Friday, 25 April 2014
2014 NOOSA SMIDDY CHALLENGE - DAY TWO REPORT
Statistics for the day:
Ave speed: 26.4km/h
Max Speed: 97.3 km/h By Kurt Kratmann and Mark Anthony
Elevation climbed: 1538 metres
Ride time: 5:28:00
Min temp: 14 degrees
Max temp: 33.9 degrees
Welcome once again to my day two report from the annual Noosa Smiddy Challenge. Well a little bit of Smiddy history took place on what was another glorious day in paradise. As I sit here in my air conditioned room at the luxurious 4 star RACV resort, preparing to tell totally true tales of our day on the road, I find myself having a little extra time to reflect. You see ever since Smiling for Smiddy events began in 2006 I have never missed a day or a single solitary kilometre of riding in 9 years. Today my luck did not run out, it just took a slight detour. But more on that later...
Roll out and the sleep in that never happened
Before I go any further let me regress back to the start of the day, actually back to last night at our barbecue dinner that the RACV provided. First up it was a meal fit for a king and we had 40 kings and queens that totally earned that amazing feast after a long day on the road from Brisbane. Anyway the table I was gifted to sit at contained the legendary and all round nice guy, Phil Anderson, and a few cheeky trouble makers that I will not name, Harry, Jeff and Martin, whoops sorry did I just write that...? Who quizzed me on our leave time for today's ride? Well like any good founder I knew absolutely nothing and told them the news they so desperately needed to hear, that it was indeed a 7am roll out, which for a Smiddy event is a massive sleep in. All were happy and I was popular. Then Jess gets up after my journal reading and informs everyone that roll out was in fact at 5:45am. I was now a jester and my head was coming off!
A morning worth a million dollars
The early start was mandatory as we had a Anzac Day service to attend at Mapleton; 61 kilometres away and on top of a very large and pain inflicting mountain. So after Matt delivered a whispered safety brief in the driveway of the RACV, so as not to wake up any of the other residents, we were on the road right on time at 6:00am! That first 50 kilometre section of riding was one that you dream of happening and when it does you can't quite believe your luck. The road service was smooth, traffic very light, a nice crisp dewy taste to the air we were fortunate enough to breathe into our lungs, a skyline of subdued orange with a tint of golden pink as the sun began to make a most welcome appearance and the icing on the cake was the 30 magnificent golden warriors astride our trusty steads in perfect formation and floating through this nirvana of a morning as would a peloton of seasoned pro's that have raced together for a decade. Yes it was a very special morning indeed and we were on our way to pay our respects to the great Anzacs that gave us the freedom we enjoy today.
The climb up to Mapleton and the Anzac Day service
Now the last 10 kilometres was all up and except for the last kilometre up a 14% gradient it was actually an enjoyable climb. That last K sucked the life out of your legs and lungs and replaced it with concrete in your legs and asbestos into your lungs. That glorious morning I was boasting about before was replaced with a brutal sun that seemingly enjoyed physically melting your muscles before your eyes. Now without any exaggeration at all our heaviest sweaters in the peloton was a draw between Harry Nina and Dougy Clayton. Prior to the climb both lads weighed in at 75 and 82 kilograms. By the top they had been reduced to the weight of our most petite and lovely lady rider Paula Castle from Cairns, who is a touch under 50kg. True story and our deepest apologies to family and friends who may not recognise their love ones on their return home. Anyway our supportive road crew were at the top welcoming everyone in with much enthusiasm. I would like to point out how enjoyable it was to hear road crew legend Claire Schneider clap louder than a small flea. You see at roll out, this bubbly effervescent young lady, had to contain her excitement in
respect for people that actually have the hide to sleep in past 5:30am!
After all the riders arrived and added to the flowing stream of sweat whisking back down the mountain in great rivulets, there was no time to eat as the Anzac service was about to begin. Atop Mapleton about 200 people stood or sat through what was a beautiful, thoughtful, moving but extremely long lasting service. I knew it was long when one of the children in a small choir, who were singing a remembrance song, actually fainted. She was quickly attended to and the service wrapped up shortly after. The MC actually acknowledged and thanked us, the sporting group, for attending and a very kind lady donated $20 once she found out what we were raising money for, which was lovely and most appreciated by the group. The rush for the toilets and food was then on and 15 minutes later Kevvy blew the 5 minute whistle for roll out.
Razor Back descent provides light entertainment
From there we travelled 10 kilometres of seriously painful rolling hills up to Monteville and entered the infamous Razor Back descent. Prior to the descent a lady raced over and gave Kevvy a $20 donation. No details given but we think she may have been at the Anzac service. Anyway the Razor Back, with a name like that we expected, and received, a descent to rival the Dream World ride called 'The Drop'. Top speed recorded by Kurt Kratzmann and Mark Anthony was a staggering 97.3km/h. I am extremely happy to advise you readers that Kurt and Anthony are alive and kicking, although their hair definitely got messed up by the wind! My beautiful Fiancee has a fear of descents and opted to get in the car with Captain Kev, of which Kev was so pleased about that he did not wish to relent possession of my most favourite girl once the bottom was reached. On another note Rob Buick displayed amazing skill to stay upright when his rear tyre blew out while sitting on 60km/h. Nice work Rob and a change of cycling pants awaited him at the bottom! Pardon the pun...
Sharky getting soft in his middle age
Halfway down the descent I stopped to take photos of the group and accidentally dropped my bike while it was leaning up against me. Unbeknown to me I had bent the rear derailler. Our master mechanic and all round awesome most fun loving and bestest greatest sponsor in the world, Matty Mathew Hopper, noted that my derialler was bent and he would adjust it at lunch. Just 5 kilometres later, at the 90km mark, a sharp right turn up another ridiculously steep climb, I changed down to my easiest gear and the derailler ended up wedged into the spokes of my back wheel. My stop was instant and two riders, Bill Maddock, who works at the Mater and is one of the nicest blokes you could ever hope to meet, except for our mechanic Matty Matt Hopper of course, and the most elite athlete you could ever hope to meet in Tim Dalton, got to visually inspect the crack of my bottom as they narrowly missed it by less than an eyelash. Nice reflexes boys! Anyway the end result; irreparable on the road and I was out for the rest of today's ride. My first non finish in 9 years of Smiddy events. Kevvy was beside himself with excitement. For 8 years he has always said to me; "Sharky your time will come and when it does I will be there!" Think of an evil gnome promising to eat your ankles one bite at a time over a 24 hour period and that sums up the grin that Kevvy had on his face when I jumped into the van for the very first time. One of the boys noted I was soft as the front wheel stilled turned and why couldn't I just ride on the front wheel? On a side note thank you Matty Mathew Hopper for attempting to fix my bike, which as I write this is still underway. Such a nice bloke that Matty Mathew Hopper... Have I mentioned he is a top bloke?
Lunch and home for a shower and blog
After lunch at Muller Park at the South Maroochy River Crossing, I bid farewell to the peloton as they pushed off for the final 50km fling home. I was in the car with Garath and Andy who were showing me how hard it was for them doing road crew duties as the aircon only went as low as 18 degrees... I felt for them. I got back to the unit, ate and showered and started on the blog while waiting patiently for my new friends to arrive safely, which they did at 2:50pm and their looks of exhilaration mixed with fatigue and exhaustion was a look I knew and felt so well. Another world first happened today when I asked to do the huddle in the shade of the huge 3 carport garage. The privilege went to Rob Buick for his amazing fundraising efforts and for staying alive on that descent so that I could actually bestow this honour on him!
Tonight is a barbecue put on by a trusty and gorgeous -except for Garath- road crew, down by the Noosa River, where I will no doubt get bitten 1701 times by mosquitos and midges and all the riders and road crew will like me as they will be spared thanks to my supreme sacrifice.
Special jerseys for special people
Each night we have a team and spirit jersey that we hand out to those that go out of their way to help their fellow riders. Last night we were so excited by the food and the fact that we were treated to having in our midst one the greatest cyclists Australia has ever produced in Phil 'Skippy' Anderson. So those jerseys will be awarded tonight and handed the Spirit jersey to first Andy Loney, volunteer extraordinaire and one of the most helpful polite gentleman you will ever meet. And Wendy McQueen, the team jersey for her exquisite massage hands and friendly beautiful personality.
Today's team jersey went to Martin Millard for not only his really bad jokes and witty sarcasm, but for being the pushing machine when he single handedly got Dig In Doug Clayton up to Mapleton. Nice work old mate. And it would be remiss of me not to award the Spirit jersey to Matty Mathew Hopper for not only fixing my bike (hopefully) but for all the pushing he has done over the last 2 days.
We will see you tomorrow for blog number 3.