Saturday, 27 April 2013

NOOSA SMIDDY - DAY 3 Noosa-Gympie Return


Statistics for the day:

Distance: 151 km's
Ave speed: 26 km/h
Max Speed: 87km/h
Elevation climbed: 1566 metres
Ride time: 5:47:00
Min temp: 15 degrees
Max temp: 32.6 degrees

Sharky's Blog Dedication
Todays Sharky Blog I would like to dedicate to two friends I know that are having their own battles with cancer. To my good friend Diane Frazer, who's Mum is in a critical state at the Wesley. And to Declan Hegarty, my nine year old little mate who is undergoing treatment for a cancer he has in his spine. Guys I am thinking of you all and please know that the team at Smiling for Smiddy are in awe of your courage during this testing stage of your lives.

Perfect conditions/Perfect Day Riders = Perfect Picture
Once again the riders were greeted with a picture perfect morning of 15 degrees, no wind and cloudless skies. Talk about hitting the jackpot with regards to the amazingly calm weather we have had for this event. So along for the ride today was the legendary Phil Anderson, and as I have already stated but I will say it again as I like saying it; Phil was the very first non-European cyclist in the eighties to wear the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour De France and got to wear it on 11 occasions. To say the Smiddy riders were chuffed to ride with this great champion would be a huge understatement. Phil also brought his lovely lady along for the weekend and Annie Newell is an avid cyclist herself. She managed to clock up nearly 100 kilometres today before calling it a day. Angus Blackwood is our final day rider who joins us today and tomorrow and has kindly raised close to $2000 for Smiddy, the Mater and cancer research. A huge welcome to these three riders and what better way to get to know them but to take them out for a hilly cycle of 150 kilometres!

So for the rest of my day three reports you are going to be treated to a Sharky top ten list of highlights. As of this blog, the heading 'Lows' as in lowlight, does not exist. I was thinking, and while that did hurt my brain, I have decided that everything that happens during a Smiddy event is all a high regardless of the experience. It is called living; challenging oneself, pushing the extremes, all in the name of an excellent cause that one day may just save the life of someone that these guys and girls know. So without further ado here are my top ten highs from today.

Sharky's top 10 Highlights

1. Rolling out for the third day straight dressed just in short bike attire and raising a sweat within the first five kilometres. Just last Saturday and Sunday, Smiddy riders were wearing their winter clothing for an early morning ride.

2. Riding with our old mate Phil Anderson. Fair dinkum mate, was it just me or the whole peloton that got such a lift from having Phil in the Peloton? I know everytime Phil was within spitting distance of me I would dance on the pedals like Phil does, I would drink and eat when Phil did, when stopping and waiting for a regroup I would stand with one cleat on the rear wheel like Phil does, I would flex my calves, willing them to become larger like only Phil's calves can, but mainly I would look behind as if assessing the competition like Phil use to do when racing as a pro and try and mimic the square jaw intimidating look that only Phil could do back then. Yep I am happy to say I, We, were pretty chuffed to have Phil riding with us today!

3. It would be remiss of me not to mention the little speech at lunch that our lead car driver Geevsey gave us today. These were his words; "Isn't it funny how over the last two days whenever I went the wrong way that all you guys made a point of letting me know. Yet today when I have not missed a single solitary turn I am deafened by the silence!" With that he turned on his heels, jumped in the vehicle and proceeded to get us back to Noosa with his perfect record for day three intact. We were all suitably impressed.

4. Our massage ladies in Wendy and Sammy-Jo have been there working on the tired riders each and every day. Love your work ladies and your caring nature. Sammy-Jo was given the nickname 'The Ninja Assassin', for her ability to inflict teeth grinding pain on the riders. Get this Sammy-Jo stands just 4ft 8" and weighs 40kg but man she is strong!

5. Mike and Peter Dyer are the owners of Sealy Posturepedic and very generous with their sponsorship of Smiling for Smiddy these past three years. They are super keen riders themselves, and while both are here for the event, they are both out of action due to injury or sickness. Thanks again boys for your support and for believing in our dreams and goals and helping Smiddy and the Mater to fund cancer research.

6. Anthony De Domenico, for the third day straight battled with ITB syndrome that is causing him severe knee pain. The man refuses to give in and has pedaled every kilometre of all three days. He does not make a fuss, never complains and is always smiling, or is that a grimace? The entire group are in awe and wish him all the best in completing the final day tomorrow.

7. Lisa Allen and Jos Lablache made a welcome return to the peloton today. Lisa took yesterday off with her illness and was able to ride the entire day today. While Jos has yet to ride an entire day without doing van time. That all changed today when the big fella smashed it and finally had the day he has been searching for and saw out the entire day. Proud of you both for sure!

8. Andreas Schibler is 50 years of age and ridden the bike for 30 years. He is from Bern in Switzerland, coincidentally the same town as Fabian Cancellara. (For non cyclists Fabian is pretty good - Just google his name) Anyway Andreas is always telling us the story of what his coach use to tell him: "Climbing hills is not a problem, just ignore them, they are not there!" I tried it today when we had to climb 220 small hills and I have to admit it worked on one of them, so his suggestion has potential...

9. Okay number nine highlight I have to admit was a kind of lowlight when Jim, Spotty and Angus were involved in a crash just 200 metres from the stage finish back at the RACV. Jim went down on his own accord and said if I am going I am not going down alone. So Spotty volunteered, quickly followed by a very enthusiastic Angus not wanting to miss out on any of the action. But seriously, any crash where no-one was hurt surely still rates as a highlight? Jim was quite proud that he had a little blood on his knee and milked it for what it was worth for the rest of the day.

10. And last but not least was Phil's talk tonight over dinner with 80 guests present. He showed a snappy little dvd showing a young Phil with a pony-tail racing to win a stage in the 1981 that put him in the yellow jersey for the very first time. He then told a few stories about racing and calls of nature while cycling, then opened the floor to some questions from the audience.

Well it was a great night and I would have been happy to sit there all night and listen to him speak. But we still had the matter of a 160 kilometre ride to get through tomorrow.
Once again it is late, 11:30pm and the Noosa Century ride begins at 6am. The Smiddy crew have the privilege of leading out the entire Noosa Century ride, which attracts thousands of riders. I am telling you we have some pretty strong riders in the group and they get their chance tomorrow to show off their form. As once that gun signals the start it is a free-for-all and the Smiddy peloton is no-more until the second edition of Noosa Smiddy in 2014. Stay tuned for my final wrap up of tomorrow's happenings.



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