The Sunday just gone, 23 Smiddy Challenge riders fronted up at Adam Smiddy Park for the final group training session before S-Day (Smiddy Day) on September 1st. The temperature was around the 8 degree mark, it was 6am and the gradual soft red embers of a majestic sunrise were just starting to brighten the sky. The distance was changed from 200 kilometres to 100 and the howling wind of Saturday had blown itself out. You could not have asked for a more perfect day to sit on a bike with 22 other amazing people.
Sharky shortcut stuff up
The course was the same as what we did back in February; reasonably flat with a few rolling hills, winding its way along Oxley Rd to Blunder Road, down a street that had a road closed sign that I failed to notice, through Forest Lake via 17 different turns, then onto Springfield, Logan, Browns Plains, Archerfield and back on the river loop to eventually finish back at Smiddy Park with exactly 104 kilometres on the Garmin. An extra 4 kilometres thanks to that little diversion where the road was closed and we had to backtrack. It would not be a Sharky ride without getting lost or me stuffing up somehow. I actually had a cheeky little grin on my face when we were stopped by a huge fence erected across the entire road. I knew the Smiddy riders would not be stressed and would be having a laugh as well. After 5 months of training events and functions together we all knew each other pretty well and there were no surprises with what happens on the road!
Looking good in orange
Now the talk of the morning was the new Maxxis Refuse tyres generously supplied to all riders by distributor KWT. Apparently the orange/amber colour of the tyres is getting a mixed response amongst riders. While the Maxxis Orange colour may be a surprise for some, there are lost of positives, namely:
- We're on one of the best puncture resistant tyres available on the market - riders who have ridden new Maxxis Refuse in past years have rarely had their ride interrupted by a puncture. This means less van time and not putting the safety of the group at risk when the rear vehicle is forced to stop.
- We are not wearing out our own rubber; some of the roads we travel on are shocking and more than a few riders over the years have worn out a set of tyres during the Challenge. Leave the race tyres at home.
- How about the high visibility safety factor of the Maxxis Orange tyres on 50 bikes!
- No one can use the excuse 'they don't have race tyres' when we let the group 'go at their own pace' :)
Thank you to our road crew
Once again Kevvy turned up to play a support role for the 23 cyclists, and was helped out by 7in7 road crew member Jeff Mitchell. Accompanying Jeff and Kevvy was young Brittany Ganter, who is the 14 year old daughter of fellow Smiddy 7in7 rider Tony Ganter. Brittany will be joining the 7in7 crew for a few days on the Nullarbor and was keen to get a feel for a Smiddy event. Thank you guys for giving up your morning. I know there was not a lot to do due to the group not suffering any punctures at all, but your time was still very much appreciated.
We all arrived back to Adam Smiddy Park right on 10am. Some riders rode there and back home so still got a good 150km ride under their belt. Thanks once again to Scott Fraser, who flew down from Clermont to participate - that means Scotty made it to every Smiddy training day or weekend. I know Scotty is disappointed in doing van time, but he does have the admiration of all the other riders as he strives for his goal weight prior to the start of the Challenge on September 1.
Thank you to all who could make it on the day. We next come together for the main event - the Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge. I know I am excited about starting my 7th Smiddy Challenge and hope that all our first timers are excited as I am.
We depart Brisbane on 1st September from UQ Aquatic Centre, St Lucia (6.30am). All welcome for a bbq breakfast to see the riders depart. Be great to see you there.
Yummy snacks for the riders
Riders love homemade cooking during the hard yakka of 8 days of riding. If anyone reading this would like to help out we gratefully accept anything homemade that can either be dropped off on the morning we depart or beforehand at the Mater Foundation.