Monday, 24 September 2012


Written by Tiny Dancer ( unfortunately I think that is going to stick) thanks again to Rusty Balls for that one.
Editing, gratefully received from many.

Stats for the day by Ray ( I found my legs today ) Smithers
Course:​​Port Lincoln to Arno Bay
Distance: ​​117.6km
Ride Time:​​3 hours 21 min
Average speed:​35km/h ( Ray / Craig in Smash-fest Finish)
Metres climbed:​529 metres
Temperature min:​18 degrees
Temperature max:​24 degrees
Wind direction:​South Westerly turning to South in the afternoon.

Tiny Dancer Stats:
Average heart rate: ​​109 BPM
Max heart rate: ​153 BPM
(Reserve / Conserve and Preserve in action all day folks)
Average cadence: ​88 RPM

Road Kill Count by Mel, Rusty, Ray & Baby G.
4 x Skippy’s
3 x Snakes
9 x Shingle Back Lizards
2 x Crows

After several early starts to avoid unfavourable wind conditions what a pleasure it was to stay in a comfortable bed for some very valuable 8-9 hours of sleep. On the back of 236km the previous day it was indeed “GOLD” for riders and road crew alike.

A special thanks to Michael our very generous host at the Port Lincoln(Bottlemart) Hotel. Michael donated to the entire team, both room accommodation and breakfast which was extremely well received by the tired riders and crew on the back end of a long day in the saddle. The LMG and Bottlemart Hotel chain have been fantastic supporters of both this years 7 in 7 journey and for the past 4 years. Their financial assistance for 2012 allowed us earlier in the trip to enjoy a hot shower and a bed at the end of each day of being smashed by headwinds across the Nullabor.

The winds have certainly become more favourable since a member of the team who shall remain anonymous has stopped SHOUTING AT IT. ( picture Lieutenant Dan on the mast of the “Jenny “ in the movie Forest Gump)

This was the overriding theme for the day as we starting preparing for day 11 on the road. After a great breakfast the riders gathered in the car park ready for the rather unusual short day of 117km, at the also unusual start time of a very civilised 10am.

A brief coastal shower passed over at 10am so that was waited out by the riders in the Bottlemart Hotel drive through. It was here that the drive through sensor got an annual record number of hits for 10 am on a Sunday morning much to the annoyance of the attendant on duty, sorry about that mate.

Departure was delayed by the rain for only 10 minutes or so and at 10.10 am we rolled out for a day of Preserving / Conserving and Reserving both our energy stores and our under carriages. We eased out of town single file for the initial part of the day with a blustery side wind on our left shoulder and some spectacular coastal scenery to the right. The “single up” routine lasted for 15 km until the traffic thinned out and the road fattened up. We left the coastline after 20km and the wind remained strong at 20-35km cross tail from our left until the 40 km mark where it turned and gave us even greater assistance.

Today a new record was set with 20.7 km being reached before the first “Yellow Room “call came from the group. This morning’s yellow room was held adjacent to a stunning field of yellow canola plants with a backdrop of treeless hills to our left. From my vantage point all I could see was yellow so more fluids were added to all bidons.

It was a fairly uneventful next hour on the tarmac prior to lunch break at 51km excepting a few notable mentions. Firstly at 38.3 km and 43.4 km Sharkman was seen at the front both free-wheeling and soft pedalling aided and abetted by Rusty Balls. For all of you who have been in a Grupetto, this is of course, once witnessed and verified as true and correct,  always going to make it into this blog. The second event was the 11.4 km turn Sharky did on the front, ( a 7 in 7 2012 record thus far)  thanks to 2 enormous lamb shanks consumed the previous night.

Protein Vs Carbs ( the debate rages on)
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function.
( Wikipedia)

There have been great discussions ongoing in the grupetto regarding the dietary intake requirements for endurance cycling events such as the one we currently find ourselves in. It was personally noted that when Sharky’s combined butt cheek width was equal to his seat post width that he may actually be eating up his own body to fuel the ride. So it was suggested that perhaps an increase in protein may be of assistance to increasing his energy levels with the added bonus of avoiding any further shrinking of his buttocks.

A quick text to Kerry Leech a Dietician at Eatsmart Nutrition in Brisbane who look after the Reds and Broncos confirmed that endurance events such as the 7 in 7 require the consumption of 1.2 – 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. That is actually not that easy to get on the road, so you need to go out of your way to actually get that amount.

So the Sharkman has been introduced to the Tiny Dancer diet and his recent trend to a more carnivorous diet was surely responsible for the record turn on the front today whilst the soft pedaling and free-wheeling would most likely be attributable to being beside Rusty “Carbo” Boy at the time. The rest of the crew have joined the “Dancer Diet” and the protein recovery protocol, so it’s now milks all round at the end of each day.

Whilst spending a little bit of time on the road one does get to thinking some strange thoughts to dwindle away the km. So there it was, popped into my head to replace the rather monotonous and continuous staring at another man’s backside, a thought regarding that we would surely end up with one hell of a bike rider if we were to combine a strength or attribute from each individual in this group.

Under the Radar Ray would bring the most needed skill of tactical nous as he always knows wind direction, distance to go, speed and terrain.  

Baby Gorilla would bring a kick arse sprint finish to the line, often the harder the day the better the sprint.

Mel would add some steely determination so the preparation and work was done when needed on time every time.

Anna (Tazer) Tate would add some junk yard dog into the mix so that when under pressure there was some mongrel there to get you through.

Big JL would bring the strong lead out power to unleash the team sprinter and reel in the breaks going up the road.

Yours truly AKA Tiny Dancer would throw some deception into the mix, so opposing riders would not know whether Captain Sensible or Captain Pain was showing up.

That brings us finally to the Sharkman.  Those of you who know him will have your own ideas regarding his best attribute / quality. But for me it is Focus. He has set himself some considerable goals and although these are both physically and mentally challenging he remains unwavering in his focus to his cause and to the memory of a mate.

In summary a rider made up of 1/8 of each of the above elements would surely be a formidable force on the road.

Afternoon Smash Fest
The last 68km after our lunch break were assisted by ever increasing tailwinds. The wind gusts were still occasionally from the rear /side but we enjoyed some considerable time with it gusting to 40-50km right up our hoops.

First drinks after lunch were brought on by the first official flat tyre of the journey. Special mention to Maxxis refuse tyres which are the official sponsor of Smiddy events. Mel, Sharky and Big JL all have done over 3500 km on the same tyre set without issue. No such luck for our Italian obsessed friend from the North, who to no-one’s surprise suffered the first flat of the journey caused by a shard of glass penetrating the rubber of , yes you guessed it  a product of an unnamed Italian tyre company at 79.84 km into the day. Total distance into the journey for the Italians was 1886km, Maxxis refuse still going strong at double the distance. ( you join the dots…………………)

After a brief water refill at 20km to go, Sharky offered Under the Radar Ray $20 to his fundraising total if he made the most of the 40-50km gusting tailwind and time trialed the last 20km into Arno Bay. Ray immediately sold his soul to all around seeking assistance to his fundraising cause. After a brief conversation between the 2 captains it was Reserve, Conserve and Preserve that one the day. So Captain pain was not playing today. So Rusty Carbo Balls shot off down the road joined by Ray ( I have good legs today) Smithers, Big JL and joined in a last minute decision made by Baby Gorilla.

The remainder of the grupetto rolled in at a leisurely 40-45km/hr with heart rates steady at 110 beats per minute. Carbo Balls bonked early in the Smash Fest and fell back to assist the Preserve, Conserve and Reserve group cover the remaining distance into Arno Bay. A quick photo opp at the friendly Dolphin and we were on our way, mainly sideways being blown around by the same 50km gusting winds, to the Arno Bay Hotel. It was here that we met David and Bev the owners of the Hotel who were amazingly generous and supportive of our cause and arranged accommodation in their lovely restored Hotel by the ocean side.
A shower followed by a short afternoon snooze and mission accomplished. The day was done on the bikes and all except The Italian Job had managed to Preserve, Conserve and Reserve themselves for the remaining 4 days of our journey.

Bev arranged a Sunday evening roast for us at the Hotel dining room which was sensational. An eerie shriek filled the room when Tazer realized there was mint sauce to spread upon her roast lamb. This was spine chilling and loud. A second shrieking noise was then heard when JL heard Bev announce that her specialty was Ice Cream Nut sundaes. So after a Bevy of orders ( sorry Bev could not help myself there) bellies were full and a quick photo with Bev ( resplendent in her new Smiddy T shirt) and signed canvas, and it was upstairs for the nightly journal reading and some more sleep for most, but some journal writing for others.

Arno Bay Smash Fest Stats
Stats for the Smash Fest  by Ray ( I found my legs today ) Smithers
Course:​Last 18.5 km into Arno Bay
Distance: ​18.5 km
Ride Time:​22:43
Average speed:​48.9km/h ( Ray / Craig in Smash-fest Finish)
Top Speed:​63.4 km/h
Wind direction:​Smashing South Westerly gusting to 50km/hr
Heart Rate:​High enough for Baby Gorilla to still taste his lunch

The “Hey Guys” Vs “Awesome” Johhny Leyshon Day 11 count.
At the risk of not having much to write about I was on the lookout for some fill up. So it was decided after a brief breakfast conversation with some anonymous fellow riders ( a good journalist does not reveal his sources), that I would tally Johnny Leyshon’s output of apparently his 2 favorite sayings.

My gut told me it was likely to be “Awesome” and my protein enriched stomach was indeed accurate in it’s prediction with the final tally being:

“Hey Guys” being heard some 16 times but completely overwhelmed by the 33 “Awesome’s” heard through out the day with a late crescendo coming at the evening meal when JL consumed Bev’s customized Nut Sundae.

So to wrap up the day it was mission accomplished Day 11 done and dusted and riders and crew recharged ready to tackle Day 12.

Honorable Mentions
a. Cadence: (rpm)
b. Johnny Leyshon and Rusty Carbo Balls think this refers to a girl’s name.
c. Sharky used to know her in the eighties and nineties but has forgotten her phone number.
d. Mel went to school with a girl that had that name.
e. Under the Radar and Tiny Dancer are old school 90 plus.
f. Tazer now knows it’s not a girls name but thinks garmin is a boys name.
g. Baby Gorilla likes all girls names.

2. Our fabulous road crew who pander to our every needs. I have served on the other side and their work is often under valued and unrecognized but that is certainly not the case in this grupetto. Thanks boys.

3. Our families and work mates who assist greatly in allowing us to be here. No Deb I did not put this point especially in here so you will let me ride Tasmania next year Ray and Rusty made me do it so they can smooth things over with their wives.

4. You guys for taking the time to read our journal. It was a hard act to follow after the great journal writing over the past 10 days especially from someone who thinks in bullet points.

If you are reading this and contemplating participating in a Smiddy event I cannot recommend the experience highly enough. I am enjoying every minute especially the painful minutes and would like to thank Mark for allowing me to join him on his journey this year.

To my fellow riders, it is a pleasure to share the road in your company and look forward to more laughs over the coming days.

Bye for now,

Tiny Dancer out.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Tiny Dancer, fortunate that you can delineate, describe AND dance so deftly.  We've been following the tales from the saddle, blown away every day by what you are all achieving. Glad the group enjoyed a good day today. Lovely that spirits are high and that so many generous people help you and the cause along the way. Great to hear the Tony twist in the blog tonight; your unique presence and perspective evident. Who would have thought Captain Protein could also double as Captain Compose & Communicate? Hope there is another tall tailwind behind you tomorrow. Take care and keep dancin'. You are all amazing....... I mean awesome. Lx (and yes, it will stick!)