Saturday, 26 April 2014
2014 NOOSA SMIDDY CHALLENGE - DAY 3 REPORT
Statistics for the day:
Distance: 151 km's
Ave speed: 26 km/h
Max Speed: 87km/h
Elevation climbed: 1566 metres
Ride time: 5:46:00
Min temp: 15 degrees
Max temp: 31.2 degrees
Sharky's Blog Dedication
Today's blog I would like to dedicate to Mr David Smiddy. Unbeknown to anyone but sneaky Jess Ebelt, Smiddy coordinator extraordinaire, David, who lives in Auckland New Zealand, came over here for work next week in Brisbane, decided to arrive early and surprise the group. And what a lovely surprise it was and a real treat for all the riders and road crew. Thank you David, what a legend!
Perfect conditions, guest riders and finally a sleep in!
Well it may not have been the 7:00am start that I promised those riders on Friday, but the 6:30 rollout time in daylight was a whole lot better than yesterday's 5:45am start in the dark. The weather gods were once again kind to us as we were greeted with a picture perfect morning of 15 degrees, no wind and cloudless skies. Talk about hitting the jackpot with regards to the amazingly calm weather we have had for this event. Joining the team today was the founder of the Amy Gillett Foundation Simon Gillett. Simon was Amy's Husband back when she was tragically killed in that senseless accident in Germany in 2005. Simon and his team have campaigned for the rights of cyclists ever since he set up the foundation back in 2006. The Amy Gillett Foundation was instrumental in setting up the recent changes in Qld road rules legislation. Ironically Simon is good friends with the legendary Phil Anderson and just in case you don't know who Phil Anderson is, I am happy to inform you that he was the very first non-European cyclist in the eighties to wear the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour De France and got to wear it on 11 occasions. He finished as high as 5th in 1982 and in his career went on to win over 25 major cycling events around the world, including stage wins in the Tour De France and the Tour of Italy. To say the Smiddy riders were chuffed to ride with him these past three days would be a huge understatement. Phil is a true gentleman and one of the most modest champions you could ever hope to meet.
So for the rest of my day three reports you are going to be treated to a Sharky top ten list of highlights. As of this blog, the heading 'Lows' as in lowlight, does not exist. I was thinking, and while that did hurt my brain, I have decided that everything that happens during a Smiddy event is all a high regardless of the experience. It is called living; challenging oneself, pushing the extremes, all in the name of an excellent cause that one day may just save the life of someone that these guys and girls know. So without further ado here are my top ten highs from today.
Sharky's top 10 Highlights
1.How lucky are we to be living in a state where it is late April and still all that is required for riding is a short sleeve top and bottom? Once again we were greeted with picture perfect conditions of 15 to 31 degrees and we could not have been happier.
2.It would be remiss of me not to mention the work that Captain Kev and Gentle Geevsey do in keeping us, the riders, safe throughout many Smiddy events each year. These beautiful kind hearted -sometimes cranky and bossy- rear and lead car drivers are the salt of the Earth and I would do anything they asked of me, oh except to give up my girl, sorry she is taken boys. Although Kevvy once again had the pleasure of Alyssa's company today when after 100 kilometres her ITB knee war wound began to resurface. Kevvy could not have been happier! :)
3.Mike and Peter Dyer are the sons of the founders of Sealy Posturepedic and very generous with their sponsorship of Smiling for Smiddy and the Mater Foundation for four years now. They are super keen riders themselves and extremely fit. While Peter completed the first two days and had to pull out of today's ride due to gastro, Michael has been struck down by a mysterious virus that has wiped him of all his energy and has not been able to compete at all. Still Michael has stayed involved this weekend by helping out with road crew duties. Thank you Michael and Peter for your amazing support over the years, you should be proud to know that since Sealy began their sponsorship that Sealy has been responsible for raising close to half a million dollars for Smiling for Smiddy and the Mater Foundation to fund cancer research.
4.Today Mark Anthony came up to me just as we finished and was very emotional. Marky does it tough on any of these charity rides as he is not a natural athlete. He gets through each event on physical and mental toughness alone, but it hurts him immensely. Today he shared the story with me that Smiddy rider, Richard Gray, did not leave his side for the last 100 kilometres, helping and encouraging him through a day of suffering that was up there with how bad he felt many times while doing the French Alps Smiddy event last year. So nice work Richard, a true display of Smiddy spirit there my friend.
5.This highlight comes from road crew member Garath Thomas, who shared with me that his Grandfather of 82 years of age was enjoying reading these blogs, his very first experience of reading anything digital other than a newspaper or a book. Apparently he especially liked the fact that I paid out on Garath. So this one is for you Mr Grandfather Bob Hawes; In highlight number 7 you will see I have once again paid out on your most favourite Grandson.
6.Once again a huge thank you to our wonderful friendly massage ladies in Wendy and Sammy-Jo. Who have worked tirelessly on the riders each and every day. Love your work ladies and your caring nature. For those that aren't aware Sammy-Jo was given the nickname last year as 'The Ninja Assassin', for her ability to inflict teeth grinding pain on the riders. Anyone that has had Sammy-Jo begs for Wendy next please? The amazing thing about Sammy-Jo is that she weighs just 22kg, no exaggeration! And stands just 4ft 8" and is even stronger than Garath after his has consumed 4 Red Bulls straight and just done a set of 100 reps working his guns with a half kilogram dumbbell.
7.Jeremy Hanrahan made the mistake of telling me that he was thinking of shaving his legs for the very first time. At morning tea he was put on display in front of the entire crew and it was suggested that if each rider and road crew chipped in $20 each would he not only wax his legs, but do the bikini line as well? His answer was yes and everyone present agreed that it was worth $20 bucks out of their pocket to see Jeremy in extreme pain while lying there in his jocks! $800 was raised from this venture and our old mate is now walking very funny. And thanks to One Spar at the RACV resort for donating some wax when the girls ran out of the store brought stuff. On a side note one of his friends on Facebook said that he would not donate for the waxing but would give him $50 if he stopped wearing Croc sandles.
8.Riding with Phil Anderson. Do your research on this great champion. I am nearly the same age as Phil and I followed his career from start to finish. I know everytime Phil was within spitting distance of me I would attempt to dance on the pedals like Phil does, I would drink and eat when Phil did, when stopping and waiting for a regroup I would stand with one cleat on the rear wheel like Phil does, I would flex my calves, willing them to become larger like only Phil's calves can, but mainly I would look behind as if assessing the competition like Phil use to do when racing as a pro and try and mimic the square jaw intimidating look that only Phil could do back then. Yep I am happy to say I, We, were pretty chuffed to have Phil riding with us these past three days.
9.Today Duncan Flynn came up to me at the lunchtime stop at Kin Kin Park and thanked me and the team at Smiddy for the organisation of the Noosa Smiddy. He explained that he was having a great time and enjoyed the challenges the event had thrown at him. Thank you Duncan and all the other riders and road crew for your involvement, for without you guys there would be no Noosa Smiddy.
10.Christian Killeen I know works for us at Smiddy but I have to mention the guy's balls are made of brass. What he does in that peloton to keep us safe is a joy to watch. At one point on the road today he was stopping cars from coming up behind us on a bend as he knew there were cars coming the other way and a possible head on collision was imminent. Unbelievable they obeyed and he then waved them through. Nice work old mate.
Well as I have to wrap up this blog so that it can be read out I know with the guest speakers of Phil Anderson, Simon Gillett and a researcher from the Mater in Jim Howard that we are in for a treat tonight at the RACV function room.
Tomorrow the riders still have a final 160 kilometre ride to get through, the official Noosa Century ride which begins at 6am. The Smiddy crew have the privilege of leading out the entire Noosa Century ride, which attracts thousands of riders. I am telling you we have some pretty strong riders in the group and they get their chance tomorrow to show off their form. As once that gun signals the start it is a free-for-all and the Smiddy peloton is no-more until the third edition of Noosa Smiddy in 2015. Stay tuned for my final wrap up of tomorrow's happenings.
Spirit and Team work Jersey award winners.
Today's Team work jersey went to Richard Gray for his devotion to looking after his new best Smiddy friend Mark Anthony. The Spirit jersey was awarded to Alison Purvis from Townsville who has been doing it tough the past two days but is hanging in there.