Saturday, 25 May 2013


Stats for the day
Distance: 83km's
Ride Time: 2hrs 47min
Ave Speed: 29.6km/h
Climbing: 122 metres
Min Temp: 8 Degrees
Max Temp: 24 Degrees
Smiddy Riders: 24

Lucky Sharky intro
How lucky am I to be surrounded by so many good people in my life? I'm about to tell you... 2013, the year we are hoping to raise in excess of $1 million dollars for cancer research, has started off as a stellar year for sure. First up we had the NSW Smiddy four day Challenge that raised a staggering $240,000. Then the brand new four day Noosa Smiddy that brought in $85,000 and finally the three day Midi Smiddy, held just last weekend that raised an impressive $90,000. We still have the two Smiddy Tours to go in the French Alps, starting in just three weeks time. Then there is the new 10km Smiddy Swim Challenge in August, the Challenge event in September, Sharky's OZ 7in7 Adelaide to Melbourne and Tassie Smiddy in September as well. The Noosa Triathlon in October and the Busselton Ironman in December will see out the year for Smiddy events, before we start all over again in 2014! Woohoo I am tired just thinking about it! Now I am returning home from a memorable weekend of riding with the North Qld crew in Townsville and looking forward to a well deserved rest after two big weekends in a row.

A Chat with Jarrod
In all these events I get to hang out with like minded individuals that are all on board for the same reasons, and for this I am grateful and lucky to be in a position to meet so many amazing human beings that care enough to do something about this devastating disease that is killing the people we care most about. After the ride today I was chatting to Jarrod Sampson from Eimeo in Mackay. We were enjoying the warming sunshine as we sat alongside our Smiddy mates, sipping on delightful coffee at a cafe situated on the Strand. The weather was a glorious clear day, the bay was calm, the birds were chirping and everyone was walking around with a smile on their face. 'Life does not get any better than this!' I thought, as I was mesmerised by the the tranquility of the day and the awesome company that I shared.

So Jarrod turns to me and says, "Sharky how good is it that these sort of events attract such nice people? I was amazed these past two days that there was not one ego amongst the group and everyone just gets along so well." Jarrod had just voiced what I had already been thinking. To be honest I would give everything back, every moment, every dollar, every experience, to have my mate, Adam Smiddy, beside me in the peloton once again. That big infectious grin of his beaming out for all to see, feel and be warmed by. But as that will never happen I will -and forever will- cherish each and every moment, past, present and future, plus every single person that comes my way through Smiling for Smiddy events. Now that's why I am lucky!

A wrap of the day
Who said Townsville doesn't get cold? I think it was me... With the mercury dipping under the double digits this morning, out came the arm warmers, thermals, winter gloves and wind jacket for Sharky. And I am from Brisbane! The local riders went a step further and wore raincoats, fur-lined jackets, Arctic type leggings and even ugg boots were spotted amongst the peloton for the six-am chilly start. Totally true story guys... Once again Aaron and Luke were back and super excited about getting up two mornings in a row at the crack of dawn! Aaron's oldest Son Josh, was onboard today for the entire ride and even though he tried hard to contain his excitement, he failed miserably as the joy was evident on his 14 year old face. Our ride leader and course designer extrordinaire, Bruce Goodwin, once again mapped out an excellent route that took in all the sights of Townsville. Throughout our nearly three hour dead flat excursion we were treated to viewings of the habour, Ross River Dam, Mt Stuart, Castle Hill and the rare and unheard of sighting of two white horses in a paddock standing side by side, completely oblivious of the significance of who or what they were. Which I am thinking, you also have no idea what I am talking about...? The crew were absolutely floored this morning when Bruce informed them that the ten-kilometre nasty, horrible, rough and incredibly inviting 12% gradient climb up Mt Stuart was closed and no access was possible today. I swear I saw three quarters of the crew smile with relief, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt, as it was quite dark and their expressions were most probably ones of deep regret and disappointment.

The 80km ride was kept short deliberately to allow the out of towners a chance to get back to their hotels to shower, change, eat and start the long drive back to their respective towns. Once again the crew all rode responsibly, at times the speed would creep up but was always willingly brought back under control. We once again finished at the Strand for coffee and of course the second Smiddy huddle of the weekend.

The feedback from the group was nothing but positive and all agreed it was great to get to know everyone ahead of the actual event. In August we will have the annual 460 kilometre Smiddy training weekend to Warwick and back. The entire team from Brisbane and other states and all the north Queenslanders will be present then, for what can only be described as a cracker of a weekend!

Thank you my new friends and a huge thank you to my homestay hosts in Janet and John Curran for taking such good care of me over the past three days, and for cementing our friendship even further.

Anthony you legend!
On a side note I am writing this on the plane home to Brisbane and I must thank my old Townsville mate, Anthony Marano. You see he works for Qantas and obviously something was said as one of the lovely hostesses by the name of Kay, has been calling me Mr Smoothy, offering me extra food and drinks and generally making a fuss over me. I said to Anthony at Friday nights dinner about my dream to one day fly business or first class, just once, in my lifetime. He said he could not pull those sort of strings but he has done pretty damn good this time around! Thanks Ant, you are a legend!

Until next time.


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