Thursday, 25 April 2013


Noosa to Brisbane

Statistics for the day:

Distance: 170.27km
Ave speed: 26.0kph
Max Speed: 77.3kph
Elevation climbed: 2,136m
Ride time: 6:33:30
Min temp: 12 degrees
Max temp: 30.5 degrees

A dawn service as our send off
I am ashamed to say that up until this morning I have never attended a dawn service. Another in the same boat was one of our esteemed road crew members in Wendy McQueen. I was chatting to Wendy today at lunch and she told me this story: "Sharky I am ashamed to say that I have never attended a dawn service." I informed Wendy that I too had never been to one. Wendy continued: "Sharky I found it all so beautiful but emotionally draining as seven years ago my Father passed away from cancer on Anzac Day." My heart went out to this beautiful lady. It was a thoughtful and profound ceremony enjoyed by not just Wendy and I but all the Smiddy riders and road crew.

Laying of the Wreath
One of our riders was asked to lay a wreath on behalf of Smiling for Smiddy, and that man was Shane Isbester. Shane has done the ride up to Townsville, is a Melanoma survivor and has raised in excess of $22,000 for research over the years riding with Smiddy. Shane earned this privilege as his Grandfather Harold Procter was based in Darwin in WW2 and was captured by the Japanese and held in Changi prison in Singapore for three years before returning home at the end of the war. Thank you Shane for representing Smiddy and honouring the memory and sacrifices of your Grandfather.

So after paying our respects Rowan did a short safety brief and introduced the road crew. It was crunch time and the small compact peloton were on their way to Noosa by seven-am. A huge thank you to Smiddy rider Jim Houston, who arranged for the Smiddy crew to attend the ceremony, and to Greenslopes Hospital for allowing us to use the grounds for the send off.

Keeping us safe
Our road crew keeping us safe out there for this event is the ever reliable Kevin Enchelmaier in the follow vehicle. Captain Kev, as he is known, has been keeping Smiddy riders safe since his first event in 2007. Since then he has attended nearly every Smiddy event, up to five a year, plus some training days. Not just out of the goodness of his heart but because he lost his own Father to cancer. It is his way of giving back and tackling the disease that has robbed him of his Dad. I have to tell you here and now just how lucky we are to have the services of this great man. Thank you Kevvy! In the front vehicle is Chris Geeves; Smiddy rider since 2007 and has transferred to road crew the past two years. Geevesey loves Apple products and his lead car is festooned with every Apple electronic gadgetry known to man. At times (actually four times) Geevesey was so engrossed in his Apple mobile lab that he lead the riders off in the wrong direction. But seriously the role that Chris and Kev play is deadly serious and they are both professionals at what they do. I know I speak for the peloton when I say that safety is never an issue when Kev and Chris are behind the wheel. Thanks guys.

So the day went well with the peloton containing some very strong riders indeed. Going into lunch we kept splitting up and the group was asked to think of their mates in the pack that were struggling. From lunch through to the finish at Noosa the guys made a real effort and kept the group together for the remaining 50 kilometres. The Smiddy spirit is in each and every one of these guys and they showed it by their actions this afternoon.

To finish with here is my top five highs and lows of the day:

Sharky's Top Five

1. Seeing Lisa Allen seemingly return from the dead. This morning young Lisa was not a well girl at all. 30 kilometres into the ride her hands were shaking, she had stomach pains and was physically ill on the bike. Common sense, of which girls have plenty, saw Lisa take herself out of the ride and sit it out and listen to Kevvy's vast array of stories until our lunchtime stop at 120 kilometres at Palmwoods. Well I am pleased to say that Lisa rejoined us after lunch and was back to her young strong machine like state. Good to have you back Lisa.

2. Geevsey going the wrong way four times!

3. Rodney Enkelmann spoke on the first day! This needs some explaining... Rocket Rod did the Challenge ride up to Townsville last year. He is rather quiet and it took until day eight for the words to flow. Well today Rowan and I were in shock when old Rocket strung together 20 words prior to morning tea. We eventually had to tell him to shut up, too much chatter Rod!

4. Jos Lablache had a shocker of a first day today. He has trained hard and has been riding well, but today his legs were screaming at him to stop on every climb. When he didn't stop they would then cramp. When the cramps failed to bring the big fella to a halt his heart would stop beating. This had the desired effect and Jos had to do a little van time to recuperate. But not for long, out again he came and cramps again were ignored and soldiered on to finish a very tough first day into the Noosa RACV Resort. A happier more relieved man could not be found. Friday is your day champ!

5. Jodie "Spotty" Spottiswood now holds the record for doing the most different Smiddy events. She has done the full Challenge, the Midi, The Half and now the Noosa Smiddy. And along the way has raised close to $20,000 for research. How lucky are we to have Spotty as a Smiddy supporter? Spotty was great mates with Adam Smiddy so is very passionate about the cause. Thanks Spotty, we love you heaps.

That damn hill!
There was one more highlight but it was kind of a low highlight that was very steep and high! Out of lunch the group had to negotiate this ridiculously steep climb that would not have looked out of place at Dream World as the worlds highest roller coaster ramp. It was only short but heart rates maxed out in 30 seconds, riders fell off, some walked, some yelled obscenities, others phoned a friend for help and those that made it were ordering trophies at the top via their iPhones to be collected in Noosa! Yep it was a tough mother and I hope I never see it ever again!

Okey dokey catch you guys later. Time for this weary Shark to get to bed and dream about the plentitude of climbs that await us tomorrow.



1 comment:

  1. Great blog Sharky. I spent 7 days with Rocket and never heard him speak. Has somebody slipped something into his water bottle. Stay safe and keep the stories coming.

    Stinky Dave.

    PS Tell Geevesy maybe he should try some Android products