Distance: 154 km's
Average: 27 km/h
Climbing: 1709 metres
Riding time: 5hr 44min
Temp Min: 11 degrees
Temp Max: 24 degrees
Why a reunion ride?
The idea for a one day reunion ride came about thanks to Smiddy participants surpassing the 1000 total. Yes since 2006, over 1000 cyclists, triathletes or swimmers have entered and completed their chosen Smiddy event. It was to be an event for bringing together Smiddy participants, purely for the joy of sharing a great day of riding together and sharing stories of the adventures these guys and girls have seen over the years. We were hoping for a field of 50 riders and were not disappointed when 47 signed up. The roll out from Smiddy Park at 6:30am on Saturday July 27, actually saw a field of over 70 Smiddy riders. This increase in numbers was due to other Smiddy riders joining the peloton for a brief period before peeling off, sad they could not complete the full day with the group.
The Weather Gods are in a good mood
Well as you know Queensland and most of Australia have experienced a very wet and miserable winter thus far. So how happy were we when the powers that be organised a Winters day that was as good as the best Spring day you could ever hope to receive. Clear blue skies, a minimum of 11 degrees, a tailwind most of the way to Noosa, a maximum temperature of 24 degrees, and best of all 47 experienced Smiddy riders to share a cruisy ride to Noosa at an average of 27km/h, and even with 1700 metres of climbing thrown in, everyone finished looking like they had just rode a Brisbane 30km river loop!
Getting out of Brisbane and Smiddy chit chat
Now with such a large Smiddy peloton, getting out of the city was always going to be an exercise in patience. The many stops at traffic lights provided ample opportunities for the riders to share stories and comment on who's legs were shaved, who had the hairiest legs, who had the biggest veins in their calves and most importantly who was the girl Sharky was drooling over and attached to her wheel as if his life depended on it! Well I am glad you asked! For that would be my girl Alyssa and I may be mildly smitten by her incredible presence and beauty, not that anyone would know as I am playing it pretty cool and not letting on my interest!
Getting to know the road crew
As you know our events are only as successful as the support we receive from our amazing volunteers. Just quickly I would like to mention these generous souls as they deserve some recognition for what they do. A huge plus for the group was Maria Smiddy flying in from New Zealand to be part of this one day ride. We are honoured to have her here and I am pretty sure most of the riders have experienced a Maria cuddle to brighten up their already superb day. Townsville Challenge volunteers backing up today saw Rebecca Knight and her daughter and Smiddy Mascot in Shak. Jess Ebelt, Kevin Enchelmaier and our crazy South African photographer-lolly-man, Wybrand Du Toit. From the Midi Smiddy, volunteers included Francisca Otero and Jo Frampton. Toby Hood, our mechanic from the Noosa Smiddy joined us again and looked after any breakdowns along the way. The Geevsey family were once again represented by Mum Brigit and her three energetic kids in Georgia, Jack and Jessica. A huge congrats to Georgia and Jack who rode the remaining 30 kilometres with the peloton into Noosa. And Jessica who is giving Wybrand a run for his money in the photography world championships. Their Father Chris, our normal Smiddy lead-car driver, was taking a well earned day off road crew duties and enjoying a day on the road as a rider. And last but not least, the new kids on the block, and employees at the Mater Foundation, joining Smiddy for the first time, were Katie Cox, Nadia Riding and Kelly Barrington. A huge thank you to all mentioned above for coming out and supporting us riders today.
A quick summary of the day
I am keen to get to my top ten highlights of the day so this is what happened on the road today in a very brief Sharky Summary. We left Smiddy Park at 6:30am, we rode, we stopped lots of time for traffic lights, then we stopped lots of time for toilet and food stops and then we arrived in Noosa safe and sound at 2:40pm. And that my friends will go down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the shortest summary in the history of Sharky blogs. Good chance I will never top that! So now on to my top ten. Enjoy. (Said all in one breath as I read it out on the night!)
Sharky's top ten highlights from today's Smiddy Reunion Ride
1. How cool is that we have a park named after our mate Adam Smiddy? And even cooler that we got to start our very first Reunion ride from this park, that will be there long after all of us have passed on. The moment was not lost on me and I had fond thoughts of my mate as we rolled out at 6:30am.
2. Rolling out and witnessing a never before seen sight of Smiddy riders wearing nearly every jersey possible from our events over the last eight years. We had Challenge riders wearing their jerseys from 2008 onwards to the present day. Midi Smiddy jerseys, Half Smiddy, NSW Smiddy, Noosa Smiddy, French Pyrenees and the recently completed French Alps. It was a sight to behold and one that the team at Smiddy felt proud to be part of.
3. How good to see the group just instantly gel like a family coming together for a Christmas dinner. And family we are! Once you do a Smiddy event you are part of the ever-growing Smiddy family, 1000 plus strong now - How cool is that!
4. Watching the crew on the road and the way they just locked into the riding habits of a Smiddy peloton was a joy to behold. Two days on the road is the minimum required for Smiddy riders to bond and learn the Smiddy way of the road - Not today, as from the first magical sound of cleats clicking into pedals signaled all was good with the riding etiquette right from the start.
5. Apparently there were two sick love birds in the peloton today, word got out they were inseparable, each one latched to the others wheel, feeding each other at the food stops and even holding hands while enjoying a stroll to the toilets. It was sickening and this couple have been reprimanded and handed over to the over-the-top Romance Police!
6. The riders supporters, family members, love ones and friends; a huge thank you for giving us your Smiddy rider for the day. What a joy to share six hours in the saddle with all our old Smiddy mates. Each and everyone of these guys and girls the team at Smiddy have shared their highs and lows in their chosen event. We have gotten to know them intimately and along the way they have raised over $4 million dollars for cancer research! This could not have happened without your loving support, so on behalf of Smiddy please know we are eternally grateful!
7. The Smiddy huddle at the RACV Noosa Resort was lead by Maria Smiddy. All the riders, their family and supporters and road crew were present. It was a huddle to rival all past huddles with thousands in attendance! Well maybe 80, but it was a quality huddle, and being our first for this new event, and having Maria there, made it very special indeed.
8. This RACV resort we are staying at is pretty darn upper class at 4 and half stars. I suspect after the crew have spent an afternoon relaxing in the ambience of their enormous and luxurious rooms, that filling the 2014 Noosa Smiddy next year in April will be a given as they salivate to return here.
9. Now I am writing the ninth highlight before it has actually happened, but I just know it will be a highlight for everyone. And that is the function tonight in the very room at the RACV resort, that my old Smiddy mate, Rowan Foster and his beautiful Wife Carlene had their reception in 18 months ago. There was, or will be when I get there, as Jess and Matt and Rowan are hopefully there and busy setting it all up, lots of Smiddy memorabilia from the past eight years, plenty of photos of past events spread over all of the tables, jerseys from every Smiddy event adorning the walls and a very special brand new mini Smiddy doco made exclusively for tonights function.
10. Last but certainly not least, how pleasing it was to see 12, not only very fit Smiddy ladies in the group today, but how incredibly beautiful they all are. Actually I would go as far as saying they are possibly the best looking and nicest females in the entire world, are our Smiddy girls. One in particular!
And that was our Reunion ride. Tomorrow a few of the crew are riding home, while I will be happy to enjoy a rare sleep in and the extraordinary company of the most amazingly beautiful and caring lady to enter my life just three months and seven days and 12 hours and 13 minutes ago, but who's counting!
Take care my friends.