Monday, 19 March 2012


Brisbane to Rosewood return
March 18

Stats for the day:
Elevation:1200 metres
Distance: 145 km’s
Elapsed Time:05:50:27
Avg Speed:28.4km/h

The sound of rain for most of Saturday night promised the possibility of a sleep in. But a quick glance outside at 4:30 Sunday morning confirmed, while it was still very cloudy, the rain was going to hold off. So it was that 31 very fit and fast lads, plus one tough young lady in Natalie Gordon, turned up for the second training day. Our first ride attracted 65 riders and considering our training day clashed with the Cootha Challenge I was well pleased with this excellent turnout.

Our support crew today consisted of good old Captain Kev, also past Midi Smiddy rider in Cath Conway, and her partner and future Smiddy rider in Rob Wingfield. The best thing about Cath helping out, besides her beautiful personality, is the fact that Cath loves to bake. So after the quick 30kmph average to travel 80km’s to Rosewood the riders were ready -and managed- to demolish the three huge cakes in record time. There was no going back for seconds that’s for sure!

For the entire morning everything seemed to run seamlessly. The rain held off, the cloud cover kept the temperatures low, even the humidity was kind to us, our puncture count amounted to a paltry two or three, mainly all belonging to Midi Smiddy rider Brent Chapman, there was very little wind going out to Rosewood, then on our return leg the wind eventually turned it on but we had it right up our cracker and we were flying! What a perfect day for a long ride with some exceptional human beings… It was that sort of day where it would have been criminal not to have been on your bike, and I am pretty sure the assembled Smiddy riders would agree with me.

On each ride there are always memorable stories to share, here are just a few:

• A record was created in today’s ride. In six years of Smiddy training events I have never finished within cooee of the estimated arrival time. I am happy to announce we were meant to finish at 11:30am and we rolled into the University at 11:27. Can’t promise that will happen for another six years…
• Brent Chapman has completed four Smiddy Challenge events and two Midi Smiddy’s. In that time he has never done van time, until today. A puncture and a dodgy spare tube cost him. He will never live this down. Be sure to remind Brent when you see him!
• Team tactics came into play today when Team Columbia fronted up with three strong team members, with their job to protect their captain in Andres Otero. The trio were inseparable and if you tried to come between them there was hell to pay!
• Two of the lads found the going tough today and had to do a small amount of time in the van. To their credit they both admitted that they would train harder and be back with a vengeance for training day number three on April 22. You boys did extremely well considering how fast the pace was, so no being hard on yourselves.
• The Smiddy Huddle was a welcome inclusion at the end of today’s great ride. For some of the riders it was their first time in the huddle and while it may feel a bit strange at first I promise that you will come to enjoy the great positive energy that comes from these celebratory huddles.
• Natalie Gordon was the sole female rider today. The strength and determination she showed today is an indication that this lady is on track to complete her goal of finishing the Smiddy Challenge in September without needing to be pushed up any of the climbs. Last year Natalie had a baby and then completed the 8 day challenge just 3 months later. Nat you are a trooper mate!

Lastly I just wanted to say thank you to all the riders that turned up today, and especially to the guys who helped out a couple of the lads that were struggling at times. These training rides are run so that you can gauge your current fitness levels, and if pulling up a bit short, then go out and train the house down for the next four weeks before the next training day.

The next ride is a cracker of a ride that starts and ends at the Marburg Show Grounds. It is a 30 minute drive from Brisbane city and I promise it will be a traffic free ride through beautiful countryside that will leave you panting for more.

Train hard and I hope to see as many of you as possible for training day number three on April 22.

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