Sunday, 2 September 2012

2012 Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge, Day 2

Stats for the day – By David Colahan
Course: Nanango to Eidsvold
Distance: 240.08km
Average speed: 27.4km/h
Metres climbed: 2009m
Temperature min: -3⁰C
Temperature max: 31⁰C
Wind direction: Hard to say

Schindler’s List (road kill count) – By Dan Maunders and Nick Bourns
3 Rabbits
1 (fresh) Fox
16 Very bad smells
10 Bad smells
2 Wallabies
4 Skippys
1 Flat black cat
1 (soon to dead) Live Brown Snake
1 twice killed skull!!
1 Frilled neck lizard

Day 2 Nanango to Eidsvold - A Cold Start
By Steve Potts, Steve Flook and Brendan Lynch

Question: How does lycra fare at minus 3 C?
Answer: Poorly....

The day started at 6am with a tremendous farewell from the Nanango crew. Each year they have supported the Smiddy with great food and hospitality compliments of the Nanango Darts Club and the RSL. The volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure we were fuelled up and ready to smash out a delightful 240kms onwards to Eidsvold.

The real talk of the morning was the frosty conditions that met the riders, mostly ill prepared anticipating warmer temperatures rolling North. The silence was deafening, as the circulation slowed so did the chatter! The bunch was eerily quiet, except for the odd moan of discomfort. Conversation was laboured, as mouths struggled to pronounce words like, windmill, hello and slowing. Officially it was minus 3, advised from Gevees’ luxury 4x4.

Adaption to the cold conditions varied and fashions on the field were unconventional but included socks over the hands, hoodies, jumpers, trackie pants and allegedly a pair of Grandpa’s slippers (with cleats). None of which were official Smiddy merchandise but no one seemed to care! The fashion police were still in bed at this hour!

After lunch legs
Question: Should  you ride on a full stomach?
Answer: Avoid, where possible.....

Avoidance behaviour is not in the modus operandi of a Smiddy least for 8 days a year. The cold start meant a slow start but as the sun came out the average speed picked up and we arrived at Ban Ban Springs ahead of time.  The spread put on by the road crew was as per normal, perfect, fuelling our engines for the remaining 105kms into Eidsvold.  However, the bumpy roads were not favourable for our digestion, causing a cocktail of Megaburn bars, boiled egg sandwiches and Freddo Frogs to have a combustion like effect. Most felt the full effect of this chemical reaction on the climb to Binjour, not to be confused with the French greeting Bonjour! The endless rolling hills, the heavy roads and the scorching sun were all taking a toll on the riders. The Smiddy spirit was on show again during these tough sections, with many a rider lending a helping hand to those who were going through a rough patch on the bike. This was not surprising considering this was Day 2 of the 8 Day Degustation Odyssey to Townsville.

An unlikely encounter
Question: In the battle of Shark Vs. Snake, who would win?
Answer: Shark of course!

Spring had sprung and the warmer weather was luring the reptiles out of hibernation. As the peloton approached one of the days many hot, gradual climbs concentration waivered and hallucinations were common. However, there was no confusing the incident that occurred towards the rear of the peloton, unsighted by many, but experienced by the one Mark “Sharky” Smoothy. As the shark circled the base of the climb, the world’s most venomous snake slithered towards an unlikely encounter with its marine nemesis. Startled by the hum and vibration of the advancing Smiddy peloton, the snake sensed danger. With the fin of the shark approaching it reared its head in aggression, not once, not twice, but thrice in an attempt to kerb the shark’s momentum. But it was strike four that these two great predators would dual for supremacy, with only one victor. A savage battle ensued with the shark repelling the snake compliments of the puncture resistant Maxxis Refuse tyres. (Warning: this story is based on actual events but may have been altered for promotional purposes) 

Honourable Mentions
Father’s Day 2012 was celebrated by the peloton at morning tea in Goomeri. The road crew had prepared a chocolate cake especially for the occasion. This is just one example of the sacrifices both riders and crew endure as they are separated from loved ones on this special day.

Tough day at the office for Jimmy Acomb, our resident mechanic and fellow smiddy rider. Four punctures and broken track pump.....I’m sure he’s had better days!

Rumours are rife that our ride director Kevvy has taken a vow of silence. He is well known for letting you know when you step out of line, but today the silence was golden courtesy of overextending his voice during day one. As usual, he still managed to escort us safely and in one piece to the finish line. Thanks Kevvy.

Dishonourable Mentions
Fellow smiddy rider, Brendan Lynch, well known for fashion disasters produced another clanger on the start line in Nanango. Paying tribute to his USA wife and donors he donned a pair of captain America stars and stripes long johns (nee tights). Fortunately, the fashion police had reported to duty by the time the peloton reached Goomeri and he was threatened with time in the spares van unless the pants were promptly removed. He reluctantly complied.  

Category Jersey Winners
Ray – As one of the eldest riders on the tour, Ray has showed great determination, courage and strength to push his limits and tackle the tough course. Since the Warwick training camp in July, Ray’s power output has improved out of sight. In recognition of this Ray will proudly don the coveted green “spirit” Jersey.
Sammy-Jo – The ever present Sammy-Jo is constantly easing the pain of riders and roadcrew alike. Working tirelessly throughout the day, she provides massage to ensure that the riders and crew can perform at their optimum. For many, without her help the kilometres would seem like nautical miles. In testament to this, she was awarded the blue “teamwork” jersey. 

Once again we would like to sincerely thank Telstra Country Wide for providing fantastic on road connections for us.  Thanks to their generosity, we are able us to post these blogs to you and call home to our loved ones.  Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more stories from the road. 

Quote of the day
Maria Smiddy – “It’s always best to shower after the smiddy huddle”

Journal writers – Steven Flook, Stephen Potts and Brendan Lynch
Thank you to everyone following this inspirational journey of 51 riders and 13 road crew. If you wish to help out by donating towards your favourite rider’s fundraising page please go to or visit the Smiddy website at

Sharky’s OZ 7in7

Four days after the Smiddy Challenge Mark ‘Sharky’ Smoothy continues his 7 year journey to ride around Australia in 7 stages. If keen to follow Sharky and seven other Smiddy riders as they ride the 2530 kilometres across the Nullarbor in the 5th edition of Sharky’s OZ 7in7 from Esperance to Adelaide, you need to visit or sign up for automatic updates at Sharky’s Blog

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