Saturday, 3 August 2013

SMIDDY 440KM WARWICK TRAINING WEEKEND - DAY 1

STATS FOR THE DAY:

Distance:217 km's
Average: 25 km/h
Climbing: 2300 metres
Descending: 1837 metres
Riding time: 8:43:00
Temp Min: 10 degrees
Temp Max: 22 degrees
Wind strength and direction: Head/Side and strong enough to mess up our hair!

Why do we run this weekend for the riders?
The Smiddy Warwick training weekend is put on for the riders five weeks out from the main event leading up to Townsville as a proving ground for their fitness. It is a hardcore two days of riding which encompasses 440 kilometres and close to 4000 metres of climbing. It is a testing ground so that the riders can get an indication of if their training is on track. Some will go away from this weekend knowing they have some work to do, while others will be confident their training has stood them in good form. Regardless the good thing about this weekend is they still have four weeks to fine tune their training. Today some of the crew suffered because of illness, injury or were underdone, but all displayed a stubbornness and determination that will stand them in good stead come September 7 when we push off from UQ for the start of the 8th annual Smiling for Smiddy Challenge.

Riders and road crew are what make Smiddy special
The one underlying factor to Smiddy's success of being able to raise in excess of $4.5 million dollars over the past seven years is this; we attract good people- riders and road crew, that care enough to do something good for others that are suffering. I see it out there when we are riding; Smiddy riders putting their own ambitions on hold to help out a fellow rider, a push here, words of encouragement there, always ready to lend a helping hand. To ride in a Smiddy peloton is not easy, everyone needs to think of the other riders for it all to work. For 40 riders -of various different talents- to ride together in one group, yet very rarely separating, let me assure you, is a very rare occurrence in any group rides. And that is what makes the Smiddy pelotons special. Individualism is thrown out the door in favour of team spirit and I thank you all for showing that admirable quality.

Our special road crew
Not only are these weekends valuable to the riders but also great training for our energetic road crew. A lot of things that happen on the Warwick weekend help us to fine tune our event for the Challenge in September. I would just like to say thank you to the following members of the road crew, Bob Cage, Sammi Jo So, Wybrand De-toit, Chris and Jack Geeves, Kevin Enchelmaier, Jo Frampton, Dawn Burbidge and Jess Ebelt. Without these amazing individuals our Smiddy events and training days would not be possible. The sacrifice they show of giving up their free time is just as valuable a tool in our quest to raise important funds for cancer research. A huge heartfelt thank you guys for what you did today for the 40 strong peloton.

A quick rundown of today's ride
So today was one of those days where we had an awesome start for the first 75km's into Rosewood for morning tea. The wind was behaving itself and the group were on fire with an awesome average of 28.2 km/h. We finished that first leg a full 30 minutes ahead of schedule and devoured everything the road crew put in front of us. The only downside was a fall ten kilometres from morning tea where lovely Janet Curran from Townsville inadvertently touch the wheel in front of her and brought herself down. Allan Prasser tried to avoid the fall and also came down. Both were okay but Janet had some van time to morning tea just to be sure.

The next 75 kilometre stretch into lunch was hilly and into a headwind. It was tough going with a few riders needing to get in the van at various times for a breather. Lunch never tasted so good at the 150 kilometre point. The going was so tough that we were now 30 minutes behind schedule...

A short 40 kilometre ride to afternoon tea, a group photo on a huge log and the last 26 kilometres into Warwick and the ever present headwind. We were gifted with a tailwind for the last ten kilometres and the peloton could smell home and were moving at light speed and were stopping for nothing and no-one! I know as I punctured five kilometres out and I only blinked five times and they were out of site.

As always we finished with the huddle and the riders were congratulated on an amazing effort and the road crew thanked heartedly by the riders.

Here are a few highlights to finish this blog.

1. Seeing the peloton come together so quickly after a Geevsey pep talk at the first call of nature stop.

2. Kylie Adair riding the entire section before lunch in the one gear as her rear cable broke.

3. Witnessing first hand the strength of the females riding the Smiddy Challenge this year. 14 girls attended this
training weekend and you can tell they have been putting in the hard yards. Guys watch out!

4. Michael Bowmaker has been as crook as a dog with a chest infection and still attended todays ride. He nearly killed himself but he completed over 130 kilometres when most would have stayed home in bed. Nice work mate.

5. I just wanted to mention all the gentlemen in the group; to Nick, Errol, Derek and Neil, love the way you guys just soldier on even though at times the pace is a little too high, the hills a little too steep and the headwinds a little bit strong.

6. To all the other Smiddy riders, thank you for getting through a tough day, not once did I hear a complaint or any winging. (Mind you I am deaf!) Which is typical of Smiddy riders; head down, get the job done! Perfect. You guys rock!

7. A huge thank you to all the guys who helped out today pushing a fellow rider, you know who you are, it does not go unnoticed and it is extremely appreciated.

Until tomorrow,

Sharky

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