NOOSA SMIDDY- Day 4
Stats for the day
Please note that these stats for the day are off my Garmin and not reflective of the Smiddy rider peloton
Distance: 164 km's
Ave speed: 27.8 km/h
Max Speed: 84km/h
Elevation climbed: 1508 metres
Ride time: 5:53:00
Min temp: 15 degrees
Max temp: 32.4 degrees
Missing in action
With just five hours sleep I dragged my weary butt and heavy head out of bed and met my fellow Smiddy riders for a quick breakfast at five-am. I was shocked to hear from Kevvy that Spotty was taken off to hospital in an ambulance late last night at two-am. It appears the bump to her head in the fall yesterday has left her with mild concussion. We were all worried for her and I knew on a personal level she would be devastated to be missing the final day. Thanks Kevvy and Jess for looking after Spotty last night and insisting that the ambulance be called. Head trauma is something not to be messed with and Kevvy more than anyone knows this.
So Spotty as you missed out today I would like to dedicate this blog entry to you. You came into this event with just two weeks to prepare and fundraise, yet you always come through with your commitment. To all Jodie's donors out there that have put up their hard earned cash, I thank you kindly for showing her such amazing support.
The passing of a friend
On a sadder note I am sorry to say that my friend, Diane Frazer's Mother Frances, has passed away. I got to see her about a week ago and Diane told me today that she remembered my visit and told Diane that I was a nice guy. I don't feel nice at the moment as I am still losing mates to this stupid disease! If anything it is taking me back to 2006 when my mate Adam passed away and I got angry. I guess it keeps me hungry to keep doing what we are doing at Smiddy and the Mater Foundation, but all the same I am saddened each time someone I know loses their life to cancer.
Anyway it was not all doom and gloom. Once we got down to the start all the Smiddy riders were directed to the front of the huge peloton of over a thousand riders. Smiddy is the official charity for this Noosa Century event and a little favouritism was extended our way. With five minutes to the six-am start I turned to Phil Anderson and asked if he was going to have a play today with the lead group? He responded that his normal training regime of a couple of 60 to 80 kilometre rides a week would see him taking today's 160 kilometres at a cruisy Smiddy group pace. I of course did not believe him and I will explain why later. Which brings me to my snap shots of today section. For the remainder of this blog I want you to form a picture in your head for each comment I make, and hopefully you will enjoy the journey that was seen though my eyes today.
Sharky's Snapshots of the Noosa Century
Kilometre 1; Being at the front of such a huge peloton there is a certain amount of pressure to get the pacing right. For the first ten kilometres 40km/h was enough to keep the hounds at bay. Once the road widened the big boys came out to play and the average for the next ten was closer to 45km/h.
Kilometre 1 to 25: I committed suicide today by staying with the lead group until the first major climb at the 25 kilometre mark. I was already redlining it and 'Boom', smoke out the ears, legs imploding, heart comes to a complete stop and in one quick swoop I am passed by hundreds of cyclists within a 30 second time frame. My time to go backwards had arrived...
Kilometre 25; Last thing I see is Smiddy riders Rowan, Toby and of course the great Phil Anderson right there at the front of the lead group. See ya boys and I mentally sent this mind-message to Phil; "mate good to see you riding at Smiddy cruising pace! " The average to that first climb was over 40km/h!
Kilometre 25.1; It will take me until the 95 kilometre mark to recover from that moment of insanity. Each and every climb is torture -of which there are plenty- and my snail like pace guarantees the passing of a further million cyclists! Yep the field had grown...
Kilometre 30 and there is Toby by the side of the road repairing a puncture. I don't stop as I know from my defeat the other day he can repair it in around two minutes. Our eyes lock as I pass and I feel his disappointment. Today was Toby's day to play with the leaders.
Kilometre 35 I am in a small group of eight riders; three riders ahead of me, a touch of wheels, 'Bam!" Rider down with a sickening thud; 'Double Bam' second rider down, glasses dislodged, discarded water bottles, broken bodies, my turn to either fall or get through this mess. Grabbed a handful of brakes, end up in the dirt and ditch on the side of the road but stayed upright. I am shaking but one look at first rider down and elbow bone protruding through the skin and blood everywhere is enough to calm me down to help out. His day is done, other rider will continue. Ambulance called, friends arrive, my job is done.
Kilometre 35 to 60, I am getting passed continually as my progression to the back of the peloton continues. But love the occasions when passed by fellow Smiddy riders, all with an encouraging word, a pat on the back, an offer to ride with me, of which I always decline, it is torture to ride so slow, and to ask that of a mate, I am not prepared.
Kilometre 61 another steep climb, up out of the saddle as per my usual climbing style, disaster strikes with a double whammy, not only does my chain snap but with the full force of my downward leg and no chain to speak of I slam my private parts into the top tube of the bike! I would have screamed like a girl but opted to yell like a man, as I am a man right? So I yelled a word I cant repeat here.
Kilometre 61 but 30 minutes later and repeating the same question over and over again to each passing rider; "do you have a chain breaker?" "Do you have a chain breaker?" Finally a lovely man stops and not only has a chain breaker but a joining link as well. Thank you nice man and I am on my way.
Kilometre 61, but not before helping my new mate Matt, who had sliced his tyre and gone through three tubes and had given up hope. I had a repair kit and we put a sleeve inside the tyre, I gave him my one spare tube and Matt was good to go.
Kilometre 61 to 70, I ride with Matt, who was with the front group when he sliced his front tyre by hitting a fellow rider's rear cluster. I sit on his wheel for that time and eventually tell him it was a pleasure but you are killing me! We shake hands and Matt rides off.
Kilometre 70 to 95 and my slow delirious pace is mentally destroying my confidence. I very rarely see another rider, surely there can't be anyone left behind me?
Kilometre 95 and I am rescued! My beautiful Smiddy road crew are at the official drink stop at Eumundi. I blurt out my close call, my chain -I keep my sore nuts story to myself- I sit on the road and chat and eat and drink for ten minutes. I feel rejuvenated. My Smiddy crew are my energy and I missed not seeing them constantly throughout today.
Kilometre 95 to 160; fellow Smiddy rider Shane Isbester rolls out of that water station with me. He knows I am struggling and refuses to leave my side. The constant chatter and enthusiasm lifts my spirits, we get through the last 30 kilometres of never ending hills. Once on the remaining 35 kilometres of flat roads into Noosa and we are pace-lining and flying once again. I love my Smiddy mates but right at this very moment Shane is my most favourite Smiddy mate of all time!
Kilometre 145; we are with a small group of six or seven riders and a rider goes down in front of me. I can't believe it! I grab a handful of brakes, stay upright and I am back to shaking again with my second close call of this insane roller coaster of a ride. His friends stop, Shane and I carry on, putting distance between the craziness of falling off riders and ourselves...
Kilometre 152; we pass fellow Smiddy rider Simon Chambers repairing a puncture on the side of the road. We stop to help, he is not happy due to the pain in one of his dodgy legs. We get him going again but he insists we carry on as he is cycling one leg only. (On a side note Simon got changed into a bright pink Borat type swim costume and rode the remaining five kilometres to the finish. His boss offered him $2000 to do it, so awesome work there Simon!)
Kilometre 160; Shane and I cross the line holding hands held high in the air. Kevvy and Mike were there at the finish, everyone else had headed back to the resort for a much deserved shower and feed. We then rode an additional five kilometres back to the resort to avoid going up the Noosa Hill, which was the short way. I can't begin to tell you the joy my body and mind felt to get off my trusty stead! Thank you Shane for your support out there. In typical Smiddy spirit you stuck by a mate who needed a mate!
Sharky's final words
Well we got back to the resort and Rowan was there and cheering us in. A small group of Smiddy riders were present in Nathan, Rowan and Phil and Annie. I quickly found out that Phil and Rowan had stayed with the lead group the entire way. But get this, Phil, who is now 55 years of age, not only stayed with the leaders the entire way, but had the misfortune of his gear cable snapping and having to ride the remaining 80 kilometres in just his hardest gear at the back, his 13 teeth cog. Those hills that I was climbing in my easiest clog of 27, he was doing it in his 13! And staying with the lead group! Mind boggling stuff and all a part of the great Phil Anderson Smiddy folklore that will be handed down to future generations of Smiddy riders. All I can say is that I would love to see what Phil could do if he was going out for a hard day!
I hope you have enjoyed these blogs and I look forward to writing again once the Midi Smiddy begins in four weeks time. Until then, this Shark needs to rest his weary fin and get ready for riding with another awesome bunch of Smiddy people!
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