Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Distance: 114 kilometres
Average speed: 28.7 kmph
Maximum speed: 54.2 kmph
Temperature Minimum - 12
Temperature Maximum - 18
Metres climbed: 1137
Ride time: 2:56:43
Wind Direction: Tailwind.

Blog written by Rowan Foster

The promise of our shortest day on tour from Coles Bay to St Helens at 112km allowed us a sleep in rarely seen on a Smiddy ride - a 10.30am start. After a sensational bbq brekky thanks to our amazing road crew the late start allowed a keen group to play tourist in Freycinet National Park with a trek up to Wineglass Bay lookout. Thanks must go to Tammy and Amy Warren for the transfers to the national park. We really appreciate the amazing support of the Warren family on this trip.

It's funny that a 112km stage can be classed as an easy day but that was the mindset amongst the riders when we woke. We'd battled long days in the saddle down the west coast and we hoped day 6 would be kind to us on weary legs. As if the weather gods knew about our 10.30am departure, strong winds and rain set down on Coles Bay just minutes prior.

I made a bee line for our resident weather man Watty and asked what conditions lay ahead. Rain and a fierce headwind he replied. It sent a shudder amongst the group. A few minutes later Tassie Tim Smithers received an official report detailing clearing skies and tailwinds.

I questioned Watty on his error. He seemed so trustworthy all trip. Watty replied 'bugger me I've got no idea, I've just been making it up the whole time''. Thanks watty.

So at 11am we headed out, setting a new record for the latest ever Smiddy departure time...and what would turn out to be the shortest day of riding as well; to record under 4hrs of actual ride time is unheard of in the Smiddy peloton.

Kate Warren's mum Tammy rang the cow bell and we were on our way. A little rain fell on departure but it was soon clear the wind was with us. We clicked over the kilometres averaging 30kms/hr.

Rupert was looking the goods with superman jocks and socks on show while Maso donned his newly awarded Tassie Devil undies on the outside as well.

With a level road ahead of us the 65kms into lunch at Chain of Lagoons Beach was done in a flash. I must apologise to my old man Freddy Foster for not stopping in Bicheno on the way through - he told me I had to sample some oysters there but I figured it wouldn't be the best ride nutrition.

The lunch stop was a hit however with gluten free beef wraps and cookies the fuel for the afternoon session. Well played road crew!

Our final session into St. Helens was a mere 47kms - with a tailwind this would be a breeze.

The ride along the east coast was stunning. Rolling green hills and fields of frolicking spring lambs met a coast line of azure waters. If only Geevesy was here to talk us trough it. Tasmania - what a magic place. If only they could do something about the weather!

We were into St Helens before we knew it. The road crew had us into our cabins in a flash to freshen up for dinner - an amazing chicken stir fry. Damn they treat us well.

The team dinner saw us launch a fresh challenge for our penultimate day. It will pit the 'buffet stalkers', four of our Clydesdale riders (Watty, Marto, Tom & Mark @ 95kgs+) versus the Skinny Jims (Rupert, Sambo, Matt & Shannon) four of our lightweight cyclists on the day's main climb - a 8km ascent at average gradient of 5 per cent.

The catch is that our Skinny Jims will be weighted down with 20kg back packs to answer the much asked question of who would ride better at equal weight. I can't wait to see the outcome of that one! Stay tuned for tomorrow's results.

Thanks for following our journey and amazing support to help us reach $100,000 raised for cancer research at Mater.

I hope you enjoy following tomorrows ride!

Row Man

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