At the start of the day I told the group to expect a long day due to the amount of expected punctures in the wet conditions. I am happy to eat humble pie as unbelievable as it may sound, we did not get one single solitary puncture! Go figure. Thanks to that statistic and the great riding by the group we arrived into Gosford at 3:30pm and the guys couldn't have been happier. For some it meant the chance to switch off and relax before our nightly function, while for others it was straight to the bar after a beautiful warming shower. For me it means I get to do this journal before seven-pm and get an early night for the first time this trip. As for the road crew that consists of Angela, Lynette, Marianne, Michelle, Janis, Mike, Kevin, Gavin, Greg and Gregg, they never really get to switch off with a million jobs to do that starts before we are up and ends after we are asleep. On behalf of all the riders I really wish to say how much we appreciate everything that you do, not just us, but without you this ride would not happen and we would not be raising another $150,000 for cancer research. Your positive contribution helps us to concentrate on the job at hand of riding a tough 600km loop in just four days.

Amanda and Sammy and Darren are back where they belong
Sammy woke up with a head cold this morning and not only started but loved the cooler conditions and her body responded accordingly as she powered through the day not needing any assistance at all. Amanda did the first two days last year and was tempted to follow suit this year after the toughness of yesterday, but showed the stuff she is made of by fronting up and also getting through the day unassisted. And welcome back to Darren "Dazza" Curtis, who rode day one, who admitted he had bit off more than he could chew and took a breather on day two, only to throw himself back into the skirmish on the shittiest day of the year to show his true tough colours by completing today's ride.

Sharky's final words:
To the Smiddy riders and crew; in just three days you have formed a bond through an experience that has tested you all mentally and physically. You have helped to not only raise significant money to go towards research but have touched the lives of 200 school children who will remember your visit for the rest of their lives. If our actions over these four days save just one small but very important life don't you think the sacrifice, the pain and the effort has been worth it? As I write this I can see you all agreeing with me and I could not be prouder. What ever we awake to tomorrow morning with regards to the weather and the course I know in my heart of hearts that you will all cop it on the chin, look the beast in the eye and come out on top. I am in awe of you all and as much as I look forward to the completion of another Smiddy journey I will always yearn for your distant friendships.

To our supporters out there reading these blogs; thank you for your constant messages of support. If you wish to help by making a donation be sure to go to our website at www.smiddy.org.au and look for the 'Donate Now' button.

Until tomorrow.

Sharky.

Yippee! Journal completed by 6:30pm, time for a half hour kip before dinner at seven-pm.

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